basanNow imagine this: A large fire-breathing chicken monster. I don’t know if we can get much better than that for a monster, but Japan has this monster, Basan, in it’s lineage of totally cool monsters! Read on:

The 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.

Unfortunately, Wikipedia doesn’t have much else on this wonderful monster, but you can find the remaining crumbs here.