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Yamato Monogatari

Yamato Monogatari

Yamato Monogatari The Yamato Monogatari (大和物語, Tales of Yamato) is a 10th Century monogatari. Poets The poet Henjo is mentioned within the text, with many stories about his many lovers and religious conversations that he had included inside.2 Supernatural Creatures Within its texts it discusses the Yōkai known as the[...]

Toriyamabiko

Toriyamabiko

Toriyamabiko The Toriyamabiko (鳥山彦 – Sekien’s Echoes) is an Art Book published in the Spring of 1774 by Toriyama Sekien, the title invoking the name of the Yōkai creature the Yamabiko. The book introduces the art style of fuki-bokashi, which allowed artists to more easily add color gradations to woodblock[...]

Kasha

Kasha

Kasha The Kasha (火車) is a Yōkai depicted in the Gazu Hyakki Yagyō by Toriyama Sekien, a description of encountering this creature is described in the Bōsō Manroku. It describes the creature as appearing at funerals, heralded by winds so great they could knock over mourners and take the coffin[...]

Bōsō Manroku

Bōsō Manroku

Bōsō Manroku The Bōsō Manroku (茅窓漫録, The Musings of Bōsō) is a 1833 book written by Chihara Kyosai under the pen name of Bōsō. The book contains a description of the Yōkai Spirit known as the Kasha, describing a typical encounter with the creature during a funeral.1 External Links View[...]

Kachi-Kachi Yama

Kachi-Kachi Yama

  See also: List of Folktales Kachi-Kachi Yama Kachi-Kachi Yama (かちかち山) also known as The Farmer and the Badger is a Folktale about a Rabbit and a Badger. Synopsis There was an old farmer and his wife whose neighbour was a mischievous Badger, who would come into his land and[...]

Dragon King’s Palace in Lake Biwa

Dragon King’s Palace in Lake Biwa

Co-ordinates: N/A (Mythical) Region: Kansai Region Prefecture: Shiga Prefecture The Dragon King’s Palace The Dragon King’s Palace (龍宮城) is the home of The Dragon King, located at the bottom of Lake Biwa. It is noted in the Folktale My Lord Bag of Rice that it is ‘beautiful’ and ‘built of[...]

Mount Mikami

Mount Mikami

Co-ordinates: 35.0503°N 136.0378°E Region: Kansai Region Prefecture: Shiga Prefecture Height: 432 m. Mount Mikami Mount Mikami (三上山) is a mountain within Shiga Prefecture. It is mentioned as the home of The Giant Centipede Seta in the Japanese Folktale My Lord Bag of Rice where Fujiwara Hidesato kills the Giant Centipede[...]

Seta

Seta

Creature type: Centipede Home: Mount Mikami Seta Seta is a creature, more specifically a Giant Centipede, known from the Folktale My Lord Bag of Rice living on Mount Mikami, described as having eyes that glowed like two balls of fire, its body so big its body wrapped around the mountain[...]

Lake Biwa

Lake Biwa

Co-ordinates: 35°20′N 136°10′E Region: Kansai Region Prefecture: Shiga Prefecture Depth: 104 metres. Lake Biwa Lake Biwa (琵琶湖) is a lake within Shiga Prefecture. The Seta-no-Karashi Bridge is built on the lake.1 According to Buddhist tradition, Mount Fuji rose from the earth in 286 BC after an earthquake that also created[...]

Seta no Karashi Bridge

Seta no Karashi Bridge

Co-ordinates: Region: Kansai Region Prefecture: Shiga Prefecture Seta no Karashi Bridge Seta no Karashi Bridge is a bridge over Lake Biwa. It is featured in the Japanese Folktale My Lord Bag of Rice where Fujiwara Hidesato walks over the body of a dragon lying asleep across it who later reveals[...]

The Dragon King of Lake Biwa

The Dragon King of Lake Biwa

Creature type: Dragon Home: Palace at the bottom of Lake Biwa The Dragon King The Dragon King also called the Dragon King of the Lake is a Dragon known from the tale My Lord Bag of Rice living in a Palace at the bottom of Lake Biwa, described as having[...]

Fujiwara Hidesato

Fujiwara Hidesato

Period: Heian Period Occupation: Chinjufu-shōgun, Governor Family: Fujiwara no Uona (ancestor) Fujiwara no Murao (father) Birth: – Death: – Fujiwara Hidesato Fujiwara Hidesato (藤原 秀郷) also known as Tawara Tōda (俵藤太)3 is included in the Folktale My Lord Bag of Rice. He is noted to have had the nature of[...]

