Heavenly Dragons A Pinterest Board


Eastern Dragons

Heavenly Dragons A Pinterest Board

Lately, I have started using Pinterest and have found it a lot of fun! Here is one of my links that I thought followers of my Oriental wordpress blog might enjoy.

Ruins of Ichijodani Castle


The historical ruins are located in the Kidonouchi section of Fucui Prefrecture, Japan. During the Sengoku Period of feudal Japan, also know as the Warring States Period, this area was controlled by the Asakura clan, a family line of daimyo (feudal lords) for 103 years. Founded in 1471, the castle town became a major cultural and military center.  The Asakura family was defeated by Oda Nobunaga at the Battle of Anegawa in 1570, and were all but eliminated when their home castle of Ichijodani was taken three years later. Most of the castle and town were burned to the ground in 1573, The remaining ruins were later excavated in 1967. English: Asakura Yakata of Ichijōdani Asakura ...Main Gate of Feudal Castle

Main Gate of Castle

 

Asakura Family Gardens

Asakura Family Gardens

Fukui Prefecture, JapanFukui Prefecture, Honshu Island, Japan

Portrait of Oda Nobunaga (detail)
Portrait of Oda Nobunaga (detail) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Wokou: Japanese Pirates


English: Sixteenth-century Japanese pirate (Wo...
English: Sixteenth-century Japanese pirate (Wokou) raids against China & Korea. Based on Map 23, from The Cambridge History of China, Vol. 7: The Ming Dynasty 1368-1644, Part I (Cambridge University Press: 1988) Modern provinces of China are shown. Created and copyright (2004) by Yu Ninjie, with thanks to suggestions from Ran. Released under the GNU FDL. ‪中文(繁體)‬: 16世紀倭寇侵襲中國以及朝鮮。 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

From Layers of Learning http://www.layers-of-learning.com/wokou-japanese-pirates-of-the-middle-ages/

Wokou is Chinese for pirate and literally means Japanese-bandit. They were a problem in the middle ages. The Japanese pirates would sit among the many islands of the Japanese archipelago and the Chinese coast waiting for a nice juicy trading vessel to come along and like pirates (and government officials) everywhere they had no respect for private property, but if they saw, they took. They grew bolder over the years and raided coastal towns, even traveling up rivers in China and repeatedly looting the capital city of Korea. The Wokou were supported and commanded by coastal feudal lords of Japan. Most of them were peasants who were sent out to loot for their lord. It became such a problem that the Ming court of China ordered that only government ships could sail and trade with nearby nations, which caused the unintended but obvious result of huge smuggling operations and growing pirating activities by the Chinese, until Chinese pirates outnumbered Japanese. Ah, government, what they won’t think of next.

Print this map showing the pirate activity. Color the early pirate activity areas in purple and the later pirate activities in dark blue. Trace the rivers in light blue and color the ocean light blue. Color the land green. Trace routes to the raiding coasts from Japan in red.

Tessenjutsu: The Art of Fighting “Japanese” War Fans


In Ancient Japan, fans could cool or kill.

Types of War Fans

Japanese war fan (gunsen) made of iron, bamboo...
Japanese war fan (gunsen) made of iron, bamboo and lacquer depicting the sun (1800-50) on display at the Asian Art Museum in San Francisco, California. Object ID: F1998.40.25 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
  • Gunsen: folding fans used by the average warriors to cool themselves off. Made of wood, bronze, brass or a similar metal for the inner spokes. Often used thin iron or other metals for the outer spokes or cover, making them lightweight but strong. Warriors hung their fans from the belt or the breastplate.
A typical tessen of the Edo-period (1603-1868)...
A typical tessen of the Edo-period (1603-1868). This weapon is used in tandem with the jutte in some forms of Ikkaku-ryu (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
  • Tessen: folding fans with outer spokes made of heavy plates of iron and designed to look like normal, harmless folding fans. Another version came as solid clubs shaped to look like a closed fan. Samurai took them to places where other weapons were not allowed. Also used to fend off arrows and darts.
Japanese (samurai) solid iron signal fan "...
Japanese (samurai) solid iron signal fan “gunbai or gumpai” (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
  • Gunbai: large solid open fans made from solid iron, metal with wooden core, or solid wood. Carried by high-ranking samurai officers who used them to ward off arrows, as a sunshade, and to signal to troops.

