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
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.
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.
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. Continue reading
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.
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
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 sea.