26 August 2007

How Do You Say "Kalidah" in Japanese?

Passed on from the Gjovaags' Wonderful Blog of Oz is this look at Oz in Japan by "Michael Sensei," an overseas Canadian.

This particular image from L. Frank Baum's The Wonderful Wizard of Oz shows Dorothy and her companions being menaced by a Kalidah. The Cowardly Lion describes Kalidahs like this:

"They are monstrous beasts with bodies like bears and heads like tigers, and with claws so long and sharp that they could tear me in two as easily as I could kill Toto. I'm terribly afraid of the Kalidahs."
And what's worse, in the English text there are two of them.

The Japanese artist drew only one Kalidah, but made it twice as large as the Lion, with tusks and horn and a striped tail besides.

The Kalidahs return memorably in The Magic of Oz, one of the first Oz sequels I read. It gives us the further information that they:
  • are the "most powerful and ferocious beasts in all Oz."
  • "attack all other animals and often fight among themselves."
  • "can swim like ducks."
Needless to say, I found Kalidahs very scary when I was growing up.

The best Kalidah literature I've read is Eric Shanower's short story "Gugu and the Kalidahs," available in Oz-Story #1 and The Salt Sorcerer of Oz, both published by Hungry Tiger Press.

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