Namazu (ナマズ, lit. "catfish") is the Japanese name for all fish in the order Siluriformes also known as catfish. Catfish are a diverse group of ray-finned fish that spread throughout most of the world. All catfish have no scales, although some groups of catfish have bony plates called scutes.
Before scientific classifications of animals worldwide, the namazu is most likely the name specifically for Silurus asotus. In Japanese folklore, catfish are often associated with earthquakes due to how they react and large catfish are thought to have the ability to cause earthquakes.
Namazu in Touhou
In Wild and Horned Hermit chapter 17, when Marisa Kirisame tells Sanae Kochiya that she saw an electric beast, one of Sanae assumptions is that Marisa might have been talking about a namazu. It can be assumed that she is referring to the electric catfish as the other fish mentioned being an eel (electric eel). This likely indicates that the term namazu is used to describe all catfish species, or at least in the outside world.
Characters under this Bestiary
- "Silurus asotus • Siluridae • Cat-eLog • PlanetCatfish • PlanetCatfish.com". http://www.planetcatfish.com/catelog/species.php?species_id=78. Retrieved 19 December 2011.
- Wild and Horned Hermit: Chapter 6 — Sanae: "An electric beast... Your not referring to an eel or a catfish right; an electric mouse...?"