The Four Gods

The concept of the four gods, also referred to as the four symbols (四象), originates from ancient Chinese astronomy. Astronomers believed there are 28 mansions or constellations spread out along the sky. They divided the sky into four quadrants – north, south, east and west, each containing 7 of the mansions, and with a divine creature ruling each quadrants. These creatures are known as the four gods: the azure dragon, vermillion bird, white tiger and black turtle.  Continue reading “The Four Gods”

Ikiryo and Ushi no Toki Mairi

People have heard of out-of-body experiences, but the Japanese belief takes it a step further. According to folklore, a living spirit is what happens when a spirit leaves a living person to haunt someone, like an out-of-body experience. Supposedly, it takes a strong emotion to provoke this happening – usually hate. If a person holds a strong grudge against another, their spirit could leave their bodies to cause harm against that person, even possibly possessing it.

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Kappas! Part 2

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 challenging until they win.  Continue reading “Kappas! Part 2”

Kappas!

I’ve been procrastinating with this one for a while, but here it is: kappa (河童)

454px-Kappa_jap_myth 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 sea.

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