Nurikabe (塗壁) is a creature who is an animated wall, blocking people in their path. It is impossible to go over the wall, or around the wall. Wherever you may turn, the Nurikabe is in your way. Initially, the Nurikabe was an invisible barrier, but over time illustrations of the creature took shape. He is depicted as a dog-like wall, and impossible to breach. Some accounts claim that knocking at the base of the wall will cause it to disappear.

Mizuki Shigeru, in her Gegege no Kitarou manga, depicts the Nurikabe gives the yokai a more benign appearance. In this case, the Nurikabe is a protector and not so much an obstruction. In any case, instead of shutting down government services, in a country not to be mentioned directly here, the Nurikabe might have been a good solution for those interested in such barriers… “Build that Nurikabe! Build that Nurikabe!”

But that is a tricky chant to figure out maybe…

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Matthew Meyer drew this creative rendition of the Nurikabe. Awesome!!!

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Here is his book too!