Friday, May 29, 2009

Yokai Gallery 3

This is the third post on the yokai sculptures on the Mizuki Shigeru Road. Details in Yokai Gallery 1

miho6736

Salaryman Yamada is not, as far as I can tell, a yokai, but he is a character in Mizuki Shigeru's work, and is based on a friend of his.

miho6748

Omotogami is another name for Omotojin, also known as Kojin in neighboring Izumo. I was surprised to see it classified as a yokai as it is in fact a common kami in this part of the world. It is often known as an aragami, which is usuually translated as "rough deity", but I prefer the translation "turbulent deity", as it is a force of nature and quite capable of causing damage. More posts on Omoto here

miho6749

These are Shigeru's creation, Daruma and guts, and are based on the well-known Daruma, who was the Bodhidharma who brought Zen (Chan in Chinese) from India to China. In his common form he has no arms or legs as they have atrophied from years of sitting in meditation. In Shigeru's daruma, the little creatures are daruma's "guts", and if they are killed Daruma becomes weaker.
miho6755

Uwan is an invisible Yokai that inhabits old houses and temples. His shouts can only be heard inside the building. In the Edo period artists began painting images of various "invisible" yokai.

miho6758

Medama Oyaji is the father of Kitaro, Shigeru's most famous character. A ghost reborn as just an eyeball, the character is known as Daddy Eyeball in the english version. He loves to stay clean and is often found bathing in a bowl.

miho6759

Keukegen is completely covered in hair and is known to cause disease in humans. It inhabits damp, airless spaces, so the solution is to open windows and doors and allow some air circulation.

miho6761

Yamabiko is a tree spirit living in the mountains that creates the echoes you hear in the mountains.

miho6763

Syunobon is a yokai originally from Fukushima. When following you he appears human, but will startle you by reverting to his original form.

miho6772

Aonyoubou (Blue Wife) is a form of Goryu, an "angry ghost". The most famous Goryu is Michizane Sugawara, commonly known as Tennjin. Humans killed for political reasons are particularly prone to be angry ghosts.

2 comments:

  1. a fascinating series of posts. what's even more intriguing is that someone actually went through the effort to design and build all of those statues - was it financed through taxpayer money or by private contributions?

    ReplyDelete
  2. I don't know for sure, but strongly suspect its public money. But it worked!! the town has been revitalized and gets a lot of visitors.

    ReplyDelete

Related Posts with Thumbnails