Topical

Sentimental Tales from Tama River

Main Reference: Tama River Folktales by Sakuhira Ishii, Arimine Shoten Publishing, 1976 The Mysterious Sake Jug I think this is a mix of an old story in which Kanon-sama uses a mysterious sake jug and influence from Aladdin's lamp. Zack Davisson, who by the way maintains an excellent site which is a kind of evil… Continue reading Sentimental Tales from Tama River

Topical

The Tama River Foxes

Main Reference: Tama River Folktales by Sakuhira Ishii, Arimine Shoten Publishing, 1976 In this story the author/compiler of the book gets "invited" to a fox story-telling competition. In Japanese folktales, foxes (kitsune) and raccoon dogs (tanuki) are often portrayed as able to change shape and cause hallucinations. Foxes are also associated with being able to… Continue reading The Tama River Foxes

Topical

Kusuke the Kappa

Main Reference: Tama River Folktales by Sakuhira Ishii, Arimine Shoten Publishing, 1976 Alternate sources: http://www.47news.jp/CI/200812/CI-20081205-00182.html There used to be many kappa around Izumi Tamagawa in Komae. But they were wiped out because humans caught them to use in exhibitions and sell at markets. However despite the kappa's extinction, the exhibitions did not end. People filled… Continue reading Kusuke the Kappa

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)

Benevolent

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

Topical

Intro to the Kojiki (古事記)

There are two main historical texts we can use to read about Shinto gods, the Kojiki and Nihon Shoki. Both were commissioned by Emperor Tenmu during his reign from 673 to 686 CE. They were also both compiled by O no Yasumaro. People with an interest in mythology tend to read them as a kind… Continue reading Intro to the Kojiki (古事記)

Topical

Death and Mountain Kami — Origins of Shinto

Intro I decided last year to do a post in the gods section. But then I got lost in the library trying to decide what god to start with. It's typical to start with Izanami and Izanagi, but their role in actual religious practice  before the 8th century is debatable at best. A more interesting… Continue reading Death and Mountain Kami — Origins of Shinto

Malevolent

Yuki-nodo (雪ノドウ)

A snow yokai from Gifu. It can appear in daytime or nighttime. Although it is blind in its true form, it can appear as a woman or a snowball. It visits mountain homes and asks for water. People should be wary of travelers asking for water, and should offer hot tea instead. If you give… Continue reading Yuki-nodo (雪ノドウ)

Benevolent

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)

Benevolent

Yuki-furi-nyudo (Snowfall monk 雪降り入道) / Yuki-nyudo (Snow monk 雪入道)

Yuki-furi-nyudo appears in tales from Nagano. He is also called Yuki-furi-bozu (another word for monk). He appears as a giant monk* in the snow, but he wears a bag on his head, his clothing is torn, and he wears a raggedy kimono. He also wears a 蓑笠 minokasa (a straw raincoat and bamboo hat). Evidently,… Continue reading Yuki-furi-nyudo (Snowfall monk 雪降り入道) / Yuki-nyudo (Snow monk 雪入道)