Sado Island

Sado Island

Co-ordinates: 38°1′N 138°22′E Region: Chūbu Region Prefecture: Niigata Prefecture Sado Island Sado Island (佐渡ヶ島, Marsh Paddy Isle) was, according to the Kojiki, the seventh island born after the Great Land of Eightfold Isles.1 The Nihongi also has this island as one of original Eightfold Isles. Though differs in saying it[...]

Kyushu

Kyushu

Co-ordinates: 33°N 131°E Prefectures: Fukuoka Prefecture, Kagoshima Prefecture, Kumamoto Prefecture, Miyazaki Prefecture, Nagasaki Prefecture, Oita Prefecture, Okinawa Prefecture, Saga Prefecture Kyushu Kyushu (九州, Nine Provinces) also called Tsukushi (筑紫島, Lands End) in the kojiki and nihongi is one of the four main islands of Japan, the islands older name of[...]

Emperor Keikō

Emperor Keikō

Reign: 71-130AD Period: Legendary Period Family: Emperor Suinin (father) Hibasuhime (mother) Yasakairihime (wife) Emperor Seimu (son) many children see below Burial place: – Order of Succession: Predecessor Emperor Suinin * Successor Emperor Seimu Emperor Keikō Emperor Keikō (景行天皇) was the twelfth Emperor of Japan also known as Ōtarashihiko Oshirowake no Mikoto[...]

Emperor Sujin

Emperor Sujin

Reign: 97-30BC Born: 148BC Period: Legendery Period Family: Emperor Kaika (father) Ikagashikome (mother) Many wives and children see below. Burial place: misasagi in Isonokami Order of Succession: Predecessor Emperor Kaika * Successor Emperor Suinin Emperor Sujin Emperor Sujin (崇神 天皇) was the 10th Emperor of Japan also known as Mimakiiribikoiniye (御眞木入日子印恵命)1[...]

Enryaku-ji

Enryaku-ji

Co-ordinates: 35°04′14″N 135°50′28″E Region: Kansai Region Prefecture: Shiga Prefecture Founded: 788AD Affiliation: Buddhism Enryaku-ji Enryaku-ji (延暦寺) is a Buddhist Temple overlooking Kyoto. The temple itself is build upon Mount Hiei, situated in the old Province of Omi. Built during the Heian Period, the temple gained control of many estate lands[...]

Miidera

Miidera

Co-ordinates: 35°00′48″N 135°51′10″E Region: Kansai Region Prefecture: Shiga Prefecture Founded: 672AD Affiliation: Buddhism Miidera (三井寺,御井寺) is a Buddhist Temple located close to Lake Biwa in Otsu city. Folktales It is mentioned in the Japanese Folktale My Lord Bag of Rice. According to the story, Fujiwara Hidesato donated a bell to[...]

Raigō

Raigō

Birth: – Death: – Period: Heian Period Occupation: Buddhist Monk Raigō Raigō was a Buddhist monk who lived during the reign of Emperor Shirakawa, residing at Mii-dera. During his lifetime he was tasked by Shirakawa to pray for the safe birth of his son, with the promise of his temple[...]

Onmyōdō

Onmyōdō

Onmyōdō Onmyōdō (陰陽道) is a concept in Japan which used the ideoogy of Ying and Yang which originated in China. Emperor Richū (400-406AD) is said to have died from a lack of harmony in the ‘elements of water and earth’ within him showing that the concept of Ying and Yang[...]

Furaribi

Furaribi

Furaribi The Furaribi (ふらり火) (Wander-Flame), also known as the Burari-bi, is a type of Yōkai depicted in the Gazu Hyakki Yagyō by Toriyama Sekien. The word ‘furari’ meaning to wander without a destination. The Yōkai appears, similarly depicted, in the Hyakkai Zukan by Sawaki Sūshi shown as a white bird-like[...]

Kamikiri

Kamikiri

Kamikiri The Kamikiri (髪切り) (Hair Cutter) is a type of Yōkai depicted in the Hyakkai Zukan by Sawaki Sūshi.1 The image from the Hyakki Zukan shows a grey colored creatures, whose beak and hand resembles the blades of scissors, with a like for cutting hair. Other Depictions Footnotes 1. Yoda,[...]

