The Yokai of the Pandemic: Amabie

The first time I heard of the amabie trend was when one of my favorite origami artists posted a how-to-fold video on making an amabie (Go check out kamikey origami they're amazing!). My response was, of course, what they hell is this mermaid frog looking thing? And then I promptly yeetus deletus-ed the info from... Continue Reading →

Japanese Monsters: Gashadokuro (餓者髑髏)

One of the most famous ukiyo-e prints in the modern world (that was not by Hokusai) is Utagawa Kuniyoshi's trifold Takiyasha the Witch and the Skeleton Specter. The "skeleton specter" in the print is none other than the yokai known as Gashadokuro Demon Creation The basic recipe for a Gashadokuro is 1. A lot of... Continue Reading →

Okami Series: Orochi

Okami, to me, is the best video game of all time. I got the PS2 version in 5th grade and have logged hundreds of hours on it and played it through completely countless times. Art, music, story - I love it all. But one of the things I super love about it is all the... Continue Reading →

Japanese Monsters: からかさーおばけ

からかさーおばけ, or からかさーこぞう are abandoned umbrellas/parasols, that are angry at being abandoned. These demons are part of a category called つくもがみ, or a household object that has been around for 100 years and came to life. What they Look Like: Karakasa obviously look like umbrellas, but with the addition of one eye, a long tongue,... Continue Reading →

Japanese Monsters: 招き猫

まねきねこ translates to “beckoning cat” but is often also called “fortune cat” or “money cat” This friendly kitty is popular in both Japanese and Chinese cultures, but I’ll focus on the Japanese influences. Symbolism:   Have you ever looked closely at which paw is raised on a lucky cat? It actually makes a difference. The left... Continue Reading →

Japanese Monsters: かっぱ

What is a kappa? Basically, it’s a Japanese turtely-froggy type demon thing. Here’s a breakdown of kappas in Japanese culture. What they Look Like: Kappas are about the size of a small child and are covered in scales. Some also say they have beaks (what, are they ducks now?) They have webbed feet, turtle-like shells... Continue Reading →

Japanese Monsters: 狸

The tanuki, or raccoon-dog, is a weird little creature. Like a lot of Japanese legends, the legends of the tanuki is somewhat based in truth - in this case, the tanuki actually exists. Look at that guy! So damn fluffy. What they Look Like: The legendary tanuki looks a lot different than the actual tanuki.... Continue Reading →

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