japanese-mythology

So I was reading up on Japanese mythology for anything about centipedes and found out that centipedes were the messengers of Bishamonten, the God of War, and are a sign of oncoming war.

I no longer think the centipede is an omen of torture or anything bad for Touka or Kaneki specifically. Since this chapter was quite peaceful, I think this is a sign that these peaceful days are coming to an end and the humans and ghouls are preparing for battle; the fact that the next chapter narration is “goat moves” leaves me to further believe this fact.

The centipede being a sign of war still makes sense from when we last saw it in part one given that there was a conclusive battle between humans and ghouls not long after.

🌊 Types of Mermaids 🌊

please be respectful of cultural boundaries when working with mermaids from various cultures and traditions, and be mindful not to intrude.

🌊 Rusalkas - slavic in origin, disturbed spirits of the “unclean dead”, ghosts of women who died violent deaths, with a penchant for drowning young men. they live only in rivers and lakes, and are known to have green hair like aquatic plants, only appearing in the night. 

🌊 Melusina - a mermaid that walks among humans, but returns to their two-tailed form during baths and when they bathe their children. often a water spirit of a nearby lake or river. french origin. 

🌊 Siren - greek mythology. servants and companions of persephone, whom searched for her when she was abducted. they are known to sometimes have the body of a bird, and for their song, which lured sailors to their doom. cannibalism implied folklore. have the power of prophecy. 

🌊 Merrow - irish mermaid. known to have green hair and webbed fingers. particular noted love of music and their red cap, which when stolen, they will live with the thief until they find it, and then return to the water, leaving even a whole family behind. 

🌊 Ben-varrey - from the isle of man, known to bless those that are kind to them with prosperity, gifts, and even the location of treasure. 

🌊 Aicaya -  Caribbean mermaid, humans who become mermaids when they are shunned from their community and go to live in the sea. 

🌊 Amabie - japanese merpeople, with birdlike torsos and three legs and scales. they are gifted with prophecy, usually foretelling abundant harvests or epidemics 

🌊 Ningyo - “human faced fish” known to have golden scales, that brings bad weather and misfortune when caught, but when their flesh is eaten the consumer is granted youth and beauty, even agelessness. 

🌊 Finman / Finwife - magical shapeshifters that disguise themselves as sea creatures or plants to lure humans, unlike most mermaids they kidnap people from the shores to be their spouses or servants. they have a greed for jewelry and coins, particularly silver, and prefer humans over other finfolk. 

🌊 Sirena Chilota - considered the more friendly mermaids, caring for all fish life and rescuing drowned sailors to restore life to them. known for their human-like beauty and youth, according to legend they are the child of a human and a “king of seas”, tears are a powerful substance. from chilote mythology. 

🌊 Cecealia - sometimes known as “sea witches”, they are half human and half octopus. origins in native american and japanese mythology. 

🌊 Sirena / Siyokoy - the philippine version of mermaid and merman respectively. also called “magindara”, they are known to protect the waters from raiders, and protect the boy moon from sea monsters. Siyokoys can sometimes have legs however, covered with scales and webbed feet

🌊 Sea Mither - scottish/orcadian mythology, a spirit that personifies the sea during spring and summer, battles along scottish isles using storms to bring the summer about. a mother figure to all aquatic life. 

🌊 Ceasg - a fresh-water mermaid, specifically half-salmon, said to grant three wishes if captured. sometimes called maighdean na tuinne (maid of the wave) or maighdean mhara (maid of the sea). scottish. 

🌊 Selkie - though somewhat different from the typical mermaid, as they are not cold-blooded, have the body of a seal in the water and are human on land. in legends their skins are often stolen and they are kept by fishermen as spouses, or become lovers to fishermen’s wives who shed tears into the sea.  

8

Myth Parallels → The Queen of the Gods (pt I)

“she spun herself a crown of gold,
thrones of bones and citadels.
to the deaf stars she screamed:
make me queen or i’ll make you bleed.” —AMBITION | M.J., via @fairytalesques

10

They’re all here! I took it upon myself to create an illustration of a Mythological creature or character for every letter of the alphabet, trying to span across a multitude of cultures and creature-types. Another thing I wanted to accomplish with this project was to find some the more unusual and/or obscure creatures that don’t get as much representation in artwork. Individual Tumblr Posts with said creatures’ descriptions are below.

Again, I’ll be making this into a small run of books as a way to test the waters. If there’s more demand for a larger run, I’ll definitely be looking into it!

All REBLOGS are appreciated! 

Bestiary Alphabetum: Each Entry is clickable!

A is for Ammit

B is for The Beast of Gevaudan

C is for Cockatrice

D is for Dullahan

E is for Eurynomos

F is for Faun

G is for Grendel

H is for Harpy

I is for Indus Worm

J is for Jersey Devil

K is for Krampus

L is for Lamassu

M is for Manticore

N is for Nuckelavee

O is for Otoroshi

P is for Penanggalan

Q if for Questing Beast

R is for Rangda

S is for Succubus

T is for Tzitzimitl

U is for Ushi-Oni

V is for Vegetable Lamb

W is for Wyvern

X is for Xing Tian

Y is for Yara-Ma-Yha-Who

Z is for Ziphius

Japanese Ghost & Demons Art of the Supernatural Edited by Stephen Addiss

George Braziller Inc 1985

Scans courtesy of Mark Jiro Okui

(Got a yokai book you’d like to share? Submit it to Jigoku Yeah!)