Sawaki Sūshi

Sawaki Sūshi

Birth: – Death: – Period: Edo Period Occupation: Artist, Author Sawaki Sūshi Sawaki Sūshi (佐脇 嵩之) is the creator of the Hyakkai Zukan, a Yōkai scroll which inspired much of Toriyama Sekien’s first book on Yōkai.1 Footnotes 1. Yoda, H. and Alt, M. (2016) “Japandemonium: Illustrated: The Yokai Encyclopaedia of[...]

Hyakkai Zukan

Hyakkai Zukan

Hyakkai Zukan The Hyakkai Zukan (百怪図巻, Illustrated Creeps), published in 1737, is a collection of picture scrolls depicted various types of Yōkai created by Sawaki Sūshi. These images greatly inspired the Yōkai works of Toriyama Sekien, in fact Volume three of his work the Gazu Hyakki Yagyō consists entirely of[...]

My Lord Bag of Rice

My Lord Bag of Rice

See also: List of Folktales My Lord Bag of Rice My Lord Bag of Rice (俵藤太, Tawara Tōda) is a Japanese Folktale about Fujiwara Hidesato and The Dragon King. Synopsis Fujiwara, also known as Tawara Toda, wished for adventure and so one day set out. Reaching Seta-no-Karashi Bridge on Lake[...]

Gazu Hyakki Yagyō

Gazu Hyakki Yagyō

Gazu Hyakki Yagyō The Gazu Hyakki Yagyō (画図百鬼夜行), also called the Gazu Hyakki Yakō (The Illustrated Demon Horde’s Night Parade) is a compendium of Yōkai, demons and ghosts compiled by Toriyama Sekien, published in the Autumn of 1776. The books were inspired by the 10th Century Demon Horde’s Night Parade.[...]

Kurozuka

Kurozuka

Kurozuka The Kurozuka (黒塚) is a Yōkai depicted in the Gazu Hyakki Yagyō by Toriyama Sekien. She was also known as the Onibaba. This Yōkai is detailed in a 10th Century Poem in the Yamato Monogatari stating: At Kurozuka, in Adachi of Mutsu Province, lurks a demon, they say. Could[...]

Mutsu Province

Mutsu Province

See also: List of Provinces Mutsu Province Mutsu Province (陸奥国) is one of the many old Provinces of Japan. Originally known as Michinoku (陸奥 or 道奥) it was also known as Ōshu (奥州) or Rikushū and is categorized as one of the eight Tōsandō (Eastern Mountain Road) Provinces.12 The Province[...]

Emperor Jimmu

Emperor Jimmu

Reign: 660-584BC Period: Legendery Period Family: Emperor Suizei (son) Burial Place: Near Mount Unebi. Order of Succession: Predecessor N/A  * Successor Emperor Suizei Emperor Jimmu Emperor Jimmu (神武天皇) was the first legendary Emperor of Japan, dated in the Nihongi to have begun his rule on 11th February 660BC in Kashihara,[...]

Taiheiki

Taiheiki

Taiheiki The Taiheiki (太平記, Chronicle of Great Peace) is a 14th Century chronicle. Within it contains several mentionings to certian Yōkai. One is that of Raigō, a monk, who dies from hunger strike. This is the result of the Emperor Shirakawa reneging on a promise he had made, causing him[...]

Tesso

Tesso

Tesso Tesso (鉄鼠) is a Yōkai depicted in the Gazu Hyakki Yagyō by Toriyama Sekien. His tale is related in the Taiheiki. This Yōkai takes the form of a plague of rats created by the Monk Raigō after his spirit was reborn, dying from a hunger strike, the hunger strike[...]

Terajima Ryōan

Terajima Ryōan

Period: Edo Period Occupation: Dentist, Author, Artist Birth: – Death: Terajima Ryōan Terajima Ryōan (寺島良安) was an Osaka Dentist but also was the creator of the Wakan Sansai Zue which would later greatly inspire Toriyama Sekien in his depictions of Yōkai. He spent years cataloguing Chinese information on astronomy, botany,[...]

Wakan Sansai Zue

Wakan Sansai Zue

Wakan Sansai Zue The Wakan Sansai Zue (和漢三才図会 – Illustrated Sino-Japanese Encyclopedia of the Three Realms) was published around 1712, and created by Terajima Ryōan. Toriyama Sekien was greatly inspired by this book for his Yōkai.1 Yōkai mentioned in the book include: Amanozako – Describes her appearance as a mix[...]

