Chinese Civilization 2009-07-06 Secret of Painting Scroll at the Beijing Olympic Opening Ceremony


A Thousand Li of Rivers and Mountains Scroll by Wang Ximeng  (1096–1119)

 

(Qilin Tavern 中国·时事·财经·军事)

Related Sites:

Xuan Paper

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Xuan_paper

Wang Ximeng

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wang_Ximeng

2008 Summer Olympics

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2008_Summer_Olympics

Song Dynasty

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Song_dynasty

The Language of the Dragons


Since it is the glorious “Year of the Water Dragon”, and because I adore Asian dragons, I will probably devote many blogs to them… dragons, I mean, this year (2012). Here is a site from another WordPress blogger that so delighted me that I had to share it. I know you will love it as well. Don’t forget to check out the YouTube video on their site as well. Fantastic!

The Language of the Dragons:   http://yaywords.wordpress.com/projects/the-language-of-dragons/#comment-456

I even wrote a haiku for the occasion:

Water dragon lives

at the bottom of the sea.

Wise, mysterious…

“Waiting for the New Year”


Anticipationhttp://fergiemoto.wordpress.com/ (Click here to see the post.)

Here is another charming post from “Fergiemoto” using a sweet blue bird image. Look for more beautiful photographs with accompanying poems on their site.

I see wonderful things for this talented artist/writer in this “Year of the Water Dragon”. 

Dragons of the Orient “Hengeyokai” Shape-shifters


Japanese Dragon shrine in Fujiyoshida.
Japanese Dragon Shrine in Fujiyoshida

The awesome Dragon of the orient is sacred, beautiful, and blessed with infinite wisdom and vast knowledge. They are playful by nature, but also have the capacity to destroy entire cities with one swipe of their mighty claws and terrifying magic. They are associated with wealth, water and wisdom. All humans desire wealth, whether they admit to it or not. Water is necessary to sustain life on Earth, and wisdom is something we all seek after.

The Dragons of the orient have long, thin bodies, covered in rainbow-hued scales that are strong as steel and magnificently beautiful to behold. They have no wings and instead can bound from the Earth to the Heavens in a single leap. Their heads resemble horses with great billowing whiskers, like a mighty tiger’s, sprouting from their lips. They hear through a pair of horns worn atop their heads like crowns.

When a Dragon of the orient speaks, their voice is like the jingling of coins, yet they possess a melodic quality unequaled by mortal musicians. Closely linked to the elements of water and air, they were originally created from the storms that lashed the earth a the beginnings of creation. In fact, these Dragons love storms so much that they play inside great typhoons. Their claws slash the ground along with the lightning that streaks from their eyes. Their breath creates great clouds that sail into the sky while rain is formed from the pressure of their feet squeezing water from the clouds as they climb into the sky. The wind itself comes from the passing of their breath as they move.

They are known for their wealth and their generosity with humans they are fond of. They are also known to pay unfathomable riches for the freedom to rule the skies. They are especially fond of pearls and will go to great lengths to gain possession of these gems of the sea. Many a human, who has gained favor with a Dragon of the orient, has been presented with pearls that possess magical abilities.

Their king is Ryu-Jin, the greatest and wealthiest of all the Dragons of the orient. Ryu-Jin’s palace is located at the bottom of the ocean, made from crystal and held upright by magnificent jade pillars, encompassed by walls laced with coral and, of course, pearls. Every day precious stones wash down into his palace from the mountains near the seashores. The stones are so numerous that they pile up like mounds of sand that mingle with great piles of magical trinkets and artifacts that litter his palace.

High in the mountains of the Orient is a secret place with a waterfall known as the Dragon Gate. This is the birthplace of all, but the first dragons and is said to lead to their magical domain.

Dragons can take human form and often come in the guise of a humble scholar. In this form, they have been known to sire children that may or may not have the capacity to shape-shift from human to dragon form. Though not all are born with this ability, they all are physically perfect with unblemished skin, sparkling green eyes and flowing black hair. And there is within them all some level of the Dragon’s magic.

MORE

File:Dragonn4.jpg

Japanese Dragon fountain in Hakone

 

Kiyohime changes from a Serpent, by Yoshitoshi...
Image via Wikipedia

Kiyohime changes from a Serpent, by Yoshitoshi Tsukioka

 

File:Tamatori being pursued bya dragon.jpgThe ama diver Princess Tamatori steals the Dragon King’s jewel, byUtagawa Kuniyoshi

File:One of the daughters of the dragon king who lives in then bottom of the sea.jpgThe Dragon King’s daughter, by Utagawa Kuniyoshi

File:Kunisada II The Dragon.jpgThe Buddha riding a sea-dragon, by Kunisada.

