Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Issie: The Japanese Sea Serpent

Author: Olukemi Olorunniwo

A statue of Issie located in the shore of Lake Ikeda, Kyushu Japan
Pictured above is a little known creature called Issie. This sea serpent is named after the famous Loch Ness monster, nick named Nessie, found in Loch Ness in Scotland. Issie, on the other hand is found in a caldera lake (a lake fed by rain water that develops in the crater of an extinct volcano)named Lake Ikeda located in Kyushu, Japan. This creature is estimated to be 30 meter long with two humps on its back measuring 5 meters, or 16 feet high. There is no agreement on the origination of Issie but a popular mythological story says Issie was a mare who lived happily on the shore of the lake with her foal. When her foal was kidnapped by a samurai, Issie went crazy looking for her. In her despair she jumped into the lake and transformed into a sea serpent and lived there ever since. She occasionally surfaces from the depths in the incessant search for her lost foal. 
The first recorded sighting was in 1961. In 1978, though, twenty people, gathered for a family event, reported seeing the monster. It was first seen on a foggy morning by the three children of Yutaka Kawaji playing on the shore of the lake. When they suddenly saw the humps of the serpent rise almost two feet out of the water, they called their father and other adults over to watch the creature. Kawaji then got in his boat and tried to pursue the creature, which was swimming rapidly to the other side of the lake. Although he did not catch it, he got a good three or four minute sighting of the creature, whose hump rose out the water on two separate occasions, both lasting about 20 seconds.
Later that same year, the creature was photographed by Toshaki Matuhara. On the afternoon of December 16th, he noticed a whirlpool in the lake which he watched through a telescope for five minutes. Then he noticed an object moving through the water and he attempted to take many photos of it. Later, when the photos were developed, one captured the same two humps seen by Kawaji earlier that year. The photo was even in the same location, as confirmed by a local landmark. Tourism around Lake Ikeda in Kyushu has increased ever since with many visitors looking for a chance to spot the famed monster. Reportedly video footage was caught of the monster in 1991 by one lucky tourist.  

Works Cited:
Naoyoahi, Gamou. Issie. 2005. Lake Ikeda, Japan. Web. 23 Oct 2012.

Tabitca, . "Issie, The Japanese Lake Monster." Cryptozoo-oscity. Blogspot, 28 2009. Web. Web. 22 Oct. 2012. <>.

McCue, Sean. "Issie." Online Resources. Unknown Explorers, n.d. Web. 17 Oct 2012. <>.
For Further Research:

Kyushu Travel Information
Information about other attractions to Kyushu.

Unknown Explorers
This is a Cryptozoologist’s look at Issie.

 Sea Creatures
A site that tries to make the unexplainable understood. 

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