Here I am, reading an untitled poem I wrote based on the Japanese ghost story 'Banchō Sarayashiki.' You can read the full story in my post about Himeji Castle. Read & recorded at Speakin' Weird open mic night at Spin in Aberdeen, February 2019.
Each day you can admire the moon, the snow and the flowers. Yet, flowers seldom bloom when it snows, and what if it’s the time of the dark moon? There is no beauty in winter. Once the sunlight and sakura leave...
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.
It is said that dogs are our best friends, and if this story is to be believed then that is certainly true. In the city of Ise, on the south east coast of Japan in Mie Prefecture, you will find many shops selling little charms in the shape of dogs. You will also see people walking their... Continue Reading →
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.
Ocean folklore kindles my imagination like nothing else.Salty wind, sandy toes, and the scent of seaweed are my home. Ocean folklore kindles my imagination like nothing else. Earlier this year, I travelled to Mie Prefecture on the east coast of Japan. It is a reserved, quaint place where the ocean's influence is inescapable. Here is the... Continue Reading →
Most people know that rice is a prevalent food in Japan. But apart from being a source of nutrition, rice also has cultural and folkloric significance attached to it. New Year Mochi Much of Japan's folklore is based on the concept of animism, due to the ancient Shinto belief that every object has a spirit. This... Continue Reading →
I feel a close affinity with deer. They can be timid creatures, and this lends them an almost mythical reputation in some places. The elusive deer, somewhere in the woods, quiet and unseen. Maybe watching you. No harm in that. Just watching, and then slipping away. Yet underneath that timidness they hold wisdom, and strength. They... Continue Reading →