File:Kumagai Naozane and Taira no Atsumori.jpg

The warriors Kumagai Naozane and Taira no Atsumori fro the Taira clan (Artist Unknown)

Statue of Kato Kiyomasa

 at Nagoya Castle grounds

Nagoya is located in Japan

in Nagoya, Japan on the Island of Honshu

YouTube Video: Pendragon Tessen fan kata

Article Source: < http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Japanese_war_fan&gt;

Photograph of Kato Kiyomasa source: <http://www.flickr.com/photos/rekishinotabi/3557084910/&gt;

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Welcome the Year of the Water Snake 2013


Water Snake

I found this site on the net and thought it interesting enough to share. BTW, my daughter was born in the Year of the “Earth Snake” 1989.

Ancient Chinese wisdom says a Snake in the house is a good omen because it means your family will not starve. This could be taken metaphorically to mean that a Snake could never have a problem with his family starving because he is such a great mediator, making him good at business. Or it could mean that a Snake would be willing to sacrifice his possessions, something the Snake has a lot of, in order to pay for his family’s food. Any way it is interpreted is representative of the Snake’s character and is a measure of the value he puts on his material wealth. The Snake is keen and cunning, quite intelligent and wise.

Years of the Snake

Snake Years are sixth in the cycle, following the Dragon Years, and recur every twelfth year. The Chinese New Year does not fall on a specific date, so it is essential to check the calendar to find the exact date on which each Snake Year actually begins.

1905*1917*1929*1941*1953*1965*1977*1989*2001

THE SIGN OF THE SNAKE

The Snake is the intuitive, introspective, refined and collected of the Animal Signs. They are attractive people who take cries with ease and do not become flustered easily. They are graceful people, exciting and dark at the same time.

Contemplative and private, the Snake is not outwardly emotional. He can appear cunning and reticent and works very modestly in the business environment. The Snake will plot and scheme to make certain things turn out exactly as they want them to. They are not great communicators and can become quite possessive when they set their minds on achieving the interest of a partner.

SNAKE FACTS:

People born in the Year of the Snake share certain characteristics. The Snake Sign is an abbreviated way of characterizing that individual’s personality. Following are features associated with the Sign of the Snake.

Sixth in order, Chinese name—SHE, sign of the sagacity

Hour—9am-10:59am Month—May

Western Counterpart—Taurus

CHARACTERISTICS

Acute, Aware, Cunning, Proud, Vain, Vicious

IN YOUR ELEMENT

The characteristics of the Snake are tempered by one of the five Chinese elements of Metal, Water, Wood, Fire and Earth overlaying a 5-year cycle of characteristics on the original 12-year cycle.

THE METAL SNAKE 1941 AND 2001

Metal Snakes are extremely willful individuals who will stop at nothing to achieve their goals. These people will have their guards up 24-hours a day in order to protect themselves from any failure or possibility of it. They place a great deal of importance on money, but are more concerned with the possessions their finances can bring them. They are in and out so sharply and so silently that they are often unheard and unseen. You must be careful with these Snakes because, although they can be generous, they are always out for number one.

THE WATER SNAKE 1953 AND 2013

Water Snakes are influential and insightful. They manage others well and tend to be good for organizations to utilize as staff. They are quite motivated and intellectual, very determined and resolute about success. They will have what they desire, despite the conclusion or outcome they generate because it is worth it to them to not only be recognized for their efforts, but to be rewarded as well. They are affectionate with their families and friends but do not show this side of their personality to colleagues or business partners.

THE WOOD SNAKE 1905 AND 1965

The element of Wood, like in most Animal Signs, gives the Snake a bit of solidity and foundation. Wood Snakes are not as self-preserving as the rest of them, as vanity is not really his style. These Snakes have a stable group of friends and family to hang out with and love each of these people quite deeply. However, it is rare that the Snake utilize his group of loved ones for advice or listening, often opting to go at it alone. Kindness and ingenuity are two of this Snake’s greatest characteristics.

