Here's a topic we've all probably heard in one form or another: Yurei (幽靈) or simply, a spirit or ghost. In Japanese folklore, this spirit can apparently be divided into two categories: Goryo (御靈) is a vengeful spirit of an aristocrat. In general, vengeful spirits are referred to as Onryo (怒靈), the stronger the sense… Continue reading Yurei
Here’s a youkai that you might have seen, it’s something of a classic. The long-necked woman, also known as Rokurokubi (轆轤首). Rokurokubi looks completely normal during the day, but at night, during the relaxed state of sleep, she will show her true self. The youkai with the ever-stretching neck. The direct translation of her name… Continue reading It’s time to Rokurokubi!
Hello old…blog-friend, it's been too long! *ducks flying fruit* Basically, RL took over and though I never stopped writing (yay me!), my blog did take a bit of a back-burner. I am going to try to be much more diligent with writing and the like, just as a personal sort of resolution. I kind of… Continue reading I’m back with Zashiki
Izuna (飯綱) also goes by the name of kuda-kitsune (管狐). It can be said the two are the same, yet have some small more distinctive qualities and legends about them that make them a little different. The Izuna is a small youkai, with soft fur and a tail like the end of a broom. It's born with all… Continue reading Izuna
The Hyakki Yako (百鬼夜行), or the Night Parade of One Hundred Monsters, is one of the more well-known Japanese folklore tales, frequently a subject of old paintings like this one: Hyakki Yako is a name given when all kinds of youkai gather together in a group to walk the streets. Of course, anyone who happens… Continue reading Let’s have a Night Parade!
The Tengu is a fascinating creature, neither black nor white, it seems to permanently reside in the area of grey (pun not intended). Back in ancient times when the unknown was a subject of fear rather than a new series on the Discovery Channel, people in Japan believed that forests were a spiritual area, the place where… Continue reading Let’s talk Tengu’s
Here's another favorite among the folklore of Japan, the Snow Maiden - Yuki no Onna. The Snow Maiden is purported as a young, beautiful woman, with long, black hair and pale skin that was cold to the touch. Most likely to be seen in a snowstorm or a snowy landscape wearing a white kimono. The origin of the… Continue reading Yuki no Onna
Random tidbits: Although portrayed as a trickster, the fox spirit is also considered a messenger and faithful servant of Inari, the god of rice and fertility. The ones who serve Inari are depicted to be white in color - a good omen. Inari shrines even features numerous guardian kitsune statues. It’s said that when the sun is shining when… Continue reading More from fox spirits
When it comes to Japanese folklore, one of the more familiar characters is the kitsune (狐), the fox demon. Kitsune are capable of possessing humans, but they are most well-known for being shapeshifters. Foxes are known to be tricksters, fooling humans, stealing food, all kinds of petty crime. One aspect they are most well-known for is taking… Continue reading Kitsune
Onmyouji and Shikigami go hand-in-hand, and not just because they're both hard to pronounce. Although Onmyouji by and large, practiced a form of divination arts, many believed that the truly powerful ones were capable of controlling spirits and demons. Shikigami (she-ki-ga-mi) 式神, are such spirits that Onmyouji could have do their bidding. Depending on how good the practitioner was, shikigami could… Continue reading Inugami and Shikigami