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Old 02-02-2012, 10:51 AM
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Japanese Folklore.

The folklore of Japan is heavily influenced by both Shinto and Buddhism, the two primary religions in the country. It often involves humorous or bizarre characters and situations and also includes an assortment of supernatural beings, such as bodhisattva, kami (gods and revered spirits), yōkai (monster-spirits) (such as oni, kappa, and tengu), yūrei (ghosts), dragons, and animals with supernatural powers such as the kitsune (fox), tanuki (raccoon dog), mujina (badger), bakeneko (transforming cat), and baku (tapir), as well as sacred objects and possessed objects such as the tsukumogami.

Japanese folklore is often divided into several categories: mukashibanashi, tales of long ago; namidabanashi, sad stories; obakebanashi, ghost stories; ongaeshibanashi, stories of repaying kindness; tonchibanashi, witty stories; waraibanashi, funny stories; and yokubaribanashi, stories of greed. It also encompasses Yukar (ユーカラ), or Ainu folktales.

Some well-known Japanese folktales and legends include:

The story of Kintarō, the superhuman Golden Boy.

The story of Momotarō, the oni-slaying Peach Boy.

The story of Urashima Tarō, who rescued a turtle and visited the bottom of the sea.

The story of Issun-bōshi, the One-inch Boy.

The story of Tokoyo, a girl who reclaimed the honour of her samurai father.

Bunbuku Chagama, the story of a teakettle which is actually a shape-changing tanuki.

The story of the wicked fox-woman Tamamo-no-Mae.

Shita-kiri Suzume, the story of the tongue-cut sparrow.

The story of the vengeful Kiyohime, who became a dragon.

Banchō Sarayashiki, the ghost story of Okiku and the Nine Plates.

Yotsuya Kaidan, the ghost story of Oiwa.

Hanasaka Jiisan, the story of the old man that made the flowers bloom.

The Tale of the Bamboo Cutter, about a mysterious girl called Kaguya-hime who is said to be from the capital of the moon.

The Tale of the Gallant Jiraiya or Jiraiya Goketsu Monogatari (児雷也豪傑物語)

The folklore of Japan has been influenced by foreign literature as well as the kind of spirit worship prevalent all throughout prehistoric Asia. Some stories of ancient India were influential in shaping Japanese stories by providing them with materials. Indian materials were greatly modified and adapted in such a way as would appeal to the sensibilities of common people of Japan in general, transmitted through China and Korea.

The monkey stories of Japanese folklore have been influenced both by the Sanskrit epic Ramayana and the Chinese classic The Journey to the West. The stories mentioned in the Buddhist Jataka tales appear in a modified form throughout the Japanese collection of popular stories.

In the middle years of the twentieth century storytellers would often travel from town to town telling these stories with special paper illustrations called kamishibai.

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Old 02-02-2012, 10:53 AM
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This is something I've always been very interested in, and I've incorporated a few of the characters and stories into some of my tattoos, I also regularly incorporate them in my own artwork in one way or another.

Just wanted to share it with everyone

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Old 02-02-2012, 11:13 AM
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Re: Japanese Folklore.

I liked it.

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Old 02-02-2012, 02:32 PM
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Re: Japanese Folklore.

Shape shifting teakettles and transforming cats? Thank you japan for making me smile with your beliefs.

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Old 02-03-2012, 03:24 PM
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Re: Japanese Folklore.


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Old 11-23-2012, 01:57 AM
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Re: Japanese Folklore.

i have a tattoo of a baku.

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Old 11-24-2012, 08:58 PM
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Re: Japanese Folklore.

THANK YOU for sharing this. Have you read anything on their history and how they believe the world was born? Pretty interesting stuff.

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Old 11-26-2012, 12:20 AM
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