Last week, I had the pleasure of attending the University of Essex's Myth Reading Group to run a session on Japanese folklore. The group is part of the university's Centre for Myth Studies, which aims to support and promote the study of myth. For the past two terms, the Myth Reading Group has been focusing on trees... Continue Reading →
Tottori may be Japan's least populated prefecture in terms of people, but if it's yōkai you're counting then it will come out on top. In the city of Sakaiminato, they have taken over the streets with their somewhat disturbing charm. In Japanese folklore, yōkai are mischievous supernatural creatures akin to spirits or demons in Western culture. The... Continue Reading →
In the city of Ise, you will find many shops selling charms in the shape of dogs. These things are homage to the Okage Inu (thankful dog) of local legend.
Where there are castles, there are also stories. Himeji is no exception. This vibrant, serene city is also home to one of Japan's most famous ghost stories.
In Mie Prefecture, on the east coast of Japan, I learned stories of sea demons, underwater dragon palaces, and the Sun Goddess Amaterasu.
In Western countries, there are stories of the man in the moon. But in Japanese folklore, instead it's a mochi-making rabbit.
Deer legends are found all over the world, and they have a lot to say about how we interact with wildlife.
I'm sure you've heard of Hello Kitty, and possibly how she's actually a British schoolgirl (if you haven't then read that article, and prepare to gawp with incredulity for at least 10 minutes). But what about Sanrio's other characters? There are many of them, and they all have their own stories. In the case of My Melody, her... Continue Reading →
There's a lot of hype about Beauty and the Beast at the moment, with Disney's live action film on the horizon, the legendary Angela Lansbury taking to the stage to sing on the animated film's 25th anniversary, and the English release of La Belle et la Bête. To add to this melting pot of excitement,... Continue Reading →