Kodama

Kodama
Depiction in the Gazu Hyakki Yagyo.

Kodama

Kodama (木魅, Tree-Spirit) is a type of Yōkai, which dwell in trees.

Toriyama Sekien states in his work Gazu Hyakki Yagyō that:

It is said that ancient trees have kami that reveal themselves.
百年の樹には神ありてかたちをあらはすといふ.

Sekien’s depicts these beings as an elderly couple carrying rakes and brooms, living in an intertwining pine tree.

These symbols are signs of longevity and prosperity, popularised in the Noh Play Takasago.

Noh Play – Takasago

In this Noh play. The Takasago Pine is considered one of a pair with the Sumino-e Pine growing in distant Sumiyoshi, together they are known as Aioi-no-matsu (paired pines). The play’s protagonist, a Shinto Priest encounters an elderly couple sweeping up needles under a tree. The old man explains that pine trees live for a thousand years, then revealing he and his wife are manifestations of the souls of the paired trees.1

External Links

Footnotes

1. Yoda, H. and Alt, M. (2016) “Japandemonium: Illustrated: The Yokai Encyclopaedia of Toriyama Sekien.”. New York: over Publications, Inc.

List of Supernatural Creatures

Abura akago * Aka Manto * Akaname * Akashita * Amefuri Kozo * Amikiri * Aōbozu * Aonyobo * Aosagi no hi * Buruburu * Chochin bi * Funa Yurei * Furaribi * Furutsubaki no rei * Gaikotsu * Ganbari Nyudo * Gagoze * Gensuke * Haka no hi * Hannya * Hashi-Hime * Hiderigami * Hikeshi baba * Hitodama * Hitotsume Kozō * Hiyoribo * Hone Onna * Hyōsube * Ikiryō * Inugami * Jorōgumo * Kamaitachi * Kamikiri * Kappa * Kasha * Katawa Guruma * Kawa Akago * Kawauso * Kitsunebi * Kejoro * Kodama * Kosenjo no hi * Kurozuka * Makurageishi * Mikoshi * Nekomata * Noderabō * Nopperabo * Nuppeppō * Nurarihyon * Nureonna * Nuribotoke * Nyūnai Suzume * Obariyon * Okiku * Ōmagatoki * Oni * Onmoraki * Osakabe * Otoroshi * Ouni * Rokurokubi * Sakabashira * Samebito * Sansei * Sarakozoe * Satori * Seta * Shirachigo * Shiranui * Shōkera * Shuten-dōji * Sōgenbi * Suiko * Takaonna * Tamamo-no-mae * Tanuki * Tenasobi * Tenjō-Kudari * Tengu * Tenome * Teratsutsuki * Tesso * Tōfu Kozō * Tsurubebi * Ubagabi * Ubume * Umibozū * Umizatō * Ushinotoki-mairi * Ushioni * Uwan * Waira * Wani * Wanyudo * Yamabiko * Yamauba * Yamawarawa * Yanari * Yukionna * Zenki and Goki

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