japanese-mythology

Job’s done at last and the adorkable dorks can finally have that drink. Happy Halloween, everyone! I wish I could flush this out some more, but the Halloween deadline crept up.

I still wish Jesse had a Halloween skin…

Hanzo Shimada/Jesse McCree/Overwatch © Blizzard Entertainment
Art © ramida-r

I just realized that Qrow is totally a Karasu-tengu (Crow Tengu) in Japanese mythology. (One of the folklore that actually paint crows in a positive light.) They’re winged bird creatures that can shape-shift and take human form, are skilled sword fighting warriors, have great knowledge, and protect the law of the land. They are the deities called upon in prayer by desperate people (Tai) to help their children (Yang and Ruby) get back home. They also play tricks on the arrogant and vain (Winter) while rewarding and helping to train those who are modest and aim to help others (Ruby). 

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.

anonymous asked:

Other then golems and homunculus, are there any other man made mythological creatures?

Every culture has some creature, being, or thing that people can/have made. Sometimes it requires a bit of divine intervention, sometimes a bit of magic, and sometimes it’s simply the way things are. Here are some of the ones we came up with:

  • Kodoku (worm poison): you seal several insects in a jar, letting them kill each other until only one is left. The fluid remains of the dead insects can be used as a poison, but the surviving insect can be kept to bring the creator wealth and good fortune. However, if the creator doesn’t feed the insect by sacrificing human lives, it will devour them. The only way to avoid this is to bury all the wealth (plus interest) earned from the worm.
  • Gu curse: you seal up lizards, snakes, spiders, insects, and other small nasty creatures in a jar. The creatures fight and devour each other until their poison is concentrated all into one survivor that takes the form of a golden silkworm. This silkworm brings gold to its creator in exchange for human lives. It also tends to its master’s home (much like a European brownie). It can not be killed by burning, drowning, or cutting it apart. The only way to be rid of it is to be devoured or to put it in a basket with gold and/or silver and set it out on the street to be picked up by a hapless person (who then has to care for it or be devoured)
  • Basilisk: you place a chicken egg under a toad and when it hatches, it’s a basilisk. (Some versions specify the type of chicken, egg, and/or toad)
  • Ikiryo: from the Tale of Genji (so not a great source for original myths)
  • Galatea: was a statue of a woman carved by Pygmalion. She was turned human when he prayed to Aphrodite
  • Snow Maiden: there are several stories that fall into this type, but it’s usually parents building a child out of snow who becomes real.

There are others, though these were all we were able to come up with. If any of our followers have any other suggestions, please let us know!

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Story aesthetics: Japanese Snow white and Rose Red (Followed)-requested by @wormwoodandhoney

虎穴に入らずんば虎子を得ず ( If you do not enter the tiger’s cave, you will not catch its cub.)-Japanese Proverb

Once in that enchanted kingdom,there are two very special girls named Shiro-ko (Nana Komatsu) and Aka-ko (Emi Takei) ,they both loved each other and lived their lives quietly in that strange forest. Aka-ko longs for adventure beyond the peacefulness of the village as she absorbed herself with stories of wandering samurai batting youkais and women transformed into strange creatures. On the other hand,Shiro-ko plays the koto,engulfing herself writing haikus about fleeting nature,for she was timid of the busy world that is beyond their village.

One day Shiro-ko could see in her dreams,a bear-like spirit whispered to them to move off from their comforts of home to find its owner. For she felt frightened by the calling of the bear spirit and thus whispered that little secret to Aka-Ko being intuitive could feel a spirit came from that creature wandering around their village. And thus their adventure begins,to search for the bear spirit that enter in their house,towards strange perils and dangers. However they are not alone as there are two mischievous guardian spirits rooted in their bodies since the day they are born (A Rabbit for Shiro and a Fox for Aka) , to guide these girls along the way. They just need a little nudge to go to the big and wide world.

anonymous asked:

Are there any myths involving crystals, gems, minerals, or rocks that give humans special powers?

What comes to mind are talismans and, in the Philippines, they’re specifically called anting-anting or agimat (agimat being more nature given vs man made and thus holding more power).

If they are mineral, it is often tektite or hematite. Sometimes, they are made of organic material and would often have something that resembles a powerful image imprinted on the surface of, for example, wood.

Although, it is more folklore than myth from what I know because it’s isn’t confined to a single story and it’s still being used in the Philippines today and you can buy them in Quiapo, Manila. There’s an anting-anting for every need and for every budget. This is a visual on the agimat, and this is a visual on the anting-anting.

The anting-anting contain religious/Christian-like imagery since they are also seen as powerful in the Philippines. The iconography of Christian images is indigenized and not always accurate to Christian doctrine— like baby Jesus on the first picture, lower left corner (who is naked and, if examined out of the picture, will have a fully erect penis. Otherwise known as “Santo Niño de Titi)


There are myths and superstitions surrounding a multitude of precious stones, although their influence isn’t usually enough to qualify as “special powers.” Mostly they’re just good for luck under certain circumstances (e.g., marriage, childbirth, travel, etc.) or as a preventative measure (e.g., animal attacks, natural disasters, or evil magic directed at the wearer, particularly the Evil Eye [everyone was terrified of the Evil Eye]).

