2010-10-30

Creepy Critters.

It's Hallowe'ene'ene'en and I still have a ton of Yōkai to get through, so I thought I'd intersperse some of the various creepy crawlers, critters and creatures with the latest of my Junior High School kids' creations. The first of the kids' drawings is the eeriest (I gotta show this one to the school's psychiatrist) and I'll end with the cutest.
オゴメ (Ogome) looks like a screaming marble, she is also known as 姑獲鳥 (Ubumedori). It's the spirit of a woman that died giving birth, and she caries around with her the baby as well. She will ask passers-by to hold on to her baby for a sec, and the baby suddenly grows heavier and heavier in the poor victims hands, until it's so heavy the victim dies.
Remember that Tweety cartoon where he accidentally swallows the Jekyll/Hyde potion? That's what the キジムナー (Kijimuna=Okinawan Sprite) look like as portrayed by Mizuki, but they are usually represented as little boys with bright red hair. Some say that only children or the pure of heart can see the kijimunaa. They are known for playing harmless pranks yet can also be helpful though quick to change their minds. They enjoy fishing and eating fish. The only thing they fear is the octopus.
In my best Jamaican Reggae voice, "Oh ya man, it's a  じゃみ (Jya-mi). FF to the end or listen to this guy talk about cicada.


Dragon my ass here, I'll present 龍 or 竜 (Ryu or tatsu), like other creatures referred to as dragons, the Ryū is a large, fantastic, serpent-like being, and is closely related to other Oriental dragons such as the Chinese lóng and the Korean ryong. Japanese dragons share a close connection with water and their association is focused primarily on the sea.
 Another Dragon-esque creature is the 出世螺 (Shusebora), who like Venus lives on a half-shell.
 Wearing a pair of glasses that'd put Dame Edna to shame, にょいじさい (Nyoi-Jizai) is a Yōkai spirit that means "as one wishes, completely free and unconstrained."
 "You like me, you really really like me!" proclaimed Sally Field after winning her Oscar for ノウマ (Nouma).
 黒髪切 (Kuro Kami-kiri) is a big black bear-like thing that cuts your hair without your knowledge.
If crows weren't scary enough in Japan as it is, wait until you meet やた烏 (Yata-Garasu) or Ghost Crows! The creature is a raven called 八咫烏 which is the bird of the sun goddess Amaterasu. The Yatagarasu appears in the Japanese ancient document called the Kojiki (古事記) where it was called upon to choke a beast attempting to devour the sun and as the protector to Emperor Jimmu. The three-legged version of the Yatagarasu is used as the emblem of the Japan Football Association today.
 猿神 (Saru-Gami) is a kind of Ape-god that isn't similar to any simian I know of, it was a wicked monkey spirit which was defeated by a dog.




Dudley Moore lusted after Bo Derek in てん (Ten) but I don't think he'd be so quick to seduce this pile of fiery weasels (いたち).

 Well, that's 10 creatures, I'll try and post a few more tomorrow. I have a busy weekend ahead of me, thank goodness there's a typhoon in town to help everything run smoothly!

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