Umi Zatō

Umi Zatō in "Gazu Hyakki Yagyō."
Umi Zatō in "Hyakki Yagyō Emaki."

Umi Zatō (海座頭) is a Japanese yokai. It has been featured in several emakimono such as "Gazu Hyakki Yagyō", drawn and painted by Toriyama Sekien, and "Hyakki Yagyō Emaki", which is in the collection of the Matsui Library.


In Yōkai arts, Umi Zatō is seemed to be like giant Biwa hōshi, standing in the sea, and holding a cane by its right hand.[1] However, there are no explanations about Umi Zatō in "Gazu Hyakki Yagyō" or "Hyakki Yagyō Emaki." So it's unknown that the original purpose for painting Umi Zatō. Murakami Kenji, a Yōkai specialist says : "I think Umi Zatō exists in only illustrations.".[2]

Some books, which were published after World War II, interpret that Umi Zatō is a kind of Umibōzu, which frequently appears in Sanriku Coast, Iwate prefecture.[1][3] Although Umi Zatō is now considered as a kind of Umibōzu, Umi Zatō appears in different seasons toward Umibōzu, and it is said that Umi Zatō appears after Umibōzu disappeared or the end of the month.[1] Umi Zatō can walk on water, threaten fishermans, and beckon ships to make them overturn.[1] Besides, Umi Zatō sometimes swallow ships in one bite.う.[4] There is another theory that Umi Zatō like a Zatō appears on the sea and makes the people in ships surprised.[5] To repel Umi Zatō, people should answer Umi Zatō's questions honestly.[1]


  1. 1 2 3 4 5 草野巧 (1997). 幻想動物事典. 新紀元社. pp. 46頁. ISBN 978-4-88317-283-2.
  2. 村上健司編著 (2000). 妖怪事典. 毎日新聞社. pp. 60頁. ISBN 978-4-620-31428-0.
  3. 人文社編集部 (2005). 諸国怪談奇談集成 江戸諸国百物語 東日本編. ものしりシリーズ. 人文社. pp. 13頁. ISBN 978-4-7959-1955-6.
  4. 水木しげる (1994). 図説 日本妖怪大全. 講談社+α文庫. 講談社. pp. 82頁. ISBN 978-4-06-256049-8.
  5. 山口敏太郎. "千葉妖怪伝説 その三 黒入道". まいぷれ. フューチャーリンクネットワーク. Retrieved 2011-04-24. External link in |publisher=, |work= (help)
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