THE FIRE SNAKE 1917 AND 1977

Fire Snakes can be a bit loud, speaking their minds and smothering you with their opinions. This does add a twist to his dynamic and vibrant character, as he is quite the extrovert. These Snakes have a great wisdom. They are intriguing communicators who leave you breathless after a conversation. Fire Snakes can change even the most obstinate mind with their powers of persuasion, convincing you their opinions or ideas are better than yours. This does make them a little self-centered, but you can’t say they aren’t driven for success.

THE EARTH SNAKE 1929 AND 1989

Earth Snakes are the most relaxed of the breeds. They lead calm lives and offer a down-to-earth appeal to any conversation or outing. This may make them seem more friendly, as you may not feel the need to wonder what he’s got up his sleeve. They may also shun the need to lash out or take risks, but it isn’t from paranoia. They figure their good sense and work ethic will pay off and bring them much fortune and material satisfaction.

HEALTH AND HABITAT

HEALTH

Snakes become easily stressed and have to avoid hectic schedules or noisy atmospheres. They do not get a rush from adrenaline, instead, a headache. They need calm and quiet to thrive and succeed. A Snake must have sleep and relaxation to live a long, healthy life.

AT HOME WITH THE SNAKE

The Snake is very sophisticated and cultured in his choices for home decor. They like muted colors and prefer to have one very expensive chair rather than three reasonable priced ones. The Snake is elegant and graceful and places emphasis on his comfort when deciding what to decorate with. As we know, the Snake must have peace, so you may find relaxation or sounds of nature tapes next to the stereo. Snakes do not deprive themselves of luxuries either, as one of everything never seems to ease his mind. He is materialistic and therefore must have as many of everything, if not more than his friends and family.

CAREER AND FINANCE

THE SNAKE AT WORK

Snakes become bored easily and therefore change jobs quite frequently. They are very conscientious and diligent at work. Since they are such relaxed individuals, they can often seem to be slacking off at work when in reality they are at the height of their creativity. They are organized and precise. Snakes can make lightning deadlines and can problem solve quickly. Sometimes, because they like to work alone, they can seem as though they are withholding information or being secretive about company initiatives.

MONEY AND THE SNAKE

A Snake’s worst nightmare is jumping head first into a financial deal or a shopping spree. The Snake can be successful as long as he avoids extemporaneous spending. Although he is intuitive, the Snake will often dive right into decisions without weighing the consequences, which can cause him financial ruin.

SNAKE CAREERS

Those born in the Year of the Snake share the same kinds of goals and objectives in life. The occupations best suited for the Snake are listed below:

SNAKES MAKE EXCELLENT:

Scientists

Potters

Analysts

Jewelers

Spiritual Leaders

Sociologists

Dietitians

Astrologers

Magicians

Investigators

Painters

CONGENIAL BUSINESS PARTNERS

Whether Snakes are compatible with their business partners depends on whether their signs are harmonious or antagonistic to those of their business partner. Considering the congruity of their own characters and the characters of their business partners can also be very useful.

Snakes ruled by Benefit From Are Antagonistic to

Metal Earth Rats Fire Dogs

Water Metal Rabbits Earth Horses

Wood Water Oxen Metal Tigers

Fire Wood Roosters Water Sheep

Earth Fire Snakes Wood Monkeys

Leisurely activities and pleasures

LIKES AND DISLIKES

Since Snakes are born under the same Animal Sign, they often share likes and dislikes. Following are similar likes and dislikes of the Snake personality.

Color Preference: Red

Gems and Stones: Topaz, Jasper, Bloodstone

Suitable Gifts: binoculars, Tarot cards, oils and lotions, stamp collection

Hobbies and Pastimes: Astrology, painting, touring, photography

Snakes Dislike: Being interrupted, being mislead personally or professionally, failure

THE SNAKE ON VACATION

Snakes love to vacation. They get a great deal of pleasure out of just being lazy. And they love luxurious things, often spending their money on material desires they probably don’t need. When a Snake goes on vacation, he really goes on vacation. Fancy restaurants, expensive health clubs and spas, anything in which they can fully indulge themselves. Their getaways must be fully equipped to pamper their every want, or the Snake will become stressed.

