A while ago there was an open call for submissions to the second volume of Beasts! by Fantagraphics’ Jacob Covey. The results have been posted and I have to admit that the few that have been posted to the blog are wonderful illustrations. Jennifer Tong deserves to be the winner.

My submission to the Beasts! Volume 2. It’s a classic Japanese Monster. There are many stories about different kinds of ushi-oni, which are incredible creatures that all have a cow’s head. The most common and widespread description is that of a creature with a cow’s head and spider’s body, a gigantic creature the size of several bulls, much larger than humans. Taken from yokaimura.org

Also the gyūki/ushioni sometimes transforms itself into a beautiful woman, as it did in a famous story from Kouchi prefecture. There an ushi-oni lived in a deep mountain pool, along with a great number of fish. One day a rich man from a nearby village came up with a scheme to poison the pool and have all of these delicious fish for himself. The gyūki of course did not appreciate this, and appeared in the man’s dream as a woman, asking him to not go through with his plan, but he ignored this warning and poisoned the pool anyway. Subsequently the woman/cow-demon was seen leaving for better waters, and the man’s house was crushed in a landslide and he was killed. Quoted from obakemono.com

ushioni by daniel goffin

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