Thursday, May 26, 2016

Lost Souls in Little Crabs

I just barely missed the ferry. If I  had been thirty seconds earlier, I would have caught it! But the good thing is that when one misses the ferry, there is the shore and nature to explore. Here a few pictures from around the ferry terminal.

I found a crab shell. Sometimes I will find crab shells so tiny, they are the size of my finger nail. I think crabs are rather cute. Their giant claws make them look enchantingly clumsy. I use to live near the ocean. It was grand to be able to see the ocean on a regular basis. One of the beaches I went to had a river that ran into the sea. Once while looking into the river, I saw a cute little crab inside. It had found a tennis ball that a beach dog must have abandoned. It had the bright yellowish green ball between it's claws and it was shaking it with curiosity. It was such a cute sight. I think of crabs as curious creatures. 

There was another time that I was at a Chinese restaurant for a karaoke birthday party for a person I hardly knew. In the front lobby of the restaurant, there was a rather small open topped tank housing a huge spider crab. The crab was reaching its thin, long legs up onto the sides of the tank and trying to escape. I think it wanted to find its way back to the sea. It was probably bored and scared and uncomfortable in the small tank full of stale water. 

I learned an interesting legend about crabs. In Japan, there is a type of crab called Heikegani Ghost Crabs. Their shells resemble morphed versions of human faces. These crabs were believed to contain the souls of dead samurai warriors. Fishermen respected these samurai so much, they did not want to hurt or kill the crabs. So any crab caught that had a shell that resembled the face was thrown back into the water. There is something mighty about the crab with their hard shelled armor and imposing claws. I can definitely see their connection with a warrior image. Little crabs seem like a perfect vessel for a fallen warrior's soul. After spending a human life of fighting battles, the samurai souls would probably be grateful to spend some time in the peace of the sea, scuttling around kelp forests and past whales and seals. 


Bok, Michael. "Samurai Crabs: Transmogrified Japanese Warriors, the Product of Artificial Selection, or Pareidolia?" Arthropoda. Arthropoda, 26 Jan. 2010. Web. 26 May 2016. <>.


Laurie Duncan said...

I would love to live near the ocean! Crabs are kinda cute now that you mention it. :)

Amber said...

Yeah, the ocean is an amazing place!