Mononobe no Moriya

Mononobe no Moriya

Period: Asuka Period Occupation: – Family: – Birth: – Death: – Mononobe no Moriya Mononobe no Moriya (物部 守屋) was head of the Mononobe Clan during the reign of Emperor Sushun. He, not wishing to have Sushun on the throne, and to promote a different candidate, ended up in a[...]

Yatagarasu

Yatagarasu

Yatagarasu The Yatagarasu or Sun Crow (八咫烏) is noted to be a sign from the divine in Shinto mythology. One instance has the Sun Crow being sent to Emperor Jimmu after he and his men reached an impasse during their military exploits. Amaterasu the Sun-Goddesses told him in a dream[...]

Sacred Regalia

Sacred Regalia

See also: Divine Treasures Sacred Regalia The Sacred Regalia (三種の神器) are the three Sacred Items of the Imperial Throne, consisting of the Sword Kusanagi (草薙劍), the Jewel Yasakani no Magatama (八尺瓊勾玉) and the Mirror Yata no Kagami (八咫鏡). The Sacred Regalia is known to have been given by Amaterasu to[...]

Shikoku

Shikoku

Co-ordinates: 33°45′N 133°30′E Prefecture: Ehime Prefecture, Kagawa Prefecture, Kochi Prefecture, Tokushima Prefecture. Shikoku Shikoku (四国, Four Provinces) also historically called Iyo (伊予, Land of Groves) in the kojiki and nihongi is one of the four main islands of Japan. Mythical Creation According to both the kojiki and the nihongi this[...]

Susano-o

Susano-o

Affiliation: Shinto Kami of: Yomi Family: Amaterasu (sister) Tsukiyomi (brother) Ōkuninushi (son) Takiribime (daughter) Ichikishimahime (daughter) Takitsuhime (daughter) Ōkuninushi (descendant) Numerous other decendants Susano-o Susano-o (須佐之男), also called Hayasusano-o2, is known to be the father of Ōkuninushi and brother to the Sun Amaterasu and Moon Tsukiyomi. He rules over Yomi[...]

Shinto

Shinto

Shinto Shinto (神道) is one of the main relgions of Japan and is native to the country. Founding Mythology Founding Kami See also: List of Shinto Kami. The original three kami of Shinto which appeared when Heaven and Earth formed, as related in the Kojiki were known as follows:1 Amenominakanushi[...]

Nihongi

Nihongi

Nihongi The Nihongi (日本紀 – Japanese Chronicles) also called the Nihon Shoki (日本書紀 – The Chronicles of Japan) is one of the oldest documents we have concerning early and mythological Japanese history. Creation and Sources The document was completed in AD7201, however, its inception may have begun in AD714 when[...]

Yamawarawa

Yamawarawa

Yamawarawa The Yamawarawa (山童, Mountain Boy) is a type of Yōkai also know as the Yamawaro. The creature finds its origins in China in the 2nd Century Shenji Jing (Classic of Divine Marvels), first introduced into Japan in the Wakan Sansai Zue which gives the older name Yamawaro. The books[...]

Yamauba

Yamauba

Yamauba The Yamauba (山姥, Mountain Hag), also know as the Yamamba is a common bogey woman in children’s literature depicted in the Gazu Hyakki Yagyō. You can see where these creatures dwell as the height the clouds are upon the mountains shows how high they are currently living on their[...]

Yamabiko

Yamabiko

Yamabiko The Yamabiko (幽谷響, Mystical Valley Echo) is a type of Yōkai depicted in the Gazu Hyakki Yagyō. It is also is a common term for the echoing sounds in mountains and canyons. Toriyama Sekien depicts him as a monkey-like creature. Normally the Characters for ‘Mountain’ and ‘Boy’ are used,[...]

Tengu

Tengu

Tengu The Tengu (天狗) are a type of Yōkai depicted as a type of Raven in the Gazu Hyakki Yagyō. They have deep associations with the Shugendō Religion, seen as guardians of Mountains and some legends state that martial artists such as Miyamoto no Yoshitsune learned their tricks from these[...]

