Gold Balls

You want some good luck in your life?

Find yourself a tanuki

Those little bastards have balls               

Running around drinking and merrymaking

At all times of the day without a care in the world

There’s this old children’s tale that tells you all you need to know

Tan tan tanuki no kintama wa

Kaze mo nai no ni bura bura

You need to be careful because they’re hard to find

And even harder to catch

But it’s worth all the graft

They don’t call me golden balls for nothing


Lady Of The Snow

Have you heard the story of the yuki-onna?

The maiden with the heart as cold as ice

They say she preys on the souls of lost travellers

Leads them astray and devours their lifeforce

Cold bitches the lot of them

Well, maybe not all

I remember hearing about a yuki-onna

That fell in love with a one-legged man

Looking for his little brother on the mountain

In the middle of a blizzard in the dead of winter

Stupid? Stubborn? Suicide?

All the above

But the one-legged man dragged himself through an icy hell

To find his kin trapped in a cave

Some say the yuki-onna guided him

Others say she followed to test his resolve

But these are just rumours, you understand

Ghost stories, really

But I like to think that even ghosts

Remember what it’s like to be human

Japanese Mythology

The Hyakki Yagyo: How To Survive The Night Of One Hundred Demons

Japanese folklore is filled with all kinds of supernatural tales that have been passed down from generation to generation. Creatures like the tengu and kitsune are as complex as the stories that have spawned them. Perhaps one of the most significant events in Japanese folklore is the Hyakki Yagyo, otherwise known as the night parade of one hundred demons.

As a Japanese idiom, the Hyakki Yagyo represents the concept of utter pandemonium. It’s the breaking down of the barrier between the human and supernatural world. The time of evil spirits and tricksters running amok through the streets. Continue reading “The Hyakki Yagyo: How To Survive The Night Of One Hundred Demons”

Japanese Mythology

How The Role Of The Tengu Has Changed In Japanese Culture

Japanese folklore is filled with spirits and mythical creatures, and one of the most well-known beings is the tengu. Tengu are an important part of Shinto and Buddhism and form part of the yokai. Originally seen as demons, the importance of tengu have changed over time. Many people wear tengu masks and the image has been woven into popular culture. Yamato Magazine is looking into the history of the tengu to see what they are and their significance to Japanese culture. Continue reading “How The Role Of The Tengu Has Changed In Japanese Culture”

Japanese Mythology · Pop Culture and Japan

How Pokémon Reinvented Yokai For A Modern Generation

Japanese mythology is filled with all kinds of supernatural creatures and monsters, ranging from mischievous kitsune, which take the appearance of foxes, to demonic oni, that live in the mountains and look like trolls. In anime, it’s common for characters to be inspired by fantastical Japanese creatures, and a franchise that does it so well is Pokémon. A lot of Pokémon are based on mythical monsters and some of my favourites have been influenced by yokai, Japanese ghosts and phantoms.

Continue reading “How Pokémon Reinvented Yokai For A Modern Generation”