FRIENDS AND ENEMIES

Snakes have very few friends because thy are not outwardly emotional or open creatures. The friends they do make generally last a lifetime, even though their peers may find it hard to relate to the Snake because he is withdrawn and secretive. Still, Snakes like social functions, in moderation, where they can gossip about the latest scandal or the newest news. If you stab a Snake in the back it is likely you will never be forgiven. In addition, you should prepare yourself for retaliation for the Snake always gets the last word.

Compatible Friends

Best Friends: Oxen and Roosters

Mortal Enemy: Pigs

SNAKE PARENTS AND BABIES

Snakes will likely form intimate bonds throughout his lifetime with different partners. With these relationships come children, and it is likely the Snake will have many children and stepchildren throughout his lifetime. Regardless, Snakes are devoted and dedicated parents, willing and able to defend the livelihood and happiness of their children.

Snake parents often use humor to deal with their parents. Because they like peace and quiet, they generally use humor to avoid confrontational situations with their young. In addition, this joy of serenity comes at a price for their children. Snake parents are not known to be the most affectionate or playful parents. They do not like to roll around and get dirty with their children, nor do they enjoy loud situations, and these types of things send a Snake running for a locked bedroom door. Unfortunately for the Snake partner, he is responsible for calming the children back down.

SNAKE INFANT AND CHILD

Snake children are often loners, enjoying playing by themselves, quietly in their yards or bedrooms. They are often hampered with learning disabilities and thus need patience from teachers and parents. Teachers and parents may have to invest extra time and tutorials in the Snake child in order to keep him up-to-date with all of the other children in the class. When picked on or upset, Snake children tend to pout and hold grudges and when embarrassed or angry, they will lash out at the culprit as quickly as they were made fun of.

SNAKE PARENT/CHILD KINSHIP

Some parents immediately click with their children and others find they will never have a close relationship no matter how hard they try to make it happen. Following are compatibility ratings between Snake parents and their children.

Snakes with Under the same roof Compatibility Rating

Rat let him be independent **

Ox pretty stable ***

Tiger temperamental clashes *

Rabbit very happy ***

Dragon blissful ****

Snake similar opinions and outlooks ***

Horse too different *

Sheep enjoyable ***

Monkey what you don’t know won’t hurt you ****

Rooster so-so **

Dog affectionate at times ***

Pig fairly diverse ideas *

*uphill struggle **some complications ***easy bonding ****on the same wavelength

Lovers and spouses

THE SNAKE LOVER

Snakes are beautiful people who exhibit quite a sexual appeal. They are sleek and seductive and if they want you, will out a spell on you that won’t let you stop thinking about them. However, Snakes are quite prejudiced when choosing a partner and don’t just choose based on physical qualities. The Snake needs a partner who can appreciate his quirky sense of humor and his wacky way of handling situations, so generally, although quite beautiful and tempting to approach, the Snake does all the pursuing.

MARRIAGE

Because the Snake is so choosy, he can become jealous and obsessive about his partner. They can be a bit stand-offish with their mates, choosing to push away emotions rather than confront their feelings and insecurities. Once betrayed, you can bank on not ever being trusted by the Snake again as much as you can bet he will get even.

THE SNAKE LOVE PARTNER

Not everyone can live and be happy with a Snake. It takes a patient soul, someone ready for the long haul, who can calm his nerves and deal with his obsessions with skill. Chinese horoscopes are very specific about which partnerships have the potential to be successful in love and in business. Yet, though destiny can point us in the right direction, we must still make all efforts to maintain loving relationships. Following is a brief description of how a Snake will affect a relationship with other Animal Signs.

PARTNERS IN LOVE

Snake*Rat

You stand to learn a lot from each other.

Snake*Ox

You have a stable, loving relationship.

Snake*Tiger

Various differences will lead you apart down the road.

