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The Collaborative International Dictionary

Basan \Bas"an\, n. Same as Basil, a sheepskin.


n. (alternative form of basil nodot=yes English) (a tanned sheepskin)


Basan (波山), alternatively referred to as Basabasa (婆娑婆娑) or Inuhōō (犬鳳凰), is a fowl-like bird with origins stemming from Japanese mythology and folkore and illustrated in Tekehara Shunsen's Ehon Hyaku Monogatari and the Gazu Hyakki Yagyō It is said to live in the mountains of Iyo Province (today Ehime Prefecture). According to the description on the illustration, it resembles a large chicken and breathes ghost-fire from its mouth. It is described as having a bright red cockscomb and spits an equally brilliant-hued fire. The fire is a cold fire, a glow, and it does not burn.

It usually lives in the bamboo groves of mountain recesses but sometimes materializes in human villages late at night. When the Basan flaps its wings, an eerie rustling ("basabasa") sound can be heard. Supposedly, if a human hears the sound and looks outside, the bird's form will suddenly vanish.

The idea of a fire-breathing is not unique to this lore, as European legend spawned the Cockatrice, a relation of the basilisk.

Usage examples of "basan".

Mr Puncheon, seeing this noble prey at his mercy, unprotected by fat bulls of Basan, flung himself upon him with a gleeful cry.