Isonade (磯撫, beach stroker), or ō-kuchi-wani,[1] are huge shark yōkai found in Japanese folklore. Their tails are covered in hooks, which they use to drag prey into the water. They most frequently appear during violent storms.

Appearance Edit

These fish have been variously described as either sharks,[2] or just as fish that look similar to sharks. They are typically depicted as larger than a small boat, though their size is never exact. They have long, whiplike tails covered with hooks that curve backwards, towards their heads. These hooks are as strong and sharp as iron.

Allegedly, they are sometimes mistaken for massive crocodiles instead of sharks.[3] Isonade may be inspired by thresher sharks, which also sport a long, whiplike tail which they use to stun prey.


A thresher shark, a possible inspiration for the isonade.

Behavior Edit

Isonade appear when the north wind blows violently across the ocean south and slightly west of Japan. If one encounters a boat, then it uses its barbed tail to drag passengers underwater to be eaten.[3] Occasionally, they will also venture near the shore and swipe their tails across the beach to catch prey, which is how they earned their name.

When someone falls dead on the beach, it is sometimes said that they were struck by an isonade.[2]

In pop culture Edit

  • Isonade is one of three starter guardian spirits in the video game Nioh.
  • They appear as minor enemies in the video game Final Fantasy XI.
  • An isonade is a powerful monster found in the Pathfinder tabletop game.

Similar creatures Edit

References Edit

  1. Meyer, Matthew. "Isonade",
  2. 2.0 2.1 "磯ナデ | イソナデ", Kokugakuin University Folklore Research Society (2002). Pg 52.
  3. 3.0 3.1 Morgan, S. H. "Isonade ~ 磯撫 (いそなで)", Obakemono.