This avenging beast is the Inu-gami, a dog spirit. Frankly this one really terrifies me.
I have a mild fear of dogs to begin with, due to the many attacks engraved on my memory from one traumatic teenage year as a bicycle-riding paper carrier-- but that's not why-- it is the way these creatures are created that really give me the creeps:
According to the Obakemono Project: "One method for creating an inu-gami, it is said, is to tie a hungry dog and place a bowl of food just out of its reach. When its desire is thus focused, its head must be cut off and enshrined, moving its ravenousneeds into the spirit world and creating a terrible weapon for the dog's former master."
Other sources suggested burying a dog up to its neck with food just out of reach, then beheading it. :-O
That's what I call a horror story! I fervently hope people didn't actually do this sort of thing... please let it just be mythological...
Acrylic on cover illustration scanned from St. Nicholas Illustrated Magazine, September 1908. Why these finely-clad youngsters were weighing their puppy, I'm not sure, but I'm pretty sure they weren't expecting this fellow to barge in.
p.s. Yes, my computer is working again! My electrical engineer brother heroically nursed it back to life. I have a lot of catching up to do, but I'm so happy to be back in action! Thanks "Byte Barn"! (That's what he calls his all-too-busy family-&-friends tech service company, ha!)