Honest Myth:Chinese- Nu Gua

So, I actually found this goddess while pinning pictures on my mythology pinterest board. I loved this picture and started searching up Nu Gua (also known as Nu Kua or Nu Wa).

I am not sure who the artist is, but if you know please tell me.

I am not sure who the artist is, but if you know please tell me. I find this picture to be extremely beautiful.

Nu Gua is usually depicted as a young woman, with a human head and the lower body of a dragon/snake. I have seen some pictures/artwork where she is all human, but I have also seen some where she is entirely a snake with a woman’s head. Personally, I prefer the version where she has the upper body of human female.

Nu Gua is a creator Goddess, and she is credited with making the first humans from yellow earth after heaven and Earth had been separated. At first, she hand sculpted each person, but found that it was taking much to long. To shorten the task, Nu Gua took a rope, dipped it into mud, and begun swinging the rope above her head. The mud flung all around her, and splashes that occurred became the peasantry. Those that she had sculpted were the noble men.

She is also the Goddess that intermediates between man and woman, granting them children, and instituting marriage. After doing so, she married Fu Shi (Fu Xi) a cultural hero. He too is depicted with a snake body and human head. When ever he and Nu Gua are shown together, there bodies are intertwined (since they represent first union/Patriarch and Matriarch). He is her husband and brother.

She is said to be one of the Three Augusts or three  spirits that helped bring civilization to man. I am not to sure who the other two are, but I suspect Fu Xi may be one of them.

Nu Gua also seemed to save the universe. In the story, she helped restore the universe after Gong Gong, a Chinese sea demon who caused a great flood and smashed his head against a mountain a pillar holding up the sky, had destroyed it. This caused many problems such as the tearing of the sky, throwing the four cardinal points off balance, and release of the black dragon (who was water and thus the essence of the flood). Nu Gua took melted colored stones and used them to stitch together the sky (this referencing the different colors that the sky takes on). The five colored stones also helped create seasons. Then she had to cut the legs of a turtle to use as pillars for supporting the cardinal points. She later also destroyed the black dragon.

Her symbol is the compass which also represents the Earth.

I hope you enjoyed!

-Blog Barista

Check it out:

Edited by Grimal, Pierre. Larousse World Mythology. London: The Hamlyn Publishing Group Limited, 1965, pp. 285-288. Print.

This had to have made you smile!

This had to have made you smile!

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Honest Myth:Japanese- The Spirit of the Peony

So here is the second myth. Its simple, but kind of sad and pretty in a way. I really liked it, and I hope you all do as well.

jesus_buddha

Princess Aya was arranged to marry the second son of Lord Ako. One night the Princess walked through her great garden with her handmaids. She lingered near her favorite peony bed, and while sniffing them, she tripped. A handsome man, with a robe embroidered with peonies, caught her from hitting the floor, but he vanished before she could thank him. Princess Aya quickly became sick, and the handmaid told the king it was because the Princess was in love with the samurai. Each night great performers tried to cheer up the Princess, and each night the young samurai would appear, listening and watching the celebration. One night the King sent Mika Hiogo to lay hidden in the peonies. When the samurai appeared, Hiogo grabbed the samurai. A cloud emanated from the man causing Hiogo to become dizzy and pass out. When he woke, he held a large peony instead of a man. The Princess took the peony and put it by her bed. Each day, the flower grew bigger, and the girl became healthier. Finally, the wedding took place, and at that hour the peony suddenly died.

Hope you enjoyed,

-Blog Barista

So Kewt

So Kewt

I got this myth from a book:

Davis, F. Hadland. Myths and Legends of Japan. New York: Dover Publication Inc., 1992, pp. 171-173. Print.

Honest Myth:Buddhism/Christianity- Three Temptations

Hello everyone. Sorry for how long it has been since the last post. I hoped that as summer came along I would get the time to do more, but sadly I had to take classes this summer and have been unable to. So today, I have chosen to post up many myths that I looked up lately. I hope you enjoy the variation in these. Sadly, there is no correlation or theme between them though.

This first post is just a comparison between Jesus and Buddha, and their trials that tested them before reaching their divine levels.

I saw this picture on the cover of a book called: I See Buddha in Jesus-Years in Kashmir . But I am not sure who the artist is. Please tell me if you know.

I saw this picture on the cover of a book called: I See Buddha in Jesus-Years in Kashmir . But I am not sure who the artist is. Please tell me if you know.

  • Jesus

1. Stone to Bread (Desire of the body)- Jesus was brought into the wilderness (a desert) by the Spirit. He was there to meditate and ponder over what God wanted of him. There he fasted for 40 days and 40 nights, and the Devil came to him and told him that as the son of God, he could easily change the stone to bread, ending his plight. Jesus then responded, “One does not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.”

2. On Top of the Temple (Fear)- The Devil then brought Jesus to the top of a temple in the Holy City, and told him to throw himself off the pinnacle to prove himself the son of God, for ‘He shall give his angels charge over thee (Jesus), to keep thee: And in their hands they shall bear thee up, lest at any time thou dash thy foot against a stone.’ (Basically, Jesus would always be saved, because God had told the angels to protect him). Jesus responds saying, “You shall not put the Lord, your God, to the test.”

3. Top of the Mountain (Cultural)- Satan then brings Jesus to the top of a mountain where all the Kingdoms could be seen. He promised to him (Jesus) that if Jesus worshiped him (Satan), then he would get the world. Jesus refused saying, “Get away! The Lord, your God, shall you worship him and him alone you serve.” Satan tempts Jesus with the power to rule the Earth and over throw the Romans. He gives him a chance to rule and do the things he wants to for the Earth, but in a way where he goes against God (or at least that is my interpretation).

These temptations occurred before Jesus was baptized.

  • Buddha

1. Daughters (Desire of the Body)- Mara, the demon who personifies unwholesome impulses and death of spiritual life, sent his three daughters (Tanha=Desire, Aarath=Aversion, and Raga=Passion) to Buddha. Mara usually tempts humans by making the mundane alluring so that they forget to practice their spiritual duties. His daughters attempted to seduce Gautama with their feminine wiles. Coming in many forms and guises, they danced and sang, but Gautama told them that he was beyond temptation of the body and they should return to their father.

2. Army (Fear)- Mara then threatened Buddha with a vast army. He planned to strike him with his army, and Siddhartha, unmoved, said, “Mere numbers do not make the strength of the army. The sun can outshine a myriad of glow worms. If wisdom is the source of power, a single hero can defeat countless soldiers.” The army advanced (with monstrous beings that have lion heads, rhino horns, wearing human skulls, and so on).  Mara tried to frighten him with earth shaking, uprooting trees, and devastating villages, but arrows became flowers when shot at him and light aura around him became his shield. In fear, the army ran.

