- Bichon Frise / Dog / Rice / Yokai
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Such were the comments elicited by an amusing photo posted by Twitter user くるみ Kurumi (@walnuts_pup) of her adorable Bichon Frise, タップ Tap.
When Kurumi saw Tap-kun with half of his body on the table, she couldn't help but snap a photo because the angle made him look so funny.
"There's a rice yokai!"
Reproduced with permission from くるみ Kurumi (@walnuts_pup)
Indeed, at the angle the photo was taken, Tap-kun looks like a 妖怪 yōkai, a monster, spirit, or supernatural being, looking like a giant portion of cooked rice with tiny legs sprouting underneath it.
In Japanese folklore, yōkai are not only inspired by living creatures but also household objects such as lanterns, umbrellas, mirrors, teapots, and ceramic ware. Objects which have been used for a long time could turn into yōkai, and either torment humans if the objects were misused and carelessly discarded, or help humans if the objects were handled with care. Moreover, in the animistic beliefs at the root of Shintoism, there's a notion that spirits inhabit all things. This also goes for plants, especially rice.
In this case, however, it's a very adorable rice monster!
Although he appears to be relaxing, Tap-kun's hind legs are fully stretched out as he tries his best to prop himself up, which is also adorable.
Tap's irresistibly fluffy and adorable appearance makes him look more like a rice "fairy" than a rice "monster."
In any case, the photo amused and soothed many who saw it on Twitter, where it was widely viewed and shared.