File:Kuniyoshi Utagawa, Dragon 2.jpgSea-dragon, by Utagawa Kuniyoshi

LINKS

AD&D Character Race:

Hengeyokaihttp://www.mjyoung.net/dungeon/char/race007.html

The World of Darkness Wiki: Hengeyokai

http://wiki.white-wolf.com/worldofdarkness/index.php?title=Hengeyokai

Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia: Yōkai

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Y%C5%8Dkai

Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia: Japanese Dragon

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Japanese_dragon

Onmyōdō: Ancient Magic in Japan (Film, Manga, Anime, Novels and Games)


Fudo-Rieki-Engi (不動利益縁起)
Image via Wikipedia

The magic and mystery of onmyōdō and the onmyōji, who practice the ancient art, are an esoteric combination of Wu XingYin and Yang, Taoism, Buddhism and Shintoism. It came to Japan in the fifth and sixth centuries.

In the popular culture of film, manga, anime novels and video games, there are a host of these magicians and soothsayers, tweaked with extraordinary, supernatural power.

The anime, Ghost  Hunt presents the character, Lin Koujo, an onmyōji, who can exorcise or summons spirits and control shikigami–spirits similar to a witch’s familiar.

In the live-action film and manga, Onmyōji,the fictitious account of the famous, real-life magician, Abe no Seimei, is based on the novel series of the same name.

In the manga, Tokyo Babylon and XSubaru Sumeragi, an onmyōji and his sidekick, the assassin, Seishirō Sakurazuka, eradicate curses and vengeful spirits, evil shadow creatures in modern-day Japan.

In the manga series, Shaman King and the novel, Chō Senji RyakketsuYoh Asakura is an onmyōji and a medium who can communicate between the world of the living and the world of the dead, who spends much of his time hanging out in graveyards. His goal is to hone his skills onmyōdō and win the title of Shaman King.

In the video game and anime, Harukanaru Toki no Naka de, Abe no Yasuaki is a dedicated disciple of Abe no Seimei, the famous onmyōji.

The manga and anime seriesNegima!: Magister Negi Magi, involves a secret cult of onmyōji.

In the award-winning anime series, Magical Shopping Arcade Abenobashi, childhood friends Arumi and Sasshi find themselves pulled into another dimension where they learn onmyōdō from the famous wizard, Abe no Seimei.

The novel, Teito Monogatari by Hiroshi Aramata, has an evil onmyōji namedYasunori Kato, who is brought back from the realm of angry and resentful souls of dead mystics. His power surpasses even that of Abe no Seimei.

The anime and manga, Onmyō Taisenki delves into I Ching and Taoism for its magical resources.

The manga seriesAsk Dr. Rin! features a powerful onmyōji named, Takashi Tokiwa who is infatuated with Meilin Kanzaki, a young girl, endowed with Feng shui powers, who can read people’s fortunes and advise them concerning the best way to ensure good luck.

The Playstation fighting game, Evil Zone features an onmyoji named Keiya Tenpouin, “The Man in the Shadow” whose main goal is to kill and claim the power of Ihadulca, who can exist in multiple dimensions at the same time.

The novel, Shōnen Onmyōji is set in the Heian era of historical Japan and portrays the life of  Abe no Masahiro, the youngest grandson of the famous onmyoji, Abe no Seimei, whose greatest desire is to follow in his grandfather’s footsteps. .

In the manga and anime series, Steel Angel Kurumi, (an artificial humanoid with superhuman physical abilities) the main protagonist, Nakahito Kagura belongs to a family of onmyoji mystics.

The PlayStation game Final Fantasy Tactics includes a “Job” entitled, Onmyoji, which is translated in the English as “Oracle.” The practicing onmyoji has “Yin-Yang Magic” that can inflict blindness, paralysis or sleep on their opponents.

In the card game, Magic: The Gathering, one of the cards is entitled: Goryo’s Vengeance. The card type is arcane which includes spells represented spells by spirits or kami (Japanese word for spirits and natural forces, used in the Shinto faith).

In the anime, “Tsukuyomi’s Moon Phase,” Hazuki and his mother have the ability to summon a shikigami spirit.

In the horror, survival game, Kuon, the main characters are onmyoji. Most of the magic seals and puzzles are based on onmyõdõ.

