Location: Japan

Danger Level: High

According to Ainu folklore, the Akkorokamui is a gigantic octopus-like monster which lurks in Funka Bay in Hokkaid?. It’s said that its massive red body can grow to sizes of nearly 120 meters in length. Due to its coloration and immense size, it is visible from great distances, causing speculation that it is possibly a giant squid or octopus. Others say it could be surviving specimens of giant marine reptiles, such as an ichthyosaur or plesiosaur, from the Jurassic and Cretaceous Periods, or extinct whales like Basilosaurus.

The Akkorokamui is described as an enormous octopus-like or squid-like creature said to be a striking red, often described as incandescent, and sometimes likened to the color of the setting sun reflecting upon the water. The Ainu people have always feared the Akkorokamui, believing it to swamp boats. Many fishermen carry large sickles aboard their boats in order to protect themselves from the creature.

The Ainu have long reported sightings made of the Akkorokamui, but there are also accounts written of by non-Ainu as well. The 19th century Englishman and missionary, John Batchelor, who lived among the Ainu and is known for his extensive writings on Ainu life, wrote firsthand a journal entry of an alleged actual incident concerning an apparent Akkorokamui in his book ‘The Ainu and their Folklore’.

akkorokamui“In the morning, we found the whole village under a cloud. Three men, it was said, were out trying to catch swordfish, when all at once a great sea monster, with large staring eyes, appeared in front of them and proceeded to attack the boat. A desperate fight ensued. The monster was round in shape, and emitted a dark fluid and noxious odor. The three men fled in dismay, not so much indeed for fear, they say, but on account of the dreadful smell. However that may have been, they were so scared that the next morning all three refused to get up and eat; they were lying in their beds pale and trembling.”

Another old 19th century account was made by a Japanese fisherman which Brent Swancer translated from the original Japanese.

“And I saw ahead something huge and red undulating under the waves. I at first thought my eyes deceived me, and that I was merely seeing the reflection of sun upon the water, but as I approached, I could see that in fact it was an enormous monster, 80 meters in length at least, with large, thick tentacles as big around as a man’s torso. The thing fixed me with a huge, staring eye before sinking into the depths, and out of sight.”