Itachi - Ferret in Japanese Culture and the World

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 introduce the species itself. We will present the meaning that this animal has in Japanese culture.

And so, we can have a little light of knowledge about how this animal is seen in Japan. And in the same way we can compare the story of the famous character of Naruto, with the culture.


I believe that many people already know that Itachi Uchiha is. For those who do not know I highly recommend watching the anime Naruto. But anyway, let's explore a little of this vast culture. Giving special focus to these small mammals that have a slightly bad meaning.

Itachi - weasel in Japanese culture and the world

Table of Content Show

Itachi - Ferret 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 mink. The members of this genus are small active predators, with long, slim 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 get married. This is because it was thought that the animal was an unhappy bride who was transformed into the animal. Thus, this "unhappy bride" would be happy to destroy wedding dresses.

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

At the beginning of the modern era in Mecklenburg, Germany, the weasel’s amulets were considered with strong magic. Between August 15 and September 8 it was a period specifically designed for the killing of weasels.


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

Itachi - Ferret 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 birth of weasels would cause conflagrations. Still according to this, the scream of a weasel was considered a precursor to misfortune.

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


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

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

Itachi and the Weasel

Itachi - weasel in Japanese culture and the world

As we can see, Itachi’s fate was no longer good since its creation. Now tell me, did you know that meaning? Speaking of which, what would it be like if you already knew that before you even saw the end of the naruto story?


But anyway, now we know that Japanese folklore does not have good eyes for this mammal. But although we can see weasels in some anime, as well as the Kitsunes. If you know of any anime, besides Ushio to Tora and pokemom, comment down there.

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