Snake*Rabbit

Intense and sensual, you have a lot to look forward to.

Snake*Dragon

You fit well together…you share flirtatious natures and zesty outlooks.

Snake*Snake

You are both intelligent, but too envious for a partnership.

Snake* Horse

Outlook is doubtful…there is to much to fight about.

Snake*Sheep

You two make great friends and even better lovers.

Snake*Monkey

You can’t really trust each other, can you?

Snake*Rooster

Dynamic duo!

Snake*Dog

Love at first sight. Go for it!

Snake*Pig

Not enough in common to pursue.

Love Partners at a Glance

Snakes with Tips on Togetherness Compatibility

Rat mutually fascinated with each other ***

Ox wonderful connection ****

Tiger doubtful outlook *

Rabbit great sexual attraction ***

Dragon pretty similar paths ***

Snake must stay independent of each other **

Horse remember to communicate **

Sheep quite blissful ****

Monkey have to cooperate with each other **

Rooster stable and caring ****

Dog good combination of mental and physical ***

Pig too divided *

*dispute **keep working at it ***intense sexual attraction ****angelic

EAST MEETS WEST

ARIES SNAKE

This combination brings forth bravery and motivation. Snakes like to make money and are more apt to do so when trying to accomplish a reward. They are fairly open-minded with their money and make great stay-at-home parents.

TAUREAN SNAKE

These Snakes remember everything for they have quite a vivid memory. Don’t underestimate the capabilities of this Snake, for he will forge on until he gets what he wants.

GEMINI SNAKE

These Snakes can talk their way out of anything, so a confrontation with them is a lost cause. They are well-educated and a bit amenable, making them quite intriguing.

CANCERIAN SNAKE

These Snake love to be recognized for their efforts. For them, working hard to provide for their family is first priority.

LEONINE SNAKE

Confident and proud, the Leonine Snake hates to come in second place. They fuel on kudos from others, but will become a bit obnoxious if it goes to their heads.

VIRGO SNAKE

These Snakes love to tell others what to do. They enjoy using their energies to run a successful organization and use their intelligence to improve their title and rank at work.

LIBRAN SNAKE

One of the most beautiful breeds of the Snake, Libran Snakes are graceful and kind. They are always being pursued by someone interested in them and fall deeply in love with the right partner.

SCORPIO SNAKE

These individuals have hidden emotions and feelings that rarely ever surface. They are quite guarded with their thoughts and opinions and do not upset easily.

SAGITTARIAN SNAKE

Born with great taste in everything, these Snakes are the classy and sophisticated of the breed. They enjoy cultural things and will find a partner who will share the same ideals.

CAPRICORN SNAKE

These Snakes build their bank accounts through organization and motivation. They can be seen as snobby, when in reality they are simply the quiet types.

AQUARIAN SNAKE

Intelligent and open-minded, Aquarian Snakes like to have a partner to depend on. However, they hate to be tied down and need to have space.

PISCEAN SNAKE

These Snakes are compassionate and sensitive to the needs of others. They take everything quite emotionally and when they fall in love, they are committed completely

Article origin: http://www.usbridalguide.com/special/chinesehoroscopes/Snake.htm

Also of interest:

Year of the Water Snake: Feng Shui Predictions for 2013.

 http://www.elephantjournal.com/2012/12/year-of-the-water-snake-feng-shui-predictions-for-2013/

Prologue: Moon Magic


Cool and velvety soft,

she pressed the last of her tiny flowers

into the open palm of his hand.…

–Legend of the Cherry Jewel

A small shrine on the grounds of the temple, w...
A small shrine on the grounds of the temple, with cherry blossoms (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 Year of the Dog 1503

 

On the summit of Moon Mountain, the last fire-shards of sunlight glistened against the remnants of spring snow. Dusting the ground and the upturned roof of the shelter whereHinata Jintori stepped beneath, into the narrow space.