References:

Onmyōdō

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Onmy%C5%8Dd%C5%8D

Wu Xing

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wu_Xing

Yin and yang

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yin_and_yang

Taoism in Japan

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taoism_in_Japan

Shinto

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shintoism

Buddhism

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Buddhism

Abe no Seimei http://en.whikipedia.org/wiki/Abe_no_Seimei

Thirty-six Ghost by Yoshitoshi

http://web.inter.nl.net/hcc/rekius/36ghosts.htm

Magic: The Gathering:  Goyo’s Vengence http://mtg.wikia.com/wiki/Goryo’s_Vengeance

Yūrei, “Faint Spirit” (Japanese Ghost)


English: Maruyama Ôkyo (1733-1795): The Ghost ...
Image via Wikipedia

It is night. In the upper bedroom of the rented farmhouse, you lie awake against the futon pillow. You gaze up at the ceiling. For some reason, you cannot fall asleep. It’s as if your mind will not shut off. The events of the day keep playing, like a broken record, across your mind.

From the corner of your eye, you detect flickers of blue, green and purple flames just outside the sliding glass door. Your heart skips a beat when you glance in the direction of the colored flames. Standing on the narrow balcony, that rests against the side of the house, is a young man dressed in a white kimono that covers his feet. Long, black hair trails in a disheveled mass around his shoulders and down his back. On his forehead rests a white triangle of cloth. His hands dangle limply from his wrists on outstretched arms that point directly toward you. His dark eyes gaze beseeching into yours.

You grab the edge of your quilt and yank it up around your chin. Your mind cannot conceive of what your eyes see.

After the first initial shock, you wonder what has happened to trap the spirit between this world and the next and who were his relatives, that must have once lived here? He seems to have come back for their help in releasing him from his torment.

Against your better judgement, you rise and walk toward the closed, glass door. Before you can release it, the latch clicks and the door slides open, as if by magic. You find yourself standing only a few feet from the ghostly young man.

You now see a haki maki is tied around his forehead, beneath the white triangle. He whispers the word, “Kamikaze,” and you realize, he must be one of the very young who died as a “suicide boomer” in the second world war. You want to help him, but are not sure how. Nonetheless, you reach your hand toward his and smile.

More Information:

Yūrei幽霊? meaning “faint spirit” or Bōrei 亡霊, “ruined or departed spirit” is also called Yōkai 妖怪 or Obake お化け. In Japanese culture, humans have a spirit called a reikon 霊 that returns to their living family during the summer Obon Festival. If a person is murdered or commits suicide or if proper funeral rites are not preformed, they become stuck in the physical world, unable to travel to spirit world. The restless yūrei must first resolve the emotional conflict that holds it trapped between the two worlds.

The famous Ukiyo-e artist, Maruyama Ōkyo crafted “The Ghost of Oyuki”, seen in the upper right corner of this page.

References:

Wikipedia, the free Encyclopedia: Yūre

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Y%C5%ABrei

Mangajin #40: Japanese Ghosts

http://www.mangajin.com/mangajin/samplemj/ghosts/ghosts.htm

The “Roaring Dragon” of Shokoku-ji Temple (Kyoto, Japan)


Kyoto imperial palace garden in Kyoto, Japan
Image via Wikipedia

You enter the temple. An eerie quiet surrounds the few pilgrims, besides you, inside the hall of the inner sanctum. Yet it feels as if someone or something is watching from above. Your gaze travels toward the ceiling where a giant dragon is coiled in painted wood above your head. While you stand transfixed, yours and the creature’s eyes lock.

Then the unthinkable occurs. Someone claps their hands disturbing the peace of the sanctified place. Before righteous indignation registers, an amazing thing takes place. The dragon, in all its Imperial majesty, roars.

You cannot believe it. A trick of imagination and the awesome surroundings must have caused the breathtaking phenomena. Yet, another clap summons the dragon once again and you smile.

“So this is what calls the creature to wake.”

You hear someone whisper that the sound is a reverberating echo traveling between the parallel planes of the floor and the ceiling. A subtle overlapping of acoustic reflections is what brings the dragon to life. Still, you clap your hands knowing the sea god, Ryujin has communicated to you on a mystical level that words cannot express.

Facts:

Located in the old neighborhood near Doshisha University, just north of the Imperial Palace.

The Main Hall was completed 1394 by Shogun Ashikaga Yoshimitsu (1358-1408).

Destroyed by fire and rebuilt many times, only the Dharma Hall and the Imperial Gate are what is left of the original structures.

A Zen sect temple, Shokokuji has treasures and cultural collections displayed in the Shotenkaku Museum, onsite.

References:

Kansai Window: Japanese Architecture in Kansai, Echoes, “The Secret of the Dragon and the Mysterious Urns”       http://www.kippo.or.jp/e/culture/build/archi.html

Draconian.com: “Dragon Sculptures, The “roaring dragon” of Sokoku-ji” http://www.draconian.com/dragons/dragon-sculptures.php