Total-Japandemonium

These ceramic Tanukis (Racoon Dogs), often seen outside Japanese cafes and bars thanks to some odd word association, are probably the most recognised images of these creatures.

Don’t worry I’ll explain the word association later!

However, in Japan there is a rich folklaw tradition built up around the image of the Tanuki which means he pops up in some unusual places and surprising contexts.

View original post 722 more words

Advertisements

Total-Japandemonium

This week I made a trip to Uji to try and find the shrine dedicated to this lovely lady – Hashi Hime (illustrated here by Demonicangel-Bayou from Deviant Art).

Hashi Hime, literally ”The Bridge Princess’, is somewhat a rarity in yokai circle as she started life as human who transformed herself into a vengeful yokai by sheer willpower. The name appears in many tales and she herself in many incarnations. Perhaps the most famous variation is that of the jealous wife who is driven to distraction by her husband’s infidelity and swears revenge.

View original post 597 more words


Now this is very interesting. I have shape shifting rats in Cherry Jewel, the sequel to my novel, Tengu Prince and now I have an evil rat to add to the mix.

Total-Japandemonium

Tesso (The iron rat) is truly a one of a kind yokai. A rat demon the size of a full-grown man, armed with metal teeth and claws, capable of shredding and tearing almost anything. Combine this with a pied-piper like ability to call a legion of real rats to do his destructive bidding, and Tesso becomes quite a formidable foe to be reckoned with

Today’s yokai shares something in common with Hashi Hime in that also Tesso began life as a human, a buddhist monk named Raigo, but was later transformed into a vengeful yokai. Again it was sheer force of will, and a driving anger, that provde the catalyst for the transformation.

I already knew the basic story of how Raigo came to turn into his rodent form, however as Raigo’s temple (Mii-Dera) is  not far from where I live, I decided to make the trip there…

View original post 673 more words


Total-Japandemonium

Today’s report isn’t about a specific yokai, but rather about one of the principle collectors of yokai folk law for western readers. Patrick Lafcadio Hearn (27 June 1850 – 26 September 1904) born on a Greek island to a Greek mother and an Irish father. Hearn moved to Japan in 1890 on a journalistic assignment and ended up adopting the country and staying on as a teacher and writer based in Matsue on the Western coast.

Although this position lasted only 15 months (to be followed by a succession of other teaching and journalistic jobs) it was maybe the most influential as it was here that he met and married, Koizumi Setsu, from a local samurai family. It was she who would act as an interpreter and guide as Hearn (known in Japan by his naturalised Japanese name, Koizumi Yakumo) began to collect and record traditional Japanese folk tales –…

View original post 543 more words


Fascinating article!

Total-Japandemonium

The mass of history and mythology surrounding the figure of the Tengu makes it almost impossible to give a brief review of them. Through the ages even the way these creatures are perceived has changed a lot, originally portrayed as bad omens and demonic war bringers they have now become revered as a kind of demigod of the mountains.

As such the modern Tengu blurs the line between folk legend and religion – yokai or deity? It isn’t always so clear-cut.

In both traditions the basic image of the Tengu is essentially the same. They are winged humanoids with bright red skin and long noses, which has earned them the name ‘Hanadaka Tengu’ (Long Nosed Tengu).

View original post 989 more words


nyparrot

Are you comics artist dreaming of your picture making history of Manga? This day has come.

Back in May,  Japan has launched online contest “Social Kingdom” for mass drawing of manga based on the series of Hara Yasuhisa “Kingdom” (http://www.tenmanga.com/book/KINGDOM.html)  . The project is devoted to the future adaptation of the popular historical manga, consisting of 26 volumes. Anybody registered with Twitter or Facebook can take a part in the drawing. Winners will be awarded prizes.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hff24zBWKws

All 1153 pages of manga are displayed at the project’s site. The available pages, for which no one had started drawing yet, have only text with no images on them. Anybody who wants to participate, can choose any empty page and reserve it for 24 hours, in which period the drawing has to be made and picture uploaded. Participants are free to choose whether to paint on paper or using graphics…

View original post 199 more words