  • Most red stones (carnelian, ruby, garnet) were considered protective against diseases or poisoning, either by actually negating the harm or discoloring in the presence of it.
  • Wearing amethyst protected against drunkenness, jade is still considered extremely lucky in China and Japan, and ruby was laid under foundations to prevent the building from collapsing, and agate could grant invisibility.
  • Ancient Mayans implanted multiple precious gems in their teeth to allow them to better communicate with the gods while the Shan people of ancient Burma would sew rubies under their skin to protect them in battle.
  • Curved stones with a hole bored in the larger end, called magatama, feature heavily in early Japanese mythology, although they’re usually used as a trade item.
    • The main exception to this is the Yasakani no Magatama which is a part of the Imperial Regalia of Japan. It’s used in the enthronement  ceremony in combination with a sword and mirror to confer imperial power to the emperor.
  • Multiple Native American tribes of the American Southwest considered turquoise to be significant. Ojibwe dreamcatchers traditionally contain a spider made of the stone to catch and eat bad dreams. In the Acoma Pueblo creation myth, the Creator taught the people how to make turquoise and shell beads that would make the wearer attractive and beloved. The Apache attached pieces to their bows to improve their accuracy.

It should be remembered that in the ancient world, there wasn’t much of a definition of any kind of stone beyond it’s immediately observable properties (e.g., color and hardness), so a lot of precious stones were lumped together under one name or mistaken for one another.

Also, the meaning of a lot of gem names has gotten more specific over time so while sapphire now refers to the gem quality corundum it used to just be the Latin word for blue. SO if you’re looking for a specific type of stone being significant in the ancient world, you might be out of luck.

As a side-note, diamonds are not historically or mythologically significant in any way. Their association with love and courtship is entirely thanks to marketing efforts by the De Beers cartel to keep demand high. This would also be the same cartel that controls the production and supply of the literal tons of high quality diamonds that have been mined in South Africa so that prices stay high as well. 

-the Chorus

Finally made something new. Parody of the album art for Demon Days by Gorillaz, featuring Smite’s depictions of Amaterasu, Susano, Izanami, and Raijin. The Japanese text means “Demon Days”. Get it on a shirt here!

splatman7300  asked:

Are there any myths about half dragon half human creatures? Something similar to like a werewolf in that it shapeshifts?

It would depend how fast and loose you wanted to play with the definition of ‘shifter’– Chinese, Korean, and Japanese myth all have dragons, and some can even take on human form to blend in (with varying degrees of success), but at the end of the day they’re very much dragons. There’s no human lineage involved. The shapeshifters in East Asian myth are overwhelmingly spirits, particularly fox demons.

The Chinese Dragon God is given a lot of flexibility in his appearance, varying from complete dragon form to human body with a dragon head. There’s also the Yellow Emperor, the legendary first ruler of China–he was so great that after his death he turned into an immortal dragon and ascended to heaven.

Other notable Chinese dragons are  Ryujin, the dragon god of the sea, and his daughter Otohime. Both of them are dragons that can transform into humans.

There is the first emperor of Japan, Jimmu, who is said to be descended from this line, so you could take creative license a bit here and include a shapeshifting aspect in the human lineage.

There’s also Kiyohime, a woman who fell in love with a travelling priest, but he spurned her so, in her rage, she transformed into a dragon and killed him.

There’s also the Lindworm Prince–it’s similar to Beauty and the Beast, but a bit scarier with a bit of the Twelve Swan Princes story tossed in. In the end, the guy is only able to shapeshift once, but there’s room to play with the story,

-the Chorus

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The Kaikidan Ekotoba, a nineteenth century Japanese handscroll of uncertain authorship, is a seemingly inexhaustible source of strange creatures.  Here are four interesting scans that I haven’t seen on Tumblr.

On the left are two unrelated monsters of Fukuoka, Kyushu: A blob of soft flesh suspected of being a shapeshifting Tanuki, and a dog-bird hybrid.

The center illustration is a man-eating cave said to be located somewhere in the Aso Mountain Range of Kyushu.

On the right is a fanciful portrait of a real animal, the Ezo wolf.  This subspecies was extant in a limited range when the scroll was written, but the last known member died in 1889.  There are still occasional sightings reported in rural Hokkaido.

Lastly, there’s a great big angry fish seen off the coast of Hokkaido.

Fiend Daisoujou

A Buddhist monk who had followed the practice known as ‘Sokunshinbutusu’ that was often practiced in the ‘Yamagata’ region of Japan by those who ascribed to the religious sect of Shingon.

According to legend, a monk would slowly starve himself from over three thousand days to ten years. All that they would eat to survive were things that grew on trees, such as pine needles, seeds, berries, nuts, resin and even tree bark. Some monks would even go so far as to eat just stones. This diet would cause the monk to lose all fat in the body and afterwards, would eventually stop drinking which would shrivel their skin.

Then they would entomb themselves into a small burial chamber with a small bell and a tube for breathing. If the bell rang once a day, the monk was alive. But if it did not ring, the tube was removed and the chamber sealed. The monks would often die while meditating and chanting a sutra. Sometime later, the body would be exhumed and if found to be preserved, would be venerated and worshiped.

It is said that hundreds of monks would attempt this over the years, but as of the current year, only twenty eight monks were found to have been successful.

Eventually the practice would be banned in the 19th century. The term Daisōjō was the name for the highest rank of priesthood in Japanese Buddhism.

In the folklore of the japanese island of Kyushu, the Nurikabe is the ‘wall poltergeist’. It appears as a large white wall in front of people who are out walking about late at night. If you try to pass the wall it will fall on you and crush you. If you turn and run from it it will reappear in front of you. The only way to escape is to hit the bottom of the wall with a stick, and it will disappear. 

Waniguchi is a tsukumogami which comes from the circular, hollow bells found at shrine entrances which are rung when praying to the shrine’s gods. When one of these bells becomes a yokai, it sprouts a reptilian body and tail, and the bell becomes the creature’s head, opening and closing just like a real alligator’s mouth. 

The bells at shrines are called waniguchi due to the wide split along the bottom rim, which gives them the distinct look of an alligator’s mouth. This yokai first appeared in tsukumogami picture scrolls as a pun based off of the word for shrine bell.