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June 14 2014

Strange Beasts of Japan’s Far North


The indigenous Ainu people of Hokkaido have a long folklore of an ancient race of dwarf-like people thought to have inhabited the land long before humans arrived.

The Ainu knew these creatures as the Koropokkuru, also written in other ways, such as Kor-pok-un-kur, Koro-pok-guru, and Koro Pokunguru. They are also sometimes referred to as the Tsuchigumo. The name Koropokkuru is most commonly translated as “the people who live under the burdock leaves,” and implies the diminutive size of the creatures. In some stories a whole family was said to be able to fit underneath one burdock leaf, with one such leaf measuring about 4 feet across.

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