This beautifully illustrated vintage image depicts the Japanese unicorn Kirin. It has a shaggy mane and the body of a bull. Unlike the Chinese unicorn which symbolised good luck and good fortune, Kirin was a beast to be feared, especially by criminals. In fact, it was able to detect guilt; and judges were known to call upon the unicorn to determine the guilty parties in legal disputes. After fixing its eerie stare on the guilty party, it would then pierce him through the heart with its horn.
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