A Nue is a legendary creature found in Japanese folklore. It is described as having the head of a monkey, the body of a raccoon dog, the legs of a tiger, and a snake as a tail. According to the legend, a nue can metamorphose into a black cloud and fly. Due to its appearance, it is sometimes referred to as a Japanese chimera. Nue are supposed to be bringers of misfortune and illness.
According to The Tale of the Heike, Emperor Konoe, the Emperor of Japan, became ill after having terrible nightmares every night, and a dark cloud appeared at two o'clock in the morning on the roof of the palace in Kyoto during the summer of 1153. The story says that the samurai Minamoto no Yorimasa staked-out the roof one night and fired an arrow into the cloud, out of which fell a dead nue. Yorimasu then supposedly sank the body in the Sea of Japan.
In a local expansion of the story, the nue's corpse floated into a certain bay, and the locals, fearing a curse, buried it. A mound near the bay which exists today is supposed to be the grave created for this nue.