WKD - lizard tokage chameleon


cutting trees -
a lizard watches
from the highest branch


lizard 蜥蜴 (とかげ) tokage

Lizards are a large and widespread group of squamate reptiles, with nearly 5,000 species, ranging across all continents except Antarctica as well as most oceanic island chains. The group, traditionally recognized as the suborder Lacertilia, is defined as all extant members of the Lepidosauria (reptiles with overlapping scales) which are neither sphenodonts (i.e., Tuatara) nor snakes. While the snakes are recognized as falling phylogenetically within the anguimorph lizards from which they evolved, the sphenodonts are the sister group to the squamates, the larger monophyletic group which includes both the lizards and the snakes.
Most lizard species are harmless to humans. Only the very largest lizard species pose threat of death; the Komodo dragon, for example, has been known to stalk, attack, and kill humans.

Active hunters, the Gekkota includes three families comprising the distinctive cosmopolitan geckos and the legless flap-footed lizards of Australia and New Zealand. Like snakes, the geckos and the flap-footed lizards lack eyelids. Unlike snakes, they use their tongues to clean their often highly developed eyes. While gecko feet have unique surfaces which allow them to cling to glass and run on ceilings, the flapfoot has lost its limbs. The three families of this suborder are:
Family Eublepharidae – Eublepharid Geckos
Family Gekkonidae – Geckos
Family Pygopodidae – Flap-footed Lizards
© More in the WIKIPEDIA !

KIGO for various seasons


kigo for spring

tokage ana o izu 蜥蜴穴を出づ (とかげあなをいづ )
lizzard coming out of his hole

togake ana o deru 蜥蜴穴を出る(とかげあなをでる)
tokage izu 蜥蜴出づ(とかげいづ) lizard coming out
kigo for mid-spring

dragon lizard
kigo for spring

Goanna / Monitor Lizard
topic for haiku in Australia


all summer

tokage 蜥蜴 (とかげ) lizard
aotokage 青蜥蜴(あおとかげ)
ruritokage 瑠璃蜥蜴(るりとかげ)
shimatokage 縞蜥蜴(しまとかげ)

kurotokage 黒蜥蜴 black tokage
. . . CLICK here for TOKAGE Photos !

yamori 守宮 (やもり) Japanese gecko
... 屋守(やもり, ヤモリ)
. . . CLICK here for Photos !

imori 井守 (いもり) newt, eft, kind of salamander
akahara 赤腹(あかはら)
ibo imori イボイモリ (Tylototriton andersoni)
. . . CLICK here for Photos !

source : library666.seesaa.net

sanshoouo, sanshoo uo
山椒魚 さんしょううお salamander

..... hanzaki はんざき / 鯢 "cut in half"
(referring to the tail that might come off in danger, but the animal is not killed by this)
Hanzaki Daimyojin 鯢大明神 from Okayama
- 鯨鯢供養の地域的展開-捕鯨地域を中心に / by 松崎憲三

..... hashigami uo 椒魚(はしがみうお)"mountain pepper fish"
aburame 油魚(あぶらめ)"oil fish"
hatake dojoo はたけどじょう "loach of the field"
Hakone sanshoo uo 箱根山椒魚(はこねさんしょううお)
"salamander from Hakone"
Fuji sanshoo uo 富士山椒魚(ふじさんしょううお)
"salamander from Mount Fuji"

The hanzaki
is an aggressive salamander that grabs its prey with its powerful jaws.

- quote -
the Hanzaki is harmless... but others seem to disagree, as it does possess a good bite and has bitten humans prying too near its underwater home. Granted, the salamander in the River Monsters video is pretty pissed off at being unceremoniously ripped from its hiding hole.

. . . Anyhow ... here's some facts:

also known as the giant pepper fish (Ōsanshōuo
lives to about 80 years of age - a captive one live for 52 years;
5-feet (1.524 meters) long;
50 pounds (22.7 kilograms);
long muscular body;
has hands and fingers;
has rows of hidden teeth inside its mouth;
eats fish, but will swallow it whole, where the fish is alive inside it until its gastric juices kill it;
lives in cool, clear streams;
when threatened it releases a milky substance that smells like pepper;
poor eyesight;
has sensory cells along body that help it hunt and sense prey;
lays eggs under water - two eggs sacs each containing about 70 eggs at a time;
2nd-largest salamander in world after Chinese Giant Salamander at 1.8 meters (6-feet);
survivor from the Upper Jurassic age of 140 million years ago.

