Tuesday, 2 April 2013
B is for...
The Baku is a benevolent creature from traditional Japanese folklore. It is said to resemble a great tapir with the body of a ox, the head of a lion, a snout like an elephants, and the paws of a tiger.
In Japan is it common belief that if you suffer from a bad dream then you will also suffer from bad luck for the rest of the day. To prevent this from happening the unfortunate dreamer can call upon the Baku to come and devour the nightmare and so rid them of their bad luck. This can be done before bed as a preventative measure with the use of charms, talismans, drawings, dolls or the name 'Baku' written on a piece of paper and kept under the pillow. However, the dream-eater can also be summoned after the nightmare by speaking the phrase "Devour them, O Baku."
The Baku is thought to not only eat the offending dream, but also the spirit who caused the dream - preventing further nightmares. However, if an uninvited Baku decides to have a nibble on your dreams then you could be seriously deprived of sleep, as it will eat all of the dreams, not only the bad ones.