2009-10-31

Happy All Hallow's Eve!

Last night's Echophonyk gig had about 200 happy souls imbibing and exulting in all things spooky and eerie but tonight is our big party at Club Droom and we hope to top that! We do though have competition from Shaft (HipHop), ADD (Techno), Bar Isn't It (crappy dance music) & Club Ghetto (who knows?**). I hope the foreboding clouds don't impede people from partaking in this evening's festivities, there is plenty of choice out there for the party-goer...I fervently hope you choose us!
(**More about this gig tomorrow...)

Thanks to everyone who read my blog during the Countdown, if you are at home sick with the Zombie Flu, just sit back, click on that link and enjoy the various participants' entries. Or you can send one of the following (and more) Halloween e-cards to the Ghoul of your dreams.







2009-10-30

That's Snow Woman, That's My Wife!

I'm off to a Halloween Party at Shaft (mainly to promo my Halloween Party tomorrow) so I don't have much time. Thus I'm providing you a story from my vault. I'll take some photos, believe you me, my costume is very scary...

雪女 Yuki-Onna ("snow woman")
other names: Yuki-jorō 雪女郎 (Snow Prostitute), Yuki-onago 雪女子 (Snow Girl), Yuki-hime 雪姫 (Snow Princess), Yuki-nyōbō 雪女房 (Snow Wife), Yuki-anesa 雪姉さ (Snow Sister), Yuki-banba 雪バンバ, Shikkenken シッケンケン
Yuki-Onna is a ghost from Japanese folklore. She appears as a woman in a pure white robe and unbound hair, and usually appears with no feet (all obvious signs that she is a ghost). In some stories there is a splattering of blood on her robe that is visible. This ghost is only seen when it is snowing, which, with her pale white skin, all but obscures her from view.
There have been many stories about Yuki-Onna in both written and oral form. The most common in Japan tells that Yuki-Onna is the ghost of a pregnant woman who has died in the snow, and in these tales she is sometimes seen carrying a baby. In others, she is known to kidnap children. Another theme common to other yôkai and bakemono, Yuki-onna sometimes asks a passerby to hold her child, only for them to find that it has grown incredibly heavy, and thus immobilized, the Yuki-Onna's unfortunate victim freezes to death. In other stories the Yuki-Onna will kill through her icy breath.
Often, Yuki-onna will appear to a human man and, disguising her ghostly nature, become his wife and have many children with him. These marriages, as is true with most supernatural marriages in Japanese folklore, do not tend to end well. In some cases the husband disobeys a request from his wife which causes her to leave him, or else the Yuki-onna will melt as soon as the spring's warmth comes.
A female apparition sometimes encountered on snowy nights, usually described as having white hair or skin, being cold to the touch, or otherwise being similar to the frigid winter landscape.

A early description of the snow woman is found in the Sōgi Shokoku Monogatari (宗祇諸国物語, c. 1690). The author describes an experience in which he caught sight of a strange woman on the edge of a bamboo grove, about twenty years of age, wearing a white unlined kimono and with skin so pale as to be transparent, and a full (~10 ft/3.3m) in height.

Although she is often thought to come out during snowstorms or during a full moon, in some regions the snow woman is said to make her appearance on a fixed date. In Iwate Prefecture's Tōno area she appears on koshōgatsu (January 15th), and in Aomori Prefecture's Nishitsugaru District she shows up on New Year's Day and leaves on the first day of February.

The yuki-onna is considered the spirit of the snow itself, or perhaps the ghost of a woman who died in a snowstorm, but according to one source, the yuki-jorō of the Oguni area of Yamagata Prefecture is believed to have originally been a princess of the moon. Tiring of life in the heavens, this lunar maiden descended on a snowfall to investigate the earth, only to discover she could no longer return to the sky. She still appears on moonlit nights when the snow is deep.

Although she may have originated as a heavenly being, this same yuki-jorō is considered to be an abductor of children, and she always has a great number of her adopted brood with her. The snow woman is often used to admonish children who stay out too long after dark or who cry at night, as this chilly surrogate mother will surely find them and spirit them away.

Other yuki-onna are even more menacing; the snow woman of Niigata Prefecture causes people to freeze to death and tears the livers out of living children (OUCH!), in Iwate and Miyagi she can pull out your soul, and in Ibaraki she calls out to passers-by and pushes them into ravines if she is ignored. In Aomori she takes on the character of the mother ghost called ubume, harassing people into holding her child, which then becomes so large as to crush the bearer.