Tanuki

Tanuki

Tanuki The Tanuki (狸) (Racoon-Dog) is a type of Yōkai which is also a real-life animal. Folklore says it is a notorious trickster. Later portrayals of the Yōkai depict it with large testicles. Toriyama Sekien in his work, the Gazu Hyakki Yagyō, depicts the creature on hind legs, drumming its[...]

Nekomata

Nekomata

Nekomata The Nekomata (猫股 – Forked Cat) is a type of Yōkai in the form of a cat, depicted in the Gazu Hyakki Yagyō and Hyakkai Zukan. According to the legend, when a cat reaches a certain age it gains the ability to talk, walk on hind legs and its tail[...]

Kodama

Kodama

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[...]

Kitsunebi

Kitsunebi

Kitsunebi The Kitsunebi (狐火) (Fire-Fox) is a type of Yōkai said to have visited the Ōji Inari Shrine on the last day of the year. Foxes normally shapeshift by placing a human bone between their teeth. Once there they would exhale fire from their nose and mouths, people watching this[...]

Kawauso

Kawauso

Kawauso The Kawauso (獺, River Otter) is a type of Japanese Yōkai depicting by Toriyama Sekien in the Gazu Hyakki Yagyō. This creature is known to be a trickster and shapeshifter, able to take on human form, especially that of a beautiful woman who would try to bewitch unwary travellers.[...]

Kappa

Kappa

Kappa The Kappa (河童), also noted by Toriyama Sekien as being called the Kawatarō and Kawa-warawa is a type of Japanese Yōkai depicted in the Gazu Hyakki Yagyō. They are distinctive as frog-type men, with tortoise shell backs and a water-filled depression on the top of their heads. Spilling the[...]

Kamaitachi

Kamaitachi

Kamaitachi The Kamaitachi (窮奇) (Sickle-Weasel) is a type of Yōkai involving a mysterious phenomenon where a sudden whirlwind will nip at your skin. The creature depicted by Toriyama Sekien in the Gazu Hyakki Yagyō uses the Chinese Characters for a different creature called the Kyūki. One Chinese text called the[...]

Inugami

Inugami

Inugami and Shirachigo The Inugami (犬神, Dog kami) is a type of Yōkai depicted in the Gazu Hyakki Yagyō alongside the creature Shirachigo (白児, White Child). The Inugami is also seen in the Hyakkai Zukan. The Inugami has associations with Western Japan and the island of Shikoku, here venerated as[...]

Akaname

Akaname

Akaname The Akaname (垢嘗) (Filth Licker) is a type of Yōkai depicted in the Gazu Hyakki Yagyō. Noted to have red skin as the word ”aka” for filth is also the word for red. Additionally, it is the colour one is when getting out of a hot bathtub. The creatures[...]

Amikiri

Amikiri

Amikiri The Amikiri (網剪) (Net-Cutter) is a type of Yōkai, with the ”Ami” part of its name meaning both net and being a type of shrimp-like crustacean. The creature depicted by Toriyama Sekien in the Gazu Hyakki Yagyō appears to have a preference to cutting mosquito-netting.1 External Links View the[...]

Adachi

Adachi

Region: Tohoku Region Prefecture: Fukushima Prefecture Co-ordinates: 37°36′26.4″N 140°27′40.5″E Adachi Adachi (安達) is a village located within Fukushima Prefecture. Historically, it was located within Mutsu Province. A 10th Century document entitled the Yamato Monogatari mentions the village within a poem, stating it is the home of the Yōkai known as[...]

Toriyama Sekien

Toriyama Sekien

Birth: 1712 Death: 1788 Period: Edo Period Occupation: Artist Toriyama Sekien Toriyama Sekien (鳥山 石燕) was born 1712 and died 1788. Most notably known for his four compendiums on the Yōkai he was the first person to systematically categorise them. He was born Sano Toyofusa and was part of the[...]

Amaterasu

Amaterasu

Affiliation: Shinto Kami of: The Sun Family: Izanami? (mother) Susano-o (brother) Tsukiyomi (brother) Ninigi (grand-son) Ōkuninushi (nephew) Amenooshihomimi (son) Amenohohi (son) Amatsuhikone (son) Ikutsuhikone (son) Kumanokusubi (son) Amaterasu Amaterasu (天照 – Heaven Shining) also known as Ōhirume-no-muchi-no-kami (大日孁貴神) is the Sun kami of Shinto, born in some accounts from the kami[...]