Itachi – Weasel in Japanese Culture and the World

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For those who don't know, the name "Itachi" means "Weasel", or in free translation "weasel". But the focus of the article is not to present the species itself. We will present the meaning that this animal has in Japanese culture.

And so, we may have a little light of knowledge about how this animal is seen in Japan. And in the same way we will be able to compare the history of the so famous character of Naruto, with the culture.

I think many people already know who Itachi Uchiha is. For those who don't know I highly advise watching the anime Naruto. But anyway, let's explore a little of this vast culture. Giving special focus to those small mammals that have a bit of a bad meaning.

Itachi - Weasel in Japanese Culture and the World

Itachi – Weasel in cultures around the world

A weasel is a mammal of the Mustela genus in the Mustelidae family. The Mustela genus includes fewer weasels, ferrets and minks. Members of this genus are small, active predators with long, slender bodies and short legs.

In Greek culture, a weasel near the house is a sign of bad luck. And especially if there was a girl in the house about to be married. This is because the animal was thought to be an unhappy bride who was transformed into the animal. So this “unhappy bride” would delight in destroying wedding dresses.

In Macedonia, weasels are generally seen as an omen of good luck. Well, the world is too big to have just one thought.

In early modern Mecklenburg, Germany, weasel amulets were considered to have strong magic. Between August 15th and September 8th was a period specifically designated for the killing of weasels.

In another part of the world, in North America, the natives considered the weasel to be a bad sign. For them, crossing their path meant a “swift death”.

Itachi – Weasel in Japanese culture

In Japan, weasels were seen as a type of yōkai. According to the Wakan Sansai Zue encyclopedia from the Edo period, a weasel hatch would cause conflagrations. Also according to him, the cry of a weasel was considered a harbinger of misfortune.

They are also considered ShapShift, meaning they can change forms, most of the time, for a human. Just like the fox (kitsune) or tanuki. In the collection of representations, the Gazu Hyakki Yagyō by Sekien Toriyama, they were described under the title 鼬. However, they were read not as "itachi", but rather as "ten".

And so, it was considered that there were “ten” weasels that reached one hundred years of age. So if these weasels became yōkai who possessed supernatural powers. Another well-known theory about weasels is about the hundred years of a weasel. For when weasels reach hundreds of years of age, they become mujina (badger).

In the Tohoku and Shinshu region, we have something much more curious about these animals. For in this region, it was believed that there were families who were able to use a certain practice. Which would allow you to freely use kudagitsune like iizuna-tsukai or kitsune-mochi. Some types of Kitsune.

Itachi and the weasels

Itachi - Weasel in Japanese Culture and the World

As we can see, Itachi's fate was not good since its creation. Now tell me, did you know this meaning? Speaking of which, what would it be like if you already knew this before you even saw the end of naruto's story?

But anyway, now we know that Japanese folklore doesn't have good eyes for this mammal. But although we can see weasels in some anime, as well as the kitsune. If you know of any anime, besides Ushio to Tora and pokemon, comment below.

That's all we have for this post. I hope I clarified some things for you about the culture and about Itachi. And don't forget to share the site on social media, it helps us a lot. Anyway, thanks for reading the article so far, bye.

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