Another wonderful post from a fellow blogger that fits perfectly with the theme of my blog.
PLEASE MAKE SURE TO CHECK OUT THE ORIGINAL BLOGGER’S POSTS. They were kind enough to let me share this wonderful article with you.

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An insightful piece from a fellow blogger. I just adore Japanese culture.
PLEASE MAKE SURE TO CHECK OUT THE ORIGINAL BLOGGER’S POSTS. They were kind enough to let me share this wonderful article with you.

百物語怪談会 Hyakumonogatari Kaidankai

Translated from Mizuki Shigeru’s Mujara

In Tsushima in Nagasaki prefecture, when the rain falls at night, the bakemono known as the Nure Onago appears. The Nure Onago can appear near any body of water, from a small pond to the ocean. Her entire body is drenched, and she is soaked from the top of her head to the tips of her toes.

The Nure Onago can be found in several parts of Japan. In Nuwa in Ehime prefecture, it is said that you can see her hair stretched out and floating on the surface of the ocean, and it is from there that she appears. In the Uwa district, the Nure Onago doesn’t come from the ocean, but it is said that she appears from a soaking wet mop of hair.

The Nure Onago always has a wicked smile, and laughs hideously. If by chance you hear her and, thinking…

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Toshidama Japanese Prints

Eisen, Tiger in Bamboo
Eisen, Tiger in Bamboo

The subject of the Japanese (Chinese) zodiac would take many hundreds of pages accurately to describe. It is a complex system of Buddhist symbolism, planetary observation and Imperial obeisance.

The Japanese Zodiac and calendar were introduced from China in the sixth century. The Imperial court invited the priest Kudara to teach them how to draw up a calendar and with it the associated astronomical detail. In traditional Japanese culture, astronomy, astrology and the calendar are inextricably joined. This did not change significantly until 1876, after the modernisation of Japan and the establishment of the Meiji government. The subject is relevant to the study of Japanese prints for a variety of reasons. Dating of prints can be done through research into an artist’s work in reference libraries or more commonly by looking at the date seals which always appear on ukiyo prints right up until 1876. All…

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Kabuki!
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Toshidama Japanese Prints

How important is a likeness in a work of art? Maybe not as important as it seems; elsewhere on this site we’ve looked at how potentially disastrous it would be to use Hiroshige’s 53 Stations of the Tokaido Road as a route map; and so it was for centuries that depictions of actors or warriors could not be said to be accurate likenesses – or indeed any kind of likeness at all to the subjects they are depicting. All of this was to do with conventions; the traditions of Chinese and Japanese painting, the relative importance of actors and their roles, the shifting emphasis toward celebrity and the sophistication of the woodblock medium.

Kabuki is highly stylised, the performance relies on the tension between restraint (within very closely confined convention), and the controlled expression of extreme emotion – almost all kabuki theatre is after all melodrama. Principally because of censorship…

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Who would have thought of it? Japan!

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Undead Infinity

Japan..Japan..you did it again.

Once again my breath was taken away by an invention of the japanese universal mind. Have you ever tasted square watermelons? I surely didn’t and I will probably never have one. They cost around 10.000 yen [$82] so that’s way too expensive even for a Japanese worker.

But the idea is not hat bad – just plain weird.

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An interesting Japanese game of courage.

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百物語怪談会 Hyakumonogatari Kaidankai

Translated and sourced from Japanese wikipedia and other sources

Are you brave enough? That is the question that will be answered by playing kimodameshi, the Japanese test of courage. You will have to walk a dark, lonely path to a haunted location and set down your token to prove that you had been there.

The Meaning of Kimodameshi

Kimodameshi (肝試し) is most often translated into English as Test of Courage, which is not literally accurate. The word kimo (肝) actually refers to the liver, while dameshi (試し) does in fact mean “test.” In Japan the liver is associated with courage—for example kimo ga suwaru, or to sit on your liver, means to be brave or self-assured. So a more literal translation of kimodameshi would be to “prove your guts.”

The History of Kimodameshi

Like most folkloric practices, the factual origin of kimodameshi is lost to legend. But there are two…

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