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  • Chinese/Japanese: 獬豸 (xièzhì / kaichi)

The xièzhì, or kaichi in Japanese, is a mythical beast believed to have the power to distinguish good from evil. Though harmless to men of upright morals, it was said to be able to smell an immoral man from many feet away, and would leap and tear him to pieces.

Xièzhì were depicted on the buzi (chest badges) of officials of the Chinese Imperial censorate.


  • Ray Huang, 1587: A Year of No Significance, Yale University Press (1981), 54.