Two Tales of the Yuki-Onna

Two woodcutters are traveling in the snow, when they take refuge in a ferryman's hut. While they are sleeping, a beautiful woman dressed all in white enters, and blows upon the older man while he is sleeping. Seeing this, the younger woodcutter prepares for death, only to find that she will spare him because of his good looks. But she warns him to never tell anyone of this encounter. A long time after, the young woodcutter meets a beautiful young woman whom he eventually marries. They have many children together, and one night while it is snowing he relates the tale of the Yuki-onna he met that day in the ferryman's hut. Hearing this, his wife leaves in anger, declaring that she was the very woman who spared his life. She leaves, letting him know that the only reason she is again sparing his life is for the sake of their children. She departs, turning into snow, and is never seen again.


Another written tale of a Yuki-onna finds an old man ready to go to sleep one winter's evening in 1833. A knocking sound is heard at his door, but he ignores it. A voice outside pleads to let it in, but still the man denies entry. He has no food or bedding, he says, but his guest desires only shelter. Still the man will not open the door. As he turned to go to bed, he discovered a beautiful young woman in his house, who is not wearing any geta. The young woman tells him that she has been gliding aroung in the snow, searching for the village where she had been married while she was alive. She is seeking this village, for she wishes to haunt her husband for leaving her father's after she had died. In the middle of the night, she leaves, and the next morning, curious about her story, the old man goes to the village and meets the husband of the young woman. Her ghost, the husband tells the young man, has been visiting him in his sleep, and he has finally decided to return to his father-in-law, to help him in his old age.


2009-10-29

Naughty Mars Attacks Follow-up.

I'd forgotten to include this a few days ago when I did my MA post. It may be the most NSFW expose since the days of the Penis Parade. My apologies to anyone too prudish to appreciate pics of buxom babes being blasted by bad-ass barbarians.









2009-10-28

Kyoryu Creatures!

Ya know the only thing better than Mars Attacks? Why Dinosaurs Attack, of course! When I was last home, I picked up a few sets featuring our 恐竜 comrades (kyoryu = dinosaur). The awesome series, Dinosaurs Attack, had just the right amount of mayhem to sate a bloodthirsty fanboy like me. Here's a smattering of cards from the series...



Oops, that wasn't right. Fear not Stout fellow, this'll do the trick!





Goofed again. This should do it.
See, a menagerie of Mesozoic Mega-Monsters.



Oh wait, those are just dinos hatched from a Kinder-esque choco-egg from Furuta!




Bingo! Here they are. Dinosaurs Attack!







2009-10-27

Kasei Katastrophe!

It's not Tim Burton's best, but I really like Mars Attacks! (Click for an awesome site!) Over the years over here, I'd managed to collect some of the toys, but I've listened to them so much, the sound chips are now out of energy. When I was home, I found a handful of Widevision Trading Cards but I couldn't find the couple of originals I own or the complete sets of Reprints I've amassed.




Here are some of the goodies for you:














Btw, 火星 = kasei = Mars.

2009-10-26

Freeze!

First up, welcome to a new follower, Shonen King who has a pretty nifty site that I'm sure I'll peruse from time to time.

Secondly, I'd like to offer up an apology to my students today for doubting the veracity of a story that they'd related to me. A few years ago (which turns out to be 15 years ago), a young Japanese lad on an exchange program to America was shot dead while Trick or Treating. I was presenting my annual Halloween lesson to them (click the pic on the right to check it out) but first I asked them what they knew of Halloween already. 2 or 3 regaled me with the story of 服部剛丈 Hattori Yoshihiro, the aforementioned victim of a trigger-happy New Orleans home owner. Their recollection of the story involved Yoshihiro Trick or Treating and when he approached a house, was shot when he refused to stop when the gun toting protectorate yelled, "Freeze!" The boy assumed he said, "Please" and continued on and was met with a bullet in the chest. You can follow the whole story here and you can see why I had my doubts about the tale. First, I'd assumed it took place on October 31st, not the 17th and he was Trick or Treating, not heading to a party. I doubted that anyone would fire upon an approaching lad regardless of how he was attired (even if he was in Travolta's Saturday Night Fever disco outfit), and I am pretty sure that only cops yell, "Freeze!", instead of a homeowner's cries of "Stop, Back off, Go away", etc. Guess I misunderestimated the enthusiasm of a gun-nut who doesn't realize that your average burglar doesn't ring the doorbell!
My heart goes out to 剛丈/Yoshihiro's
family whose efforts on gun control in the early 90's helped lead to the Brady Bunch Bill, so at least something positive came out of this ghastly incident.

Boy, that last paragraph really puts a damper on the joy of Halloween doesn't it? So instead, let's take a look at some photos of recent candy purchased and crap that I've won at UFO Catcher which will be used as prizes for Saturday's Arkane Radar party.














...I quite like Hangry & Angry and Gloomy the Naughty Grizzly!

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