9

30 Days of Mythical Tricksters  → Day 18: Kitsune

The red fox crosses the ice
intent on none of my business.
It’s winter and slim pickings.

I stand in the bushy cemetery,
pretending to watch birds,
but really watching the fox
who could care less.
She pauses on the sheer glare
of the pond. She knows I’m there,
sniffs me in the wind at her shoulder.
If I had a gun or dog
or a raw heart, she’d smell it.
She didn’t get this smart for nothing.

She’s a lean vixen: I can see
the ribs, the sly
trickster’s eyes, filled with longing
and desperation, the skinny
feet, adept at lies.

Why encourage the notion
of virtuous poverty?

It’s only an excuse
for zero charity.
Hunger corrupts, and absolute hunger
corrupts absolutely,
or almost. Of course there are mothers,
squeezing their breasts
dry, pawning their bodies,
shedding teeth for their children,
or that’s our fond belief.
But remember - Hansel
and Gretel were dumped in the forest
because their parents were starving.
Sauve qui peut. To survive
we’d all turn thief

and rascal, or so says the fox,
with her coat of an elegant scoundrel,
her white knife of a smile,
who knows just where she’s going:

to steal something
that doesn’t belong to her -
some chicken, or one more chance,
or other life.”

Margaret Atwood

i.
no girl can survive in fire,
they say
no girl can taste the sun,
they say

(she closes her eyes and keeps her head bowed down
a girl has no words against a man)

ii.
no girl can touch the stars,
they say
no girl can bend the universe to her will,
they say

(she keeps her tongue locked and her teeth clenched
a girl has no need to speak up her mind)

iii.
no girl can have so much power,
they say
no girl can touch the light,
they say

(she bristles and stops, eyes focused
a girl is a goddess if she lets the light rush in)

iv.
Amaterasu smiles -
and the universe crumbles

- Amaterasu | r.m

Unlike many other dragons found through out the world the Chinese Long and the Japanese Ryu are benevolent yet powerful celestial beings. Protectorates, bringers of rain and good fortune their effigies are regularly seen in Buddhist, Shinto and Daoist structures.
They are just all around the best of the dragon world in my opinion.

Another mythological comparison of Inuyasha.

“ All youkai are the ruins of humans. Youkai continue to exist both inside and outside humans. They wish to return to a human form, but are unable to do so. They live in fields, mountains, seas, grasses and trees, full of sadness at not being able to return to a human form.” - Abe Masamichi

This is a quote that I pulled from the book: Japanese Demon Lore by Noriko T. Reider. Which aside from so far being an interesting read as far as the history of Oni and their many representations in both myth and fables. It also has a section that covers how youkai are represented in anime and Inuyasha is one of the examples used. I wanted to share a couple of interesting points from this section in case anyone was interested. For me this was a delight as my headcanons surrounding my muses in particular are heavily inspired by mythology. 


The white dog in Japanese Folklore. 

Through medieval times the dog was seen as not only a trusted companion but as a creature associated with the dead. That was due to the fact that dogs often ate the corpses of the dead left without proper burial. Or dug up the corpses that weren’t buried deep enough. People who saw this began to believe that the dogs were retrieving the soul to bring to the other world. 

This brought up the opinion that dogs were in tune with the supernatural forces around them. Some even capable of developing their own powers. There are many stories of dogs saving their masters from supernatural threats. Or protecting people from the dangers of yurei and youkai alike. 

Then there is the deeper belief that some dogs can become trans-boundary creatures, allowing them to travel between this world and the underworld. Making them excellent guides to those who dare tread in the world of the dead. One such story is told by a priest named Kobo Daishi, who’s trek to the sacred grounds of Mt. Koya was only made possible by the aid of a magical white dog.


The story of the Yasha.

In Indian Buddhist mythology, a Yasha is a frightening and violent monster. There is a story where a Buddhist Guardian by the name of Bishamonten crossed paths with one particularly ferocious Yasha, a beast so wild and uncontrollable that it looked as if killing it was the only solution. 

However Bishamonten opted to instead subdue the Yasha, calming the demon and giving it a greater purpose. In the end the Yasha became a protector and kin to the Guardian. 


Tsuchigumo: The Earth Spider. 

There are a few youkai spiders through out japanese mythology, but the Tsuchigumo has some of the deepest roots. It’s one of the oldest recorded youkai and it’s name can be used to refer to other things. 

In the very earliest years of Japanese history Tsuchigumo was used to refer to people who did not conform to society. Either because they were outlaws, pit dwellers or those who simply defy the emperors divine rule. Essentially a Tsuchigumo was a person destined for hell. 

Unfortunately Tsuchigumo was also a derogatory term used to refer to the indigenous people of the land, or anyone who did not share the same physiological features of a typical Japanese person. Or anyone in general who lived apart from society. Which is where the ‘pit dwelling’ part comes in.