A shachihoko float used in Karatsu Kunchi festival

A shachihoko (鯱鉾 or 鯱) or shachi () is an animal in Japanese folklore with the head of a tiger and the body of a carp.[1] It was believed that this animal could cause the rain to fall, and as such, temples and castles were often adorned with roof ornaments (shibi) crafted in the form of a shachihoko, in order to protect them from fire.

When pronounced "shachi", 鯱 also means orca.[2]

A shachihoko decorates the roof of Okayama Castle
  1. しゃちほこ (in Japanese). 三省堂 大辞林.
  2. "しゃち" (in Japanese). 三省堂 大辞林.
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