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

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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

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.

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EAST ASIAN MYTHOLOGY MEME:

[3/8] JAPANESE GODS AND GODDESSES | AMATERASU

Amaterasu [天照], Amaterasu-ōmikami or Ōhirume-no-muchi-no-kami is a part of the Japanese myth cycle and also a major deity of the Shinto religion. She is the goddess of the sun, but also of the universe. 

In Japanese mythology, Amaterasu, the goddess of the sun, is the sister of Susanoo, the god of storms and the sea, and of Tsukuyomi, the god of the moon. It was written that Amaterasu had painted the landscape with her siblings to create ancient Japan. She became the ruler of the sun and the heavens along with her brother, Tsukuyomi, the god of the moon and ruler of the night. Originally, Amaterasu shared the sky with Tsukuyomi, her husband and brother until, out of disgust, he killed the goddess of food, Uke Mochi. This killing upset Amaterasu, causing her to label Tsukuyomi an evil god and to split away from him; separating night from day.

There is also a long-standing rivalry between Amaterasu and her other brother, Susanoo. When he was to leave Heaven by orders of Izanagi, he went to bid his sister goodbye. Amaterasu was suspicious, but when Susanoo proposed a challenge to prove his sincerity, she accepted. Each of them took an object of the other’s and from it birthed gods and goddesses. Amaterasu birthed three women from Susanoo’s sword while he birthed five men from her necklace. Claiming the gods were hers because they were born of her necklace, she decided that she had won the challenge. The two were content for a time, but her brother became restless and went on a rampage, destroying Amaterasu’s rice fields, hurling a flayed pony at her loom, and killing one of her attendants in a fit of rage. Amaterasu, who was in fury and grief, hid inside the Ama-no-Iwato (“heavenly rock cave”), thus effectively hiding the sun for a long period of time. The world, without the illumination of the sun, became dark. The gods could not lure Amaterasu out of her hiding place until the goddess of dawn, Ame-no-Uzume, was able to trick her into reappearance.

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

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

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.

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

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!

MYTHOLOGY MEME || Legendary Creatures (3/8) Kitsune

In Japanese mythology, Kitsune are fox yōkai. One group of Kitsune, known as zenko, are benevolent servants of Inari Ōkami, the god of agriculture, fertility, rice, sake, and tea. The other group, yako, on the other hand, range from mischievous to outright malicious.

All Kitsune are said to have the ability to shapeshift, which the yako use to their advantage. Their favorite guise is as a beautiful woman, though they can choose any form they wish. Another common folk belief is that rain during sunny weather is a sign of a wedding of two Kitsune.

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. 

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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.

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.