A frozen wind blew the hem and sleeves of his robe as he broke the skin of ice that covered the stone basin. Scooping the chilled water, he drew his cupped hands toward his lips where he sipped and then rinsed his mouth of impurities. He spat the warmed water onto the ground and then shook loose the freezing droplets from his fingertips. Having completed the purifying ritual, he turned and made his way toward Sakura Jinja, a smallish shelter, enclosed by four walls that stood a few short steps away.

Into the narrow entryway of the Cherry Shine, the outer sanctum, he crossed. A few steps beyond, he moved into the heart of the holy place. Only the rasping shuffle of his sandals against the wooden floor and the sound of his breathing broke the silence of approaching twilight.

Illuminated by the soft glow from a lantern, a silver platform occupied the direct center of the room. On the platform sat a wooden cutout, carved from the sacred Sakai tree into the shape of five cherry blossoms.

Five tiny bells dangled, one each, from the five petals, “Shards of the Sakura Hooseki”–the “Cherry Jewel.” Multihued lights flickered between the shards, accompanied by a soothing drone–like the whir of hummingbird wings.

From the topmost petal the blue-sapphire bell hovered over the jade-green bell on one side with the ruby-red bell on the opposite petal. In turn, the green bell swayed above its golden sister while the pulsating ruby-red bell bled into the brooding bone-white shard beneath it.

As he entered the room, Jintori lifted an incense burner from its place on the wall and lit the brass bowl that hung from the end of an ornately carved cherry tree branch. Standing beside the silver pedestal, he waved the bowl over the breathing Shards, sending tendrils of scented smoke that filled the room with pungent sweetness.

His warm breath formed a cloud in the frozen air as he chanted, “The Spirit Shard for the renewal of inner Chi.” At his words, the blue shard beamed with an azure glow.

He continued the chant, “The Shaman Shard for physical healing.” The jade bell shone with a verdant light, while the sapphire bell grew dim.

“The Dominion Shard, for power over the enemy.” The light from the jade bell faded as the next bell radiated a bloody aura

“The Death Shard ripped from the land of Yomi.” The ruby bell dimmed while the bone-white bell glowered like a skinless skull.

“The Eternity Shard with the power of life over death.” The glaring light from the white bell dimmed as the golden bell shimmered like a star point…

(Continued…)

 


HI EVERYONE!

I’ve been out of the loop for a bit now, busy with the business of writing etc. For those following my book’s progress, it is pretty much decided that the local middle school is using my novel, LEGENDS OF THE HENGEYOKAI, BOOK ONE  TENGU PRINCE as curriculum next April. I’ve been doing fine tune editing to make sure the book is ready for a teacher to read and teach to a class full of sixth graders. This is so exciting!

TENGU PRINCE has a new cover that I hope projects the theme of the story a bit better than the first one did. Also, I am fine-tune-editing book two in the series: CHERRY JEWEL. I hope to have it ready by this October, but a lot is happening now withTENGU PRINCE so not sure if I will find the needed time to spend on CHERRY JEWEL just now. It will be ready by April of next year at the very latest.

English: James Franco at the Austin Film Festi...
English: James Franco at the Austin Film Festival in October 2011. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
English: Johnny Depp at the Austin Film Festiv...
English: Johnny Depp at the Austin Film Festival in October 2011. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I am looking for an agent and plan to attend the Austin Film Festival next month. I have gone twice before and find it an exciting place to meet other writers as well as movers and shakers in the film industry.

Hope all of you are having a fantastic September! I wish all the best for you.


A wonderful and informative post.
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 Goto city in Nagasaki, on the morning of the 15th day of the Obon festival of the dead, it was said that an evil wind blew. Anyone who felt the caress of this evil wind would fall sick and collapse. This day also happened to be the traditional day for visiting the graves of ancestors. It was believed that the souls of the unworshiped dead flew on the winds.

Since olden times, the people of Japan believed in and feared the unworshiped dead, called muenbotoke ( 無縁仏). Farmers blamed everything from droughts, to strong winds, to infestations of insects on these unhappy spirits. And so, during the Obon festival of the dead, along with the usual offerings of rice and sake to the ancestor spirits of the family, they would try to calm the spirits of the muenbotoke and the Buddhist hungry ghosts, so…

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