狼の眉毛 — The Wolf’s Eyebrow

It was harder than I thought it would be to find an unaltered version of this tale online. Most people seem to feel the main character needs a happier ending. I translated the version below from this site, where the author clearly points out what parts they have altered to make a happier story. I… Continue reading 狼の眉毛 — The Wolf’s Eyebrow


The Legend of the Birth of Michizane

Long ago, there was a fisherman named Tayuu Kiribatake living in the village near Lake Yogo. One day, he followed a pleasant smell to a willow tree. Walking closer, he saw a light-weight, bright fabric hanging from one of its branches. He picked it up to take it, but when he turned around, a beautiful… Continue reading The Legend of the Birth of Michizane


The Hagoromo Legend of Miho

There was once fisherman named Hakuryo (white dragon) who lived in Miho. Every morning he went fishing near the pine groves of Miho. He was used to seeing the coastal scenery, but one spring morning, he saw Mount Fuji looking particularly beautiful. An indescribably good smell was hanging in the air. He followed the smell… Continue reading The Hagoromo Legend of Miho

Benevolent, Topical

The Seven Generations of the Age of the Kami (神世七代)

The 12 kami that appear in the Kojiki after the Celestial Kami are called the seven generations of the age of the kami (kami no yo nana yo). One thing to keep in mind while reading the appearance of the kami in the Kojiki is that they mostly represent abstract ideas in the creation story… Continue reading The Seven Generations of the Age of the Kami (神世七代)


The Creator Kami and the Celestial Kami

----------------- Text translated from 古事記 現代語訳 武田祐吉 Kojiki Modern Translation by Yukichi Takeda (circa 1940, public domain). In the Beginning Long ago, at the earliest beginning of the heavens and the earth, the first kami to appear in the heavens was named Amenominakanushi. The next kami was Takamimusubi, and the next was Kamimusubi. These three kami were… Continue reading The Creator Kami and the Celestial Kami


Yukinbo (雪坊)

To explain why snow melts faster around trees, people in Wakayama say that when you see a ring of melted snow in a circle around a tree, it is the footprint of Yukinbo. On nights when snow falls, this one-legged child hops in circles around trees (just to confuse us). The NY Times offered "scientific"… Continue reading Yukinbo (雪坊)