De tapir, mytische 'dromen eter', biedt volgens een Oost-Aziatische legende bescherming tegen nachtmerries en brengt geluk. Als je op internet zoekt naar ‘Tapir’ dan vind je o.a. de volgende informatie:

‘In Chinese, Korean and Japanese, the tapir is named after a beast from Chinese mythology. A feature of this mythical creature is a snout like that of an elephant. In Japanese folklore, tapirs can eat people's dreams.’

‘The Japanese term baku refers to both the traditional dream-devouring creature and to the zoological tapir

The traditional Japanese nightmare-devouring baku originates in Chinese folklore and was familiar in Japan as early as the Muromachi period (14th-15th century)

Hori (2005) has described the dream-eating abilities attributed to the traditional baku and relates them to other preventatives against nightmare like the use of amulets. Kaii-Yōkai Denshō Database, citing a 1957 paper, and Mizuki (2004) also describe the dream-devouring capacities of the traditional baku.

The elephant’s head, trunk, and tusks are characteristic of baku portrayed in classical era (pre-Meiji).

Since the 1980s in manga, anime, and other forms of popular culture, the baku appears not as a chimera of an elephant and tiger but as a zoologically recognizable tapir.’

Baku is the Japanese word for a mythical ‘dream eater’ with a long nose. The legend may originally have come from China. The term ‘baku’ now applies to tapirs, but in the beginning it may have been a more human-looking character with a long nose. It is a welcome guest, as the dreams it eats tend to be nightmares, thus sparing the dreaming human from the frightening experience of the nightmare. By extension, the baku seems to bring good fortune.’


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