Thursday, April 3, 2008

* Obakemono from Japan *

An Obakemono a day!!! *_* "In Japanese, O is a prefix denoting respect, and bakemono literally means a changed thing - something perverted and altered and moved beyond its natural state - a monster."

"an impressive array of animated objects, transformed animals, ogres, demons, and human freaks is known collectively known as yōkai (yoh-kye), or bakemono (bah-keh-mo-no)."

Sekien Toriyama's 1776 "Hyakki Yakō" [Hundred Demon Night Parade]

Begining with: Zashiki-warashi 座敷童子 (ざしきわらし) Tatami Room Child

This child-like spirit is said to inhabit the inner rooms of old houses and other buildings. It often appears as a little girl but it can be a boy as well. Sometimes it plays with the children of the house, but it never lets the adults see it. Although it is fond of mischief, the zashiki-warashi is a beneficial little spook, and houses it lives in have extremely good fortune. This fortune quickly turns to disastrously bad luck, however, if the ghost child ever leaves.

and a little story from the proprietor of a Geta (style of shoe) shop in Morioka:

"The Story of Zashiki-warashi no getaThere is an old Legend that tells of "Zashiki-warashi", a children's lucky fairy, that lives in Iwate area of Japan. It is believed that if the zashiki-warashi comes to stay at a house then the family living there will have good luck in everything. I was told the following wonderful story from my father.Many years ago during a time in Japan when foreign shoe styles were becoming popular, Mr. Kunitaro was anxious about the future of the Japanese traditional shoe, the geta. He made many different styles of geta from his own ideas and his own work.One day in the winter, he was making geta in his workroom as usual, when he heard the sound that geta makes "karan-koron" coming from the direction of his shop. At first he thought, "a customer has come into my shop". He went out to his shop and looked but found no one there at all. He thought, "children must have been playing with my geta", but when he looked all the geta were in order. So, he finally thought it was just his imagination and returned to his workroom. Soon he heard the same sound of the geta, "karan-koron" out in the shop again. This time he thought at once that, "it must be "zashiki-warashi" doing this". He soon made some very cute geta for zashiki-warashi and offered them to the workshop's Shinto Alter. And then, very soon, his geta began to sell like hotcakes. His shop was prospering. I am sure zashiki warashi wanted to wear them because they are so cute.Since then, this geta style is called "zashiki-warashi geta" and will bring good fortune with the sound that the geta makes, "karan-koron". They have been displayed in the Jojo's shop windows as a talisman. Put them at the front door of your home and they will bring good luck.
Notes: The word "karan-koron" is the Japanese sound-word for the particular sound that geta make when someone is walking in them."

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