They are the starfish proper, and have the typical genus Asterias (see Starfish).
Greeff enumerates, as denizens of Japanese seas, 26 kinds of seaurchins (gaze or uni) and 12 of starfish (hitode or tako-no-makura).
Towards the south this starfish disappears, it seems, completely; for it is not yet known with certainty to exist either in the Mediterranean or in the southern parts of the Atlantic Ocean.
Further, he includes in it his own Enterognathus comatulae, not from an ascidian, but from the intestine of the beautiful starfish Antedon rosaceus.
For Nile traffic, and a starfish among the motives on such pottery also points to the sea connection.