According to a story from Japan, about 400 years ago in Asahigawa Asahi River at a placed called Ryuto-ga-fuchi (Dragon's Head Abyss) locals say there was a giant Giant Salamander that was 11 meters (36 feet) in length with a body diameter of about 5.5 meters (18 feet).
... So... do the legends of the Japanese Kappa water spirit owes it origins to the Hanzaki Japanese giant salamander?
We'll never know, of course, unless someone invents a WayBack Machine... but it seems as good a place to start as any.
source : Andrew Joseph

. Kappa names - hanzaki はんざき .  
- The Kappapedia Blog -

. hazekoi はぜ鯉 sanshouo 山椒魚 Salamander .
6 legends about the salamander to explore


kigo for mid-summer

yamori o tsuku 守宮を搗く (やもりをつく)
pounding a gecko

imori o tsuku 井守を搗く(いもりをつく)pounding a newt
imori no in 井守の印(いもりのしるし) seal of a newt

In ancient China it was believed that when you smear the body of a woman with the blood of a yamori, the red color could not be washed off, only if she sleeps with a man would it disappear. To give a proof of the chastity of the concubines in the Imperial Palace, it was the custom on May 5 to pound these animals and smear the blood on the girls' bodies. (Hence the spelling of Japanese characters, meaning "protector of the palace".)
This custom was practised in Japan for some time, it seems.


kigo for mid-autumn

tokage ana ni iru 蜥蜴穴に入る(とかげあなにいる)
lizard begins to hibernate

"lizard goes into his hole"


Not a kigo

. Komodo Dragon (Indonesia )  


found on the way

imori no kuroyaki いもりのくろやき(井守の黒焼(き))
love potion
A mail and female newt are smoldered black and then made into a powder, which is put secretly into the glass of ricewine or other drink of your darling-to-be.

Love potion (horegusuri 惚薬)



. Skink lizzard, Blue-tongued skink .
the skink family (Scincidae)


Florida, USA

Ameiva, commonly called jungle-runners, is a genus of whiptail lizards that belongs to the family of Teiidae. Member species are found in South America, Central America, Mexico, and throughout various islands of the Caribbean. Additionally, the Giant Ameiva has been introduced to Florida in the United States.
© More in the WIKIPEDIA !

They are around all year and thus a topic for haiku.

june morning -
a giant ameiva
runs from a bird

- Shawn Lee Whitney - JOJ -



topic for haiku

bright morning -
a colored chameleon
on a flower vase

Elung'ata Barrack, Kenya

. . . CLICK here for Photos !
(kamereon in Japanses カメレオン, a kind of tokage)


a chameleon
slowly crossing the road . . .
Longido Hills

Patrick Wafula

Arusha Diary 2010


a salamander peeps
through a cracked wall-
sudden light

Andrew Otinga


chameleon --
my cousin screams
while running away

coffee plant --
a chameleon turns
to green colour

Douglas Nugi



Veiled chameleon (Chamaeleo calyptratus)



old tree--
into its stillness
a grass lizard

roh mih, Manila, Philippines


how small!
the lizard
I am afraid of

- Shared by Hengameh Ahmadi -
Joys of Japan, August 2012


old pine --
a lizard leaves its tail
in my fingers

- Shared by Ed Bremson -
Joys of Japan, August 2012




Kenya Saijiki said...

hot afternoon-
a green lizard peeps through
cracks on a rusty wall
Mr Otinga, Peacocks Haiku Club, Kenya

anonymous said...

leaning papyrus --
the weight of a green

~ Parkeenka Ntato
First at Shiki Monthly Kukai July 2010

Gabi Greve - WKD said...

斎場御獄 砲弾痕に井守棲む
Sefa Utaki hoodan ato ni iimori sumu

Sefa Utaki -
in the traces of cannonballs
some newts are living

Kobayashi Tokie 小林登喜枝

about Sefa Utaki in Okinawa

Gabi Greve - WKD said...

tokage izu kaisandoo no fumi-ishi ni

a lizard comes
to the stepping stones
of the Founder's Hall

Kashiwara Min-U 柏原眠雨
founder's hall

Gabi Greve - Darumapedia said...

Legend about Yamori from Nagano
In a hamlet of the village 松代 Matsudai there was a man proud of his physical strength. In 水無月 June he went into the mountains with his friends. There a huge serpent came out. He put his fingers in its mouth and wanted to stretch it wide open, but cuold not. So he used a sickle to cut through its mouth and throat. He cut up the biggest piece and took it home.
His parents said this serpent must have been Yamanokami and he could be cursed, so they threw him out of the home.
The smell of the serpent stuck to his body, but when the doctor gave him some medicine, it vanished.
The doctor told him that this was not a serpent, but a Japanese gecko.
The man was later caught stealing wood from a shrine and sentenced to death. People say this was the curse of the Yamori.

Gabi Greve said...

Tokage legend from Aomori
An old cat wanted to harm the priest, but 鶏 the rooster gave a sound, the priest was saved and the old cat killed.
The cat lived on and made a water hole under the roots of the 杉の木 cedar tree, where she collected tokage 蜥蜴 lizzards and mukade ムカデ centipedes to let them rot. Then she flipped the poisonous water with her tail over the priest while he was asleep and wanted to kill him.
He burried the bones of the old cat under the old cedar tree and many years later, a gourd begun to grow very big. It came to life by the poison of the old cat.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .