Ashinaga and Tenaga


  • Sold

  • Material

    Pair of scrolls, ink on paper, mounting on silk

  • Size

    126 (h) x 19.8 cm (186 (h) x 26.5 cm)

  • Period

    Meiji-Taishō period, ca. 1880-1920

  • Published
    "Supranatural" by Galerie Mingei


Ashinaga and Tenaga


Ashinaga and Tenaga ("Long Legs, Long Arms") are a pair of yōkai, supernatural creatures of Japanese folklore.

Ashinaga-tenaga (足長手長, "Long Legs Long Arms") are a pair of yōkai in Japanese folklore.
One, Ashinaga-jin (足長人), has extremely long legs, while the other, Tenaga-jin (手長人), has extremely long arms.
They were first described in the Japanese encyclopedia Wakan Sansai Zue in 1712 .
They are said to be found in Kyūshū.

The pair is commonly described as people from two countries, the "Long-legged Country", and the "Long-armed Country". As the names suggest, the inhabitants of these two countries possess unusually lengthy arms and legs. The two work together as a team to catch fish by the seashore. In order to do this, the long-armed man, tenaga, climbs onto the back of the long-legged man, ashinaga.
The ashinaga then wades out into the shorewaters, staying above water with his long legs, while the tenaga uses his long arms to grab fish from his partner's back.