19th Century bronze figural sculpture of a Japanese fisherman bearing samurai crabs.
For the Heike Samurai, surrender to the enemy was never an option. Those that were not slain in battle, committed suicide by drowning themselves along with their emperor. Their bodies became food for the heikegani crabs who lay in wait on the sea floor.
According to the Japanese legend, the ghosts or souls of the Heike samurais were reincarnated into the Heikegani crabs who ate their remains, their angry faces now shown on the shells of the crabs. To this day, it is said that the Heikegani crabs roam the depths of the oceans of Japan, searching for the lost heirlooms of their empire.
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