Wednesday, February 11, 2015

The mythical creatures of Japan

Japan is really good at horror. I mean really good. From movies to mythical creatures there's something to scare everyone. Even thunder storms have a life of their own with young children trained to run for cover, hand over belly button, in case the lightening comes down and steals it. Arguably that may be good training for the kids though.

Many are chimera like the tsuchigomu, part tiger, part spider and part demon, they feed on weary and unwary travellers. And the tengu, from where this blog takes its name are part human, part bird. There are dragons aplenty too, giant skeletons that bite your head off and more demons that I have space to mention. However, a number of the legends curiously relate to people's legs in one way or another.

You can always tell a ghost by it's long neck and lack of feet. Kamaitachi are triplets that like to steel your legs and Teke Teke is a young girl who also has a penchant for cutting peoples legs off, though she tends to leave them behind. But best of all are the katakirauwa, little piglet ghosts. You can tell they're ghosts because they have one ear and no shadow and whatever you do don't let them run between your legs or they'll have your soul.

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