3. Duty (Cultural)- As a last attempt, Mara then tried to tempt Buddha with his varna duty. Buddha was born to the Hindu community, where dharma (meaning social duty in Hindi and truth in Buddhism) is so important that it makes up a major part of achieving Moksha (freedom from Samsara). Your duty to society is based on which social order you were born into. Mara tempted to guilt Buddha by telling him that he failed his family and society by leaving and not doing his duty as a prince (leader), a father, a son, and a husband. (Dharma is a little more complicated than this, but I think this is good for now, just to understand a little). But Buddha continued to meditate and ignored Mara knowing this was not Truth.

This occurred during his meditation and before his enlightenment.

Here are some sites to check out:

http://www.epistle.us/articles/jesustemptation.html

http://www.sacred-texts.com/bud/lob/lob21.htm

Hope you enjoyed this!

-Blog Barista

10

Honest Myth:Buddhism- Disciples

I am finally free! The second semester of sophomore year is now officially over, and I am finally free of most of the stress I was under (though not completely). Anyways, this was  supposed to be February’s post, but now I have the chance to post it. I have so many things that I plan to do soon, so hopefully it will all pan out well. For now, lets just take a look at the ten disciples of Buddha. Between you and me, this was a little more difficult then the apostles. Mostly because one man could have so many titles and names, and the number of Buddha’s disciples is not one hundred percent uniform. When Buddha first attempted to enlightenment, he went about it in the same manner as most Hindus (his original religion, much like how Jesus was Jewish). Once Buddha changed his path to the ‘Buddhist’ way of obtaining Nirvana, many of the ascetics he was with denounced him, but later they became his first disciples

  1. Morning Commute by Jon Sheer

    Morning Commute by Jon Sheer

    Sariputra (General of Dharma or Truth) – The top master of wisdom, he was born to a Brahmin scholar and a became a great scholar as well. He left his teacher, thinking that no person was capable or qualified to teaching him. After being brought to meet the Buddha, he made a Bodhisattva’s Vow and said he was willing to give all his property away including his body. One day a Deva (god like being) pretended to be a little boy, and begged Sariputra for a monk’s eye to save his ill mother. Sariputra gave the boy his left eye, but the boy requested his right instead. Sariputra gave to him his right eye, and the Deva granted him divine vision for keeping his vow. Sariputra later brought the disciple Mogallana to meet the Buddha.

  2. Mogallana (Arahant) – The top master of supernatural powers. He and Sariputra left their previous teacher together. He gained super human abilities through his enlightenment and used it to give advice to others. In his past life, he was said to have killed many people including his own family. For that reason, he refused to use his supernatural abilities from heretics, and he was killed in an extremely brutal fashion.
  3. Kasapa (First to preach Buddha’s Teachings) – The top master of ascetic training . He married a woman named Subhara and both wanted to lead religious lives. So he went out to find a teacher so that he and his wife could renounce the world together, and together (as she joined the order of the nuns for Buddha), they reached enlightenment. One day he met an old sick woman who was so poor, she drank dirty water thrown out by the rich. Kassapa visited her in hopes to help her, but she had nothing that she could give to him (since to collect good karma one must give items to monks who own nothing). He told her that she did not need to give him material goods, but that she could give alms and follow the Buddha. She felt over joyed with happiness and dies, being reborn as a beautiful Deva and sprinkled flower petals over him.
  4. Upali (Sudra) – The top master of precepts and creator of his own school of thought known as Vinya. He was a court barber of the lowest caste (in the Varna system). As he was cutting the Buddha’s hair, Upali’s mother asked the Buddha how were her son’s skills. The Buddha pointed out Upali’s crooked stance and shallow breathing. By learning to control his intake of breath, Upali was able to control his mind. He later became an Arahant, and though he was a Sudra, Upali was ranked above the seven princes who joined later.
  5. Rahula (the hindrance and son of Gautama) – Rahula was the only son of the Buddha (conceived when he was still a prince and married). He was named hindrance because he symbolized the difficulty to leave behind his family. He was the first Samanera (novice monk) to be ordained as a minor. This occurred because he asked his father for his inheritance, and the Buddha wished to give his knowledge . Rahula became a teacher of Dharma and enlightened at the age of 18 (ten years after asking for his inheritance). He was a very shrewd and strict follower. He made sure to stay in the background so as to avoid being accused of taking advantage of his position as son of Buddha.
  6. Ananda (Most beloved) – Ananda was a cousin of the Buddha and his name means great delight. He was the Buddha’s personal attendant, and he did not need to develop the qualities to meditate and study for enlightenment. He was selfless, having unchanging kindness to all people and worked to teach the Buddha’s knowledge to all including the future generations. He strived to help all people, even though he was busy constantly serving Buddha (who he served so as to free him to teach more). He was the first to request nuns to be ordained. He sympathized with the women and taught them indiscriminately. He lived to be 120 years old.
  7. Anuruddha (Seer of divine eye) – He was the half brother to Ananda and cousin to Buddha. At first he refused to give up his life of luxury, but after he learned the responsibilities of a king, he gave up his luxury in a heart beat. With his divine eye, he could see 1000 world systems (galaxy), each with only 31 planets that inhabited life. He struggled most to reach the level of Arahant because of three obstructions. One: he felt he should have been enlightened now that he had the divine eye. Two: he was too aware at how well he meditated and felt agitated. Three: Felt he should be an Arahant by this point. Later the Buddha helped him to move beyond these obstructions to become enlightened.
  8. Katyayana (Brahmin) – A chaplain to a king. he invited the Buddha because his violently tempered king desired to meet the Buddha. He became a monk to the Buddha and when he went back to the king, he inspired the king and the town’s folk to follow the teachings of Buddha. he was the foremost able to take a short verse from Buddha, decipher a great meaning and explain in simple terms. He was very analytical person and organized as well and used this to help the lay understand Buddha’s teachings.
  9. Bakkula (Two castes) – When he was born, his very rich parents lost him, and instead he was found and raised by rach merchants who found him within a beautiful fish. After some time, his parents found him once more and the two families raised him together. He had the knowledge of a physician and never became sick, living to become over 160 years old.
  10. Sivali (Fore most requisites) – His mother was a queen who struggled to give birth. So the Buddha blessed her birth, and she was able to have Sivali leave her stomach. Their struggle was caused by their past lives, where Sivali was a great King and his mother was his consort. Together they waged many wars and destroyed many lives. He had many past lives where he then did only good deeds.

So there we go, those are the ten disciples of Buddha. If you wish to know more, tihs website is fantastic: www.budsas.org/ebud/rdbud/rdbud-01.htm

Beautiful Naruto art

Beautiful Naruto art

Honest Myth:Hindi- Purusha

So, I have been taking a Religion course that focuses on East Asian Traditions, and today was the first day where we actually talked about a specific religion. We focuses on Hinduism, and I learned so much (it has become much less confusing to be honest). I learned about Brahman, and Brahma (who is super cool), and about the deities and the caste system, and so on and so forth. Though I find my teacher very boring, I greatly look forward to this class and the future classes I plan on taking (primarily Buddhism and Christianity). Anyways, this particular story was interesting and short so I figured I would write a quick post on it. It is hard to find pictures for this, so I won’t put any. But if anyone has one you would like to share please tell me.

Purusha was a premordial being who sacrificed himself for the creation of man (his body parts became man). The concept of the caste system was said to originated from this story. When he was sacrificed, his head became the priest (Brahmin), his strong arms became the warriors (Kshatriya), his quick legs became merchants (Vaishya), and his feet became the laborers (Shudra). These are the varnas or the caste system. Good karma (action) by doing your duties. And this brings you closer to moksha (release) to escape Samsara (cycle).

He was the sacrificial victim of the Gods, whose body became all life forms in the universe (including some Gods). He was the single cosmic man. Originally the varnas were equally respected with people doing the duty (dharma) of their varna. From his mind came the moon, his eye the sun, and his mouth made Indra and Agni. He had one thousand heads, one thousand eyes, and one thousand feet.

Well, that was some of the stuff I learned. Hope you guys enjoyed this and have a good week.

Check out more here: http://www.girardianlectionary.net/res/hindu_creation.htm

-Blog Barista

So cute, I am jealous.

So cute, I am jealous.

Honest Myth:Buddhist- Asura and Indra

Since the end of Naruto, TheBetterCup and I have been in a very down mood. It is weird to think that a large part of our childhood is over. I mean, this is something we have been watching since we were in grade school. Now we are turning twenty and in uni, and it is ending a long with our childhood. It may just be that this is a little sign that we are officially growing up, which is a tad unsettling. Anyways, I will try not to have any spoilers of Naruto, but just in case: WARNING MAY CONTAIN NARUTO SPOILERS.

Asura and Indra (Godly Versions) as seen in Naruto.

Asura and Indra (Godly Versions) as seen in Naruto by Masashi Kishimoto

So the end of Naruto includes references to some Buddhist/Hindu and Japanese mythology. So with out telling you what happens lets just talk about two names that are mentioned during that Fourth Shinobi War. Asura and Indra are found in both Buddhist and Hindu mythology, and they have a very interesting story that you should know if you wish to truly understand what happens.

asura

If you know where this photo is from, please tell me. The photo I included has a more demonic looking Asura, but some are more human looking.

Asura:

The Asura come from Hindu mythology and are seen as nature spirits that opposed the devas (Gods). They are contemporarily (is that a word) shown as power hungry. They began as equals to the devas, but evolved to lesser beings through out history. Because of this, they also went from being gods that fell because of a small mistake to these evil and sinful creatures.

They are described as addicted to negative passions such as wrath, pride, and falseness. They are also said to be obsessed with violence and ego. There are four unhappy births, and rebirth as an Asura is one of them (the other three include being born an animal, going to hell for a short period, or becoming a preta or starving ghost). To be born as an Asura, one must have had had good intentions as a human, but still have done harm to others.

They lead very pleasure seeking lives, but still feel unhappy because they are jealous of the Deva and want to regain their initial rank. They live at the foot of Mt. Sumeru (for good reason), and are broken into many tribes.

Physically, they are said to be low ranking deities with six arms and three heads. Supposedly, the men are hideous, but the women are very exotic and beautiful.

indraIndra:

Indra, also known as Sakra in Buddhist and Japanese text, comes from Hindu mythology. He is the leader of the Devas. He wields lightening bolts and rides a white elephant named Airavata. He is the Lord of the Gods and the rainbow is considered to be his bow.

He can be compared to the Jade Emperor in Chinese mythology. And though Sakra and Indra share many similarities, Sakra tends to be shown as much kinder and more forgiving. His realm, Trayastrimsa, is the polar center of the physical world, and sun and moon revolve around it.

Story:

The Asura and the Deva lived on the peak of Mt. Sumeru, and when Indra was named ruler of the whole world, the Asura celebrated by drinking a very strong and forbidden wine. As they broke the rules, and were very drunk, Indra had them thrown over the mountain off the summit. At the base of Mt. Sumeru, they noticed the growth of a tree called Cittapatali that differed from the tree called Paricchattaka at the peak of the mountain . This was proof that they were no longer allowed to live with the Deva on the mountain. Becoming violent, they tried many times to climb up to the peak often failing, because they would believe a large Deva army would attack. Anytime that the Deva and Asura did clash, Indra would make sure that no harm would befall either side.

Eventually, they stopped fighting when Indra fell in love with the daughter of the of the Asura Cheif Vemacitran. She was given the right to choose any man present as her husband, and she chose an old asura male that she knew was a disguised Indra. Though they ended the battle, the Asura never gained their position back.

I will not say too much about Naruto, but I wondered why Asura and Indra were involved and what it meant. I found this quote of Asura and realized what the cultural significance was: Laden with blessing, lacking power, absolutely determined to fight. I feel like this makes a lot of sense. Anyway, I hope everyone has a good Thanksgiving if you are in the USA, and have a good week to everyone else.

Check out more: www.onmarkproductions.com/html/hachi-bushu.shtml

-Blog Barista

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Honest Myth:Japanese- The Tale of the Gallant Jiraiya

SOME NARUTO SPOILERS (VERY LITTLE, ITS ABOUT THE PAIN ARK SO IF YOU HAVE PASSED THAT THEN PLEASE CONTINUE).

Last night my sister and i ordered food, and we were told it had chestnuts. There was no chestnuts, just a butt-load of garlic. I hate garlic, i try to avoid it like to plague, and here I just ate a plate of garlic! Now it is the next morning, and I have a massive head ache, nausea, and nose bleeding. I never felt so horrible in my life, and worst of all, my body is dispersing this wretched scent of garlic. I feel terrible. But I should not complain to much, instead I think I should share a myth for today.

jirjiryMany of you may know the beautiful artwork that is Naruto will soon be ending. As sad I am for its coming closure, I feel we must commemorate the  story, so today’s myth is on the Gallant Jiraiya. Now in Naruto we know him as the lovable, perverted and sadly deceased teacher of Naruto. A great sannin and noble friend, Jiraiya is based off of a real Japanese Legend of a gallant hero.

Jiraiya was a young man, heir to a Clan in Kyushu. His family fell on hard time, either that or his brother stripped him of his birth right to lead the clan, so Jiraiya was forced to go to Echigo Province and began stealing. He was a chivalrous robber that stole from the rich and gave to the poor. In one of his earlier escapades, Jiraiya saves a young child whose step father was about to through him into a gorge. In another story, he goes on s stroll in Mt. Myoko and saves a giant frog from a serpent. This toad ends up being a wise immortal who lived in the mountain. He teaches Jiraiya toad magic, which allows him to do many incredible deeds including shape shifting into a giant toad. He tests out his new found abilities by killing the murderer of the parents of the little boy who was supposed to be thrown in the gorge. He also takes revenge on the man who ruined his family/clan name. As a chivalrous robber/ninja, he traveled all around Japan and met a young Princess/maiden named Tsunade. She was skilled in Slug magic which she could use to fight and heal. She learned this skill becuase she had gone into the forest one night to get brush wood. There she met an old man who was an immortal snail. After meeting Jiraiya, they fell in love and soon married.

jirJiraiya made many comrades over the time of his travel, and one of them, Yashagoro, soon turned agianst him and Tsunade. He learns the art of Snake magic and called himself Orochimaru. A three way stand off begins where the snake is able to swallow the toad, the toad is able to snatch up the slug with his tongue, and the slug is able to use its mucus to dissolve the snake. Yet, since Tsunade and Jiraiya were working together, they should have easily won, but Orochimaru tricks them. They become unconscious because of snake venom. A kindly comrade named Rikimatsu was there to save them. He was a fourteen year old boy with the ability to do Bird (Tengu) magic and who owed his life to Jiraiya. He went to India to procure the antidote saving Jiraiya and Tsunade. They battled Orochimaru and defeated him.

The episode where Jiraiya dies in Naruto is also called the Tale of the Gallant Jiraiya.

To learn more check this out: www.surpriseround.wordpress.com/2011/03/18/stories-from-myth3/

-Blog Barista

'A frog in a well does not know the great ocean'

‘A frog in a well does not know the great ocean’

Honest Myth:Korean- The Dragon King’s Daughter

If you know who the artist is, please contact me.

By Zhang Wang 

So this weeks myth actually exist in many cultures, and is most likely more in Chinese Mythology then it is in Korean, but I included it as Korean because I found it while searching for Korean Mythology. Do not get me wrong though, it is found in Korean myths, it is just more prevalent in Chinese. So all the names are in Korean.

The Dragon Kings of the Four Seas are kings of underwater sea palaces that correspond with the four cardinal directions. During droughts and floods local gentry and government officials led the communities in different sacrifices and religious rites so as to appease the dragons. There are actually more than four, but these particular four are the highest status of Dragon Kings. In Chinese mythology, they are celebrated as deities of the sea like Mazu. But unlike her, they wreak havoc, and she is protective.

One particular year, the Dragon King of the East and the Dragon King of the West fought in a war between each other to gain power. The King of the East could see that he was losing, so he ordered his son, Choribdongi, to find Wang Janggun. Wang was a giant, son of Cheonhwang Jeseok a minor diety and Jiwang Jeseok a minor earth goddess. Choribdongi promised Wang all the treasures of the sea if he would come to the Dragon Palace. Yet, Wang refused for he had a terrible fear of the water. He then promised Wang the highest government position, but Wang refused once again. So then he promised Wang would marry the daughter of the Dragon King. Wang accepted, but Choribdongi had to promise to create a path in the water for him to enter.

In the Sea Palace, the Dragon King of the East told Wang that he planned to retreat tactically in battle, and the Dragon King of the West will leap in joy. At that moment, Wang would shoot the Dragon King of the West in the golden scale beneath his ear. The golden scale is so strong that even lightening could not break it, but the Giant pierced it easily. The West King died and his palace was destroyed.

The Dragon King of the East told Wang to choose anything in the palace, and Choribdongi whispered that the daughter was hidden in an old writing box. Everyday he would go out and log, and when he would return a meal would be ready for him. One day, he pretended to leave, but hid. When she came out, he proposed to her. Together they had three sons, Geon, Bin, and Sarang. One day she left he family and went home. Her husband became the God of War in China, and her three sons became the Gods of War in Korea, Japan, and the Middle East. They would decide who would win in battles.

Learn more here: www.blackdrago.com/history/dragonkings.htm

Check out Zhang Wang here: http://blog.sina.com.cn/nkzhangwang

-Blog Barista

So adorable!!!

So adorable!!!

Honest Myth:Korean- Koeulla, Puella, and Yangeulla

jilm

Sorry it feels as if it has been a very a long time since I last posted a myth, and sadly this is going to be a very short one. It is 1:30 in the morning, I am very tired, and I have been up for 18 hours. I am writing this though, because I know I will not get another opportunity to do so later.

This is the myth of the settlement of Jeju Island. I have seen the names spelled differently before. For instance, I have seen Koeulla referred to as Ko Eulla, Go Eulla, and Goeulla. I have seen Pueulla as Boeulla, Bo Eulla, and Po Eulla. Yet, I will stick to the names in the tite because that was how I had first sen them.

So these three people were said to be demi-gods born from the ground of Jeju Island. They were believed to be sons of Halmang the Goddess of Jeju Island. They emerged from her ‘womb’ as grown men. They hunted from the land, eating only meat and dressing in the leather of what they caught.

One day, they find a chest floating in the ocean, and in it, they find a messenger. He tells them that the chest was sent by the King from Byeongnang or Pyeongyang (mainland) and some dispute Japan. The King sent them five grains (barly, soybean, rice, millet, and foxtail millet). He also sent his three daughters dressed in blue to marry the demi-gods. The demi-gods marry the women and each one becomes founder of a village/clan. Each clan claims that their demi-god was the eldest born.

Learn more here: www.jejuweekly.com/news/articleView.html?idxno=2836

-Blog Barista

Ew O.o

Ew O.o

Honest Myth:Korean- Dokkaebi

Star_Trek_if_they_are_by_siruphialA quick update, I may be doing a lot more Korean mythology posts soon. I was not planning on ‘marathoning’ (can I make that a verb?) this, but if I end up doing a large amount of continuous Korean myths, I may make it into a more specific sort of category. Anyways, I have a second organic chemistry test coming up soon, and I know that the last study post ended up being one of the most viewed pages. I know lots of people need help with this class and some extra notes to look at may be beneficial. I plan on making a post on some of the concepts soon. Anyways, let us continue on to the mythology of today: Dokkaebi.

The Dokkaebi is a humorously ugly troll type creature. It begins as nothing more than an old inanimate object would ‘gain’ a spirit and transform into a grotesque and frightening goblin at night. They enjoy tricking ‘bad’ people and rewarding ‘good’ people (the terms good and bad are used in quotes because technically good and bad are social constructs, and so they are based on the cultural norms and acceptable behavior).

Most Dokkaebi are harmless, but there are a variety including: the dumb kind, mischievous kind, evil kind, ones that only come out at day, fighters, gluttonous kind, one eyed kind, and one legged wrestlers.

caleqThe Dokkaebi carry clubs that act like magical wands. They can summon objects, but each summoned item is stolen from somewhere else, because they can only summon things that are already in existence (Law of Thermodynamics exists even in mythology). They also have a cap which allows them to become invisible much like Saci Perere. Also like Saci, some Dokkaebi only have one leg, and like the Kappa, they love games and enjoy to wrestle. To defeat a Dokkaebi at wrestling, one should hook their leg.

These demon like creatures can be found anywhere there are few people like graveyards, woods, abounded homes, and roads. They are also connected to sounds like horse hooves, and can steal from the greedy to give to the worthy.

Once there were two brothers from a noble family. The older brother was gracious, but poor. The younger brother was rich and petty. The older brother gained land and asked his younger brother for some silkworms and grains. The younger brother agreed, but he boiled them so that none would live. If any made it, he would bite them in half. Yet, the poorer brother still found a way to prosper and the land thrived anyways. The heavens blessed him, and his plot swarmed with silkworms. One particular barley seed grew very large, and a large crow took the sprout. The poor brother chased after the bird, but gave up once he reached a rocky opening. There he found dokkaebi. He hid behind a rock and watched as they took out a golden club and summoned items for a party. Once they finished, the poorer brother stole the golden club in hopes that he could increase his crop yield. After some days, the younger brother became sick with a terrible stomachache, and out of love him, the poorer brother told him how to get a golden club. The rich brother grew the sprout and followed the large crow. When he found the Dokkaebi, they became enraged for they believed he was the brother that stole their golden club. So, they made him work for three days with out food. Once those three days had passed, the gave to him another club and sent him away, but he wass cursed and scorned by all that saw him. He could not get rid of the curse, and even his progeny had it. Anytime one of them used the club, lightening and thunder would begin, and the user would disappear.

Want to know more? Check this out: http://www.blog.korea.net/?p=6272

-Blog Barista

This weekend was supposed to a break, and yet this is how I was the entire time. My teachers all wanted yo make sure I stayed busy. :(

This weekend was supposed to a break.

Honest Myth:Burmese- Spider of Pindaya

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It has been a long and tiresome week. This week had AWA, but sadly I do not think we will get a chance to go. It would have been fun. Anyways, I chose to look up Burmese myths after befriending a Burmese girl in my Biology class. This week’s honest myth is short, yet really neat.

One day in the country of Burma, the seven princesses of the country, daughters to the King, went to bathe in a lake at the foot of a large mountain. It soon became dark, and at night fall they realized it was too late to journey home safely. So as to avoid the dangerous trek, they chose to spend the night at a close by cave. The princesses were unaware that a giant spider resided with in the cave. As they slept, the spider created an enormous web at the entrance of the cave entrapping the young princesses. The next morning, the princesses realized that they were going to be eaten by the spider and began to scream for help. A young and courageous prince, named Prince Kummabhaya, from Yawnghwe heard their desperate cries and went to investigate. Using his bows and arrows, the vigilant prince battled the giant spider and killed him. He saved the princesses and was rewarded by marrying the prettiest of the princesses.

In some versions, there is only one princess instead of seven. The name Pindaya is said to come from the word Pinguya which means to have taken the spider. It was believed that the prince yelled that after killing the giant spider in battle. There is an actual cave in that area that has been deck out with statues of the prince and spider battling (see above). With in the cave, the area is full of golden Buddha statues in varying sizes. There is a second legend that says that a path in the back of the cave leads to the ancient city of Bagan. Bagan is a city of the kingdom Pagan which is thought to be the first kingdom to unify Myanmar. All the religious monasteries, and Buddhist temples were constructed in the plains of Bagan.

Anyways, I know this is not the most exciting Honest Myth, but I hope it was enjoyable. I feel a little to down to try and make this super exciting or to look up another myth to do. I may do another one later once things start getting better.

Check out more of the story here: www.atlasobscura.com/places/pindaya-cave

-Blog Barista

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Honest Myth:Korean- Ungnyeo

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It is almost midnight, and I have a snicker-doodle full of work to do and things to study. I have no idea what made me think now was the best time to do this. It has been a real tough week so far, and I really needed time to relax and do things I actually enjoy. So here I am, writing about a real short myth. Enjoy!

Once upon a time, there was a tiger and a bear, Ungnyeo, who lived with in a cave. They prayed to Hwanung the divine king of all gods to let them become human. So he gave them mugworts, and cloves of garlic and told them to stay out of the sun and only eat these for one hundred days.

After 20 days, the tiger left in hunger, but the bear stayed. On the 21st day she became a young woman.

Ungnyeo  made offerings to the divine king, but she felt lonely without a husband. When she prayed under a magical betula tree, she became pregnant. Hwanung  took her as his wife, and she gave birth to Dangun founder of Korea.

Check out more here: http://jlstanley.homestead.com/pmUngnyeoTheBearWoman.html

-Blog Barista

Shake what yo mama gave ya

Shake what yo mama gave ya

 

Honest Myth:Japanese- Death Deities

Day Five of our Death God Mini Marathon. The Japanese do not seem to have one official God associated with death. On top of that they have many influences from different religions. So there are many deities related to death, and many are similar to others found in Chinese folklore and Hinduism. Here is a compilation of deities related to death. Most of these deities are Japanese, but some are of other cultures.

King Yama or King Enma

King Enma and his Attendents

King Enma and his Attendents

King Yama is a God of Death and Justice in Japanese Buddhism, Chinese Buddhism, and Hinduism. As Lord of Justice, he watches over purgatory, judging mortals as they enter and sending them to either heaven or hell. He keeps a record of all deeds of all men so that he can sentence them to the appropriate area of hell (or heaven).

In Hindu Mythology, he was said to be the first man (like Adam), and instead of committing incest with his sister, he chose to die instilling the mortality in mankind. He is depicted as a fierce, large man carrying a mace and a noose. In the Chinese Buddhism, he is said to preside over the lives, deaths, and transmigration of the human souls. He also carries a book with a list of all human lives and their expected time of death. When someone is meant to die, he sends monstrous hell guardians to bring them (like a psychopomp) to hell for judgement. He is one of ten kings of hell. In the Japanese mythology, he is usually clothed in red clothing, adorned in human skulls, and holding the mirror of karma (that shows a person’s every deed), and a sword wisdom.

King Yama watches over a purgatory like hell. All beings come here, and stay for a certain amount of time to repent for sins before being granted access to go to heaven. The amount of time is based on their actions on earth, and that also dictates which hell and suffering they go to. This can all be seen in the anime Hoozuki no Reitetsu, which i mentioned in this blog post: http://www.espressocomsaudade.wordpress.com/2014/05/11/hoozuki-no-reitetsu-by-natsumi-eguchi/

Read more about the Great King Yama here: http://www.japanesemythology.wordpress.com/king-yama-lord-of-the-dead-comparing-counterparts-and-cognates-in-central-asia-and-southeast-asia/

Shinigami and Folk Spirits

Shinigami are death spirits that induce a feeling wanting to commit suicide. In some modern works, shinigami are similar to the grim reaper. They are responsible to seeing that a person dies at their time and leads them (as a psychopomp) to hell for judgement. They sit on the boarder between life and death, and they are usually invisible until a person’s time comes.

Other then shinigami, there are spirits in folk religions/countryside legends that perform the same responsibilities and cause acts of suicide. It is said that if someone goes out to attend to someone at night, they must drink a cup of tea before bed or the spirit will visit them. For others, death spirits possess people and lead them into seas, mountains, and railroads to die.

Ox-Head and Horse-Face

Ox-Head and Horse-Face

The Chinese have these two deities called Ox-Head and Horse-Face who are guardians to the gates of hell. Sometimes they are described as psychopomps, and other times they are said to just guard the doors. They can also be found in Hoozuki no Reitetsu.

In the Buddhist religion, the Mara is a demon that also causes humans to want to die. He has three daughters that he used to tempt Buddha: Tanha (Craving), Arati (Boredom), and Raga (Passion). In other stories he has five daughters: attraction, delusion, three poisons, and aversion.

Read more here: http://www.mythicalcreatureslist.com/mythical-creature/Shinigami

Izanami

Searching the Sea Painting, Picture of Izanami by Kobayashi Eitaku (1880)

Searching the Sea Painting, Picture of Izanami by Kobayashi Eitaku (1880)

Izanami is the first Goddess created along with a male god named Izanagi so as to create land and life. Together they were the Gods of Creation, but later (after her own death), she became a Goddess of Death. They were given a heavenly spear decorated in jewels that they used to create the self-forming island to live on. They got married, but Izanami spoke before Izanagi during the marriage ceremony, so when they had their first two children both came out as deformed demons. They remarried, and this time Izanagi spoke first fixing the problem that caused the deformed children (who were put on a boat and sent far far away). They had many children, all of which became the eight great islands of japan, all the deities, and the mountains, rivers, and seas. At one point, Izanami gave birth to the God of Fire, but he was so hot that she burned and died. Izanagi later killed the fire god using the Ten Grasp Sword.

Izanagi decided he would take a journey to the underworld, named Yomi, and get her back (this is like Orpheus, so you can probably guess out this will end). There are two versions of what happened when he found her. One: she hid her face and told him that she could not go home because she had eaten fruit of the underworld (like Persephone). Two: She said she would escape, but that he could not look at her face. Either way, he sneaked a peek at her face and saw that she was a rotting corpse not his beautiful bride. He was so disgusted, that he ran away and abandoned her. She was so mad at him that she sent Shikome, ugly women of the underworld, and Raijin, a God/Demon  of Storms, after him. Izanagi escaped and sealed the entrance of Yomi with a boulder. Izanami was so enraged that she swore to steal 1,000 living beings from Earth a day (creating death), and he challenged back that he would create 1,500 everyday.

Read more about Izanami’s story here: http://www.ancient-mythology.com/japanese/izangi-izanami.php

-Blog Barista

Hahahahahahahahahaah

Hahahahahahahahahaah

Daily Myth:Japanese- Fox’s Wedding

Fox's Wedding Procession

Fox’s Wedding Procession

Sorry, this is going to be a really short one. As always if anyone knows who the artists of art may be, please tell me.

The Fox’s Wedding or Kitsune no Yomeiri is said to occur during sun showers. A sun shower is a weather phenomenon in which there is rain falling, yet the sun is outshining. The idea stems from the fact that rain and sunshine at the same time seems impossible. Since foxes are known to be trickster animals in the Japanese culture, the idea of a sun shower is that the foxes are playing a trick.

Photo via Japan Specialist

Photo via Japan Specialist

When foxes had marriage ceremonies, they would make it rain so as to keep the humans from going up the mountain and witnessing the marriage. Yet, they would want it to be sunny so as to have a nice ceremony.

In one story, an elderly man helped a young little fox. Several years later, the fox thanked the man by inviting him to his wedding. The old man was greeted one sunny day by a sudden rain fall and a marriage procession.

If a wedding takes place at night, then instead of rain, a person will be met with floating lanterns and ghost lights.

There are many old wives’s tales about how one can see a fox wedding. Also a Fox Wedding can also occur between a human and a fox.

The sun shower has got to be my very favorite way for it to rain. It is just so gorgeous. And, most of all, I just love to think that it is part of wedding of foxes. It is just so magical!!!

If you wanna know more, check out this website: http://www.japan-talk.com/jt/new/japanese-fox-weddings

-Blog Barista

BAM!

BAM!

Daily Myth-Korean: Janghwa Hongryeon Jeon

So Saturday has been a very long day, and I was not planning on making a myth for Sunday cause of how tiring it was but I did it anyways. I could not find any pictures to go with this myth, because if you try looking it up all you will find is the popular, horror movie made based on this folklore. So I decided I would put pretty pictures of girls with flowers, since the titular female characters that were named after flowers. Also as always, if anyone knows who the artists are of these pictures, please tell me so I can reference them.

Todays folklore comes from Korea and is the story of Janghwa and Hongryeon.

4

 

So the story begins with a man and his kind wife. The woman has a dream one night that a gorgeous flower was given to her by an angel, and surely enough, nine months later she gives birth to a daughter they name Janghwa (which means Red Flower). Then after two years pass, the wife gives birth again to a little girl that they name Hongreyeon (which means Red Lotus).

1Their mother dies five years later, and the husband remarries to a cruel woman. She is kind of like Cinderella’s stepmother: evil, jealous, vindictive, and selfish. Anyways, she abuses the girls, but they never complain or tell their father (Maybe that’s their mistake, but just like Cinderella’s story being badly treated and not complaining is seen as a good quality. I personally think both Cinderella and these girls should have stepped up to those women. Just my opinion though). So that woman gives birth to three sons, which made her even more full of herself and cruel (because she gave him boys who would take over his lineage).

After much time, Janghwa becomes engaged, and her father asks the stepmother to help her plan the wedding. This makes her so angry, because not only does she have to help her, but she does not want to waste her sons’s future fortune on these girls to wed. So she hatches a nasty plan to destroy the poor girl’s reputation, life, and future.

3

One night, she to tells her eldest son to skin a dead rat and put it into Janghwa’s bed. Then, when first it became morning, the stepmother told the father that she had a horrid dream about his daughter and feared that something bad had happened. So together they went to check on her and found in her bed what looked like a miscarriage. The stepmother accused her of having been unchaste, and her father believed it all. Janghwa ran away crying into a forest, and the step mother told her eldest son to follow and drown Janghwa in a pond. After he did just that, a tiger attacked, eating one arm and one leg.

2The mother was furious at what happened to her son, so she treated Hongryeon more horribly than she ever did before. Hongryeon suffered so much before, after being unable to bear her sister’s death, her loneliness, and the stepmother’s cruelty, she went to the forest and also drowned (I am not sure if the son did this also, but I doubt it since he was disabled now. Maybe in some versions he never lost limbs and killed her. In other versions, he lost the limbs and the stepmother’s cruelty coxed the girl to suicide). After the two girls’s deaths, every mayor of the town died mysteriously.

One day, a very brave, fearless, and youthful man became the mayor. Two weeping ghost girls visited his office one night. He asked them why they killed the mayors. They denied killing the mayors (I think maybe it was the stepmother trying to keep her secret hidden), and they begged him to let the people know the truth, especially their father. They told him to check the unborn fetus, for he would see that it was a lie.

That next morning he did just that. He called forth the father, the stepmother, and her eldest son, and he cut open the body revealing it was a rat. The stepmother and her eldest son were sentenced to death, and the father released since he too was tricked by the stepmother.

Many years later, the father married a third time. He dreamt that his daughters had visited him. They told him that they wished to be with him once more, and that they would soon return. Nine months later, his wife gave birth to twins, that they named them Janghwa and Hongryeon. The new wife, the father, the sisters, and their two remaining half brothers lived happily together.

If you want to know more, check out this website: http://koreansaywhat.tumblr.com/post/10583721404/fact-of-the-day

-BlogBarista

 

hehehehehehe

hehehehehehe

Daily Myth:Chinese- Mazu

As always if anyone knows who the artists of the pictures may be, it would be greatly appreciated. Thanks

Mazu, Goddess of the Sea by ArthurJo, via Flickr

Mazu, Goddess of the Sea by ArthurJo, via Flickr

Mazu Goddess of the Sea

Mazu Goddess of the Sea via mermaidsofcolor.tumblr.com

Mazu Goddess of the Sea via mermaidsofcolor.tumblr.com

Mazu is the Chinese Goddess of the Sea. She protects sailors and fishermen and helps guide those out at sea to the cost. She is worshiped by many outside of China; such as Taiwan, Philippines, Malaysia, and Hawaii.  She is based off of a legend about a mortal girl who became a divinity. She was born as Lin Moniang, daughter of a fisher man, and she had four brothers. Because she did not cry when she was born, her family named her Silent Girl. In paintings she is always seen wearing a red robe, but in most of her sculptures she is seen in white, orange, and gold. She is also shown in the garb of an empress with many jewels and the flat beaded hat of imperial family. It is said that she learned to swim at the age of fifteen (considered very late), but that she had a gift at it and perfected it in no time. Also, she would stand by the shore of the sea ever day in bright red robes so as to safely guide the fishermen back to the shore.  She did so no matter what the weather.

Mazu Statue in Sinwu, Taiwan

Mazu Statue in Sinwu, Taiwan

The legend goes as follows: Moniang had four brothers and her father that all fished for a living. And one day there was a devastating typhoon. Everyone was sure that the fishermen would die out at sea. So, the family began to pray, and while praying, Moniang ell into a trance like state. She had a vivid dream that her father and brothers were drowning, so she began focusing on them trying desperately to save them. Her mother found her alseep and woke her in the middle of her dream. Moniang’s father and three of her brothers returned the next day, and they reported the miracle that occurred. But one brother had drowned, dropped by Moniang when her mother woke her from her stupor. Afterwards, an immortal gave her a talisman and she became immortal too. At about the age of thirty, she climbed Meifeng Peak and ascended to heaven as a divinity herself. She roamed the country as a Goddess, rescuing fishermen in danger at sea.

With-the-Wind Ear by Angie Hu (check out  her Etsy Angiehuarts)

With the Wind Ear by Angie Hu (check out her Etsy Angiehuarts)

Thousand Miles Eye by Angie Hu (check out  her Etsy Angiehuarts)

Thousand Miles Eye by Angie Hu (check out her Etsy Angiehuarts)

In much of her art, Mazu is shown accompanied by these two ogre like creatures. They are two guardian generals and her close friends. One is green with one horn. He is called Thousand Mile Eyes, and he is usually shown as a demon with his hand above his eyes, looking into the distance. The second one h was red with to horns, and big ears. He is called With the Wind Ear. He is typically depicted pointing at his ear. In many occasions, I have seen their colors swapped, but they can usually be identified by their gestures. It is said that they are two demons that Mazu conquered. They were both in love with her and wanted to marry her, but she said that only the one able to defeat her would she marry. So each of them battled with her, and she defeated both with martial arts. Afterwards, they became her friends.

Thousand Miles Eye & With-the-Wind Ear

Thousand Miles Eye & With the Wind Ear

There are two versions of how Moniang died. In one story she went up the mountain alone and flew to heaven (as mentioned above). In the second story, she went out to sea to look for her father. While swimming, she became exhausted and drowned. Her body was believed to be found on one of the Matsu Islands. It is said that after she died she forever roams the sea.   If you like Mazu and want to know more, check out this website: http://www.cultural-china.com/chinaWH/html/en/13Traditions1962.html

-Blog Barista

Have a nice day!

Have a nice day!

Daily Myth-Hindi: Kali

KaliToday’s mythical being is Kali the Hindu Goddess of Empowerment, Time, and Change.

Kali is one of the many gods in the pantheon of Hindu religion. Now, I have always found it difficult to research Hindu gods.There are many stories, told in a number of different ways, and it is so hard to find a credible source that just explains it simply. But in my first semester of university, I took an anthropology class that focused on the Indian culture, and it ended up being one of my favorite classes of the year. So now, I will do my best to share what I learned about Kali.

Kali is portrayed, usually, as a young woman with skin so dark it is black in color. She is typically shown naked wearing a garland of human heads and a skirt made of human arms. She has three blood-shot eyes and a long lolling tongue hanging from her widely opened mouth. Sometimes, in artwork, she has four arms (most common) and sometimes ten (less common). In her hands she holds a severed head, a bowl to catch the blood dripping from said head, a sword, and a trident.

She is a beloved goddess, and even though she is shown as a scary, violent goddess, she is considered very just and gentle. There are multiple stories of Kali’s birth, but most connect her to another goddess named Durga (like she is a form of Durga or a reincarnation of some sorts).

In the first story, there is a horrible demon named Mahishasure. He could not be killed by man, and so he waged a war with the gods in heaven with a demon army by his side. Their was a cosmic crisis, and in angry desperation, the gods shot blaring beams of light, together creating Durga. Mahishasure witnessed the destruction of his army and took the form of giant bull so as to battle Durga.

She fought him and his entire army with many other fierce goddess by her side (all of which were different forms of herself) including Kali. Kali is considered the forceful form of Durga. She is kind of the hands on one that takes action before asking questions. After a horrible battle of Mahishasure vs The Goddesses, Durga tore him from the bull body and killed him with a spear.

After all demons had been killed, Kali, intoxicated with a blood-lust, continued her stampede and bloodshed. The Gods did not know what to do. Shiva the Great God, the male counterpart/husband of Durga/Kali laid down between the corpses. When Kali found herself standing on top of Shiva, touching her holy husband with her feet (turns out this considered rude and unthinkable), she calmed down and stoped her destruction.

In a second story, Kali was born by the combination of all the Gods’s light energies. They created her in an attempt to destroy another demon who for every drop of his blood that spilled a clone would appear. To destroy him, she drank all of the demon’s blood, corresponding with her image as a bloodthirsty, demon killing goddess.

 

If you wish to know more about Kali and stories of her adventures, or if you wish to have more detail of the stories told above I recommend this website: http://www.ancient.eu.com/Kali/

 

-Blog Barista

 

 

 

 

I hate searching through pictures of Indian art. It is not my favorite kind of aesthetics, and I always find it difficult to look at. Kali probably has the worst slew of creepy artwork, and each one slaps you in the face with how scary they are. Kind of like this girl did to that other one.

I hate searching through pictures of Indian art. It is not my favorite kind of aesthetics, and I always find it difficult to look at. Kali probably has the worst slew of creepy artwork, and each one slaps you in the face with how scary they are. Kind of like this girl did to that other one. (…so many tears…)

Daily Myth-Japanese: Kappa

I have not posted anything in a little while, and that is because of two reasons: I have not been feeling super well, and also I have been struggling to think of anything interesting. Now I decided to write a daily post about mythologies that I know. I am no expert, and all the info I say here will be from the stories I have read over the past few years.

So let us begin with one of my very favorite mythological beings: the Kappa.

 

I am not sure who the artist of this picture is. There is a signature at the corner of the pictures but I cannot make out a name. If anyone knows who the artist is please tell me. I found the picture at this site http://www.bubblews.com/news/2251824-quotkappaquot-a-creature-of-a-japanese-folklore

I am not sure who the artist of this picture is. There is a signature at the corner of the pictures but I cannot make out a name. If anyone knows who the artist is please tell me. I found the picture at this site http://www.bubblews.com/news/2251824-quotkappaquot-a-creature-of-a-japanese-folklore

The Kappa is one of the more famous yokai in Japanese culture. Yokai are “monsters” and some can have strange powers (like the Tanuki). Kappa are these kind of water demon-monsters that inhabit rivers and ponds. They tend to be depicted as human like creatures with turtle shells, scales, webbed hands/feet, beak like mouth, and a bowl like ‘hole’ on the top of their head that hold water. Their bodies are reminiscent of monkey bodies. They have arms that look a little to long for their proportions and some have been depicted moving on “all fours”. Kappa are about the size of a small child (around 9-10 years old), but are strong enough to attack grown men and horses. Now-a-days you can find very cute pictures depicting the Kappa (like the one above), but usually they are very ugly. They have bobbed hairstyle that grows out of their head except in the middle where the ‘bowl-cavity” is located.

A picture of a Kappa made by Katsushika Hokusai

A picture of a Kappa made by Katsushika Hokusai

Kappas are notoriously known for being mischievous. They are tricksters whose pranks can be relatively simple such as farting loudly and other rather rude and annoying behavior, to really extremely malicious such as rape, and murder. Human flesh is a staple in the Kappa diet, especially children who are easily to drown in rivers and ponds.

I have seen them compared to River Imps which is a good comparison for their more innocent behavior since imps are also little tricksters, but Kappas are pretty violent creatures. It was believed that in the anus of a human could be found a little ball called the shirikodama or soul of the person. Kappas are known to take these little soul balls, most likely eating them.

Kappas are not necessarily all evil. Their have been accounts were people befriended a Kappa. They can then be helpful creatures with a vast amount of knowledge in medicine (one of my favorite parts about the Kappa). They are most skilled in bone-setting and taught people how to mend broken bones and fix dislocated joints.

The Kappa Show by Junko Mizuno

The Kappa Show by Junko Mizuno

Ironically enough, Kappas were known to be noble creatures in some sense of the word. They followed traditional customs of polite behavior very strictly. And if ever a Kappa was tricked into making an oath or a promise, they followed through to the end with out complaint. The best way to stop a Kappa from attacking was to take a very deep bow. The Kappa would reciprocate the bow and lose all the water in the cavity upon his head. This would weaken him, and he would have to go back to the water. Another way is to challenge the Kappa to a battle of skill like shogi (intellectual) or sumo wrestling (physical), for he cannot refuse. Pulling the arm of a Kappa is also helpful. Kappa’s arms can be removed and once taken the Kappa will be willing to make any oath or promise in hopes of getting back the arm. A cucumber is also good to have, because cucumbers are the Kappa’s favorite food.

If you feel like you wanna know more about the Kappa, check out this website: http://www.onmarkproductions.com/html/kappa.shtml There is more information, interesting theories, and uglier pictures.

 

-Blog Barista

 

 

This is Kawabata from the anime Namiuchigiwa no Muromi-san or "Muromi-san on the shore." I have never actually watched the anime (for reasons not necessary to say here), but I love Kawabata

The large green man on the right is Kawabata from the anime Namiuchigiwa no Muromi-san (Muromi-san on the shore) by Keiji Najima. He is a super buff Kappa and super Manly-Man (I don’t suggest this anime)