Myths and folklore are littered with 'villains' in the form of an old woman. Think Baba Yaga, and virtually every old witch in the fairytales. In Japan, there is the infamous onibaba (鬼婆) from which noh plays and films have draw inspiration. The name of onibaba is quite straightforward, with oni 鬼 meaning 'demon' and 'baba' 鬼婆 a shorter… Continue reading Onibaba
Today's topic is the jorougumo (女郎蜘蛛) or lady spider, as I like to call it. A spider creature that can change into a woman. Although the jorougumo is quite hideous - it's a gigantic spider, of course it's hideous - it isn't technically considered a youkai, but a nushi (主), wherein a creature that has survived for a long… Continue reading Jorougumo
I'm terrible at updating, I know. It's just so easy for RL to get in the way and procrastinating and writing practically go hand-in-hand... This time it's about the mouryou, mainly because I like the way the Chinese characters look: 魍魎. So pretty yet so hard to write. Like many youkai, this is one that started in China and… Continue reading Mouryou
Kappas, although they're thought to be only the size of a child, evidently enjoy exhibiting their strength in the form of sumo wrestling, and often challenge people to matches. if they win, it's a safe bet the losers are dragged into the water, but if the kappa is the one who loses, they will keep on… Continue reading Kappas! Part 2
I've been procrastinating with this one for a while, but here it is: kappa (河童) One of the more well-known youkai in Japanese folklore, and not just because of the sushi kappa rolls (which I'm suddenly craving). A water demon most famously linked with rivers, its also been known to harbour in ponds, lakes, and even the… Continue reading Kappas!
'Lo all, been a bit lazy about posting again, but with the month of Halloween to spur me on, here's to much and more ghostly ghouls! Mermaids also have their part among Japanese folklore, but not quite the same way they're featured among Western audiences, with the singing and drowning sailors etc. According to Japanese folklore, the mermaid… Continue reading Mermaids
One of the more popular stories featuring an onryo, is the story of Okiku and the Nine Plates. There are several versions of the story, one is where Okiku is a beautiful servant, who rejects the advances of her master. He tricks her into believing she has lost/broken a plate from a prized ten-plate set,… Continue reading Okiku
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