Sunday, March 28, 2010

Yokai Illustrations
Bake-kujira

"Long ago, a mysterious sea creature known as the bake-kujira (lit. “ghost whale”) used to appear at night in the waters around an island in Shimane prefecture. The thing looked like the skeleton of a giant whale, and it was usually accompanied by a flock of strange birds when it came drifting in with the tide. Later, when the tide started to recede, peculiar fish would become visible in the water around the monster. Fisherman trying to catch the bake-kujira claimed their harpoons passed through the creature as if it were not there."

Umi-bōzu

"Umi-bōzu are giant black bulbous beings that live in the sea. Sometimes they have glowing eyes and a beak, and other times they have no facial features at all. To survive an umi-bōzu encounter at sea, one should remain quiet and look in the opposite direction. Speaking or looking at the creature may send it into a rage — and that usually ends in tragedy."

Suiko

"The suiko (lit. “water tiger”) is a king-sized variety of kappa living in and around the Chikugo River (Kyushu), Lake Biwa (Shiga prefecture), and other bodies of water across Japan.

In addition to prowling around at night and making mischief, the suiko has the power to possess people. Those possessed by a suiko descend into a temporary state of madness, but they recover quickly after the creature withdraws.

At least once a year, the suiko drags a human victim into the water, sucks out his blood, and returns the body to shore. It is best not to have a funeral for the victim of a suiko attack. Instead, the body should be left on a wooden plank inside a small thatched hut in a field. If done properly, this course of action causes the flesh of the suiko perpetrator to slowly rot until it dies."

Quotes and images taken from a recent article at Pink Tentacle on Yokai illustrations. See more here.

More Yokai illustrations previously mentioned here.

No comments: