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Japanese Folklore & Ghost Stories

Samurai, geisha, tea ceremony, Japanese festivals, weddings - learn about Japanese history and tradition.

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AudioF175654
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Japanese Folklore & Ghost Stories

Postby AudioF175654 » December 16th, 2013 3:36 am

Well, this is my first post so I assumed it best to choose one of my favorite topics currently. I wasn't sure where to go until I realized I certainly wouldn't mind learning the origins of these tales and creatures that came from them...

But first I want to state that it's a pleasure to meet you all, and that I hope to extend that pleasure to you as well.

Despite the humble origins of my interest I've grown to enjoy studying the supernatural folklore of the Japanese. I've read over a number of items from mere wikipages, and websites to the rare pleasure of a folklorist journal. (I've yet to obtain a complete one!) One my smaller goals is to be able to seriously study these things with my own power by diving in as far as I can and seeing what turns up when I do so. Maybe at some point become something of a hobbiest folklorist on these subjects myself...who knows? It's all in good fun.

So let's get to the good part : What's your favorite Japanese ghost story?

While it's not a requirement to hover on this particular topic, I will start us off with something easy that anyone might be able to answer. (Provided they have a little knowledge on the subject.) If you don't it's fine just to say hello and express any equal interests or share your knowledge on anything to do with this sort of thread.

My favorite...are the ones involved a spectral creature known as an inugami. Though their origins are pretty grusome and sad there's a kind of justice in seeing the pitiful being that'd do such a thing being haunted by a gigantic, vicious, floating dog head that could turn on them and their evil ways at any given time. Granted...I almost mentioned the Yuki Onna. (I wonder if anyone else prefers that particular spirit.)

andycarmenjapanese8100
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Re: Japanese Folklore & Ghost Stories

Postby andycarmenjapanese8100 » December 16th, 2013 5:11 am

AudioF175654 wrote:Granted...I almost mentioned the Yuki Onna. (I wonder if anyone else prefers that particular spirit.)


There's a very good adaptation of a Lafcadio Hearn's Yuki-onna story in the film Kaidan (1964). The movie itself is a portmanteau of several horrors, that particular tale is my favourite. If you're a fan then you've probably seen it already and know how captivating and visually striking it is.

I prefer Yabu No Naka No Kuroneko though. For those who don't know - it's a ghost story set in the Heian period about a samurai who has to exorcise the vengeful spirits of his mother and wife from a bamboo grove where they were raped and murdered. Adapted for film in 1968, it's not scary in the way that modern horrors are but it's emotionally deep and tense at parts.

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Tracel
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Re: Japanese Folklore & Ghost Stories

Postby Tracel » December 16th, 2013 6:05 am

I really like Japanese supernatural 'things' too. Just about anything goes really. Ironically, I am a bit of a wimp when it comes to really scary stories though so I refuse to watch shows like 'The Ring'. Youkai of any kind, the different Shinto Gods, fortune telling, the zodiac, the list just goes on. Yuki Onna is very interesting, although I don't know that I have a favorite yet. One group that is unique in the world is the Tsukumogami. I love foxes in real life, so the fox spirits, Kitsune or Yakko are fascinating.

Happy to continue the discussion any time.

Tracel :blob:
ごきげんよう、
トラセル

community.japanese
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Re: Japanese Folklore & Ghost Stories

Postby community.japanese » December 19th, 2013 10:39 pm

AudioF175654-san, Andy-san, トラsan,
kon'nichiwa! :D

Welcome to J-Pod forum, AudioF175654-san! :wink:

Well.....one of the three things I can't live with is ghost and so....I'd rather not to stay here
too long...or I have to sleep with room lights on :mrgreen: :obake:

There are many stories and tales about supernatural creatures in Japan and one of the most famous
manga artist/author would be Shigeru Mizuki.
His world would be also interesting for you.

Many or almost all of "nihon mukashi banashi" (Japanese old tales) includes "ghosts" (Yuki on'na, as well)
and those are very good. We all know some of them, and those short stories have some lessons in life,
moral lessons or doctrines. I remember, somehow, "hebi nyoubou" (へび女房 lit. snake wife) was impressive.

As to real ghosts, .....if I had nightmare tonight, it's all because of you three! :mrgreen:

Natsuko (奈津子),
Team JapanesePod101.com

AudioF175654
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Re: Japanese Folklore & Ghost Stories

Postby AudioF175654 » December 31st, 2013 4:08 am

andycarmenjapanese8100 wrote:There's a very good adaptation of a Lafcadio Hearn's Yuki-onna story in the film Kaidan (1964).

I prefer Yabu No Naka No Kuroneko though.


This information is actually new to me, as a result I am very excited to look into them. Unfortunately I've only had the pleasure of reading about certain films as opposed to actually watching them---so I am very grateful to you for expanding my list of 'must see'. I think I will find special interest in Yabu No Naka No Kuroneko...I think I'll start with that first.

Are there any other films you've come across that suit our shared interests? I'd love to hear more.

Tracel wrote:One group that is unique in the world is the Tsukumogami. I love foxes in real life, so the fox spirits, Kitsune or Yakko are fascinating.


Indeed they are~. I did a fairly lengthy study on kitsune and their various kinds. Perhaps we should trade notes sometime. While I do not have an extensive writing based on these studies (As they were light hearted and done in usual info hungry devouring fashion) I do recall a lot of interesting things and websites I'd found along the way.

The kitsune have really inspired me to study the Shinto religion...or perhaps I should say Inari had a hand in this. Lol

By the way! One of my favorite kitsune stories is the story of Tamamo no Mae~. Do you know it?

community.japanese wrote:There are many stories and tales about supernatural creatures in Japan and one of the most famous
manga artist/author would be Shigeru Mizuki.
His world would be also interesting for you.

Many or almost all of "nihon mukashi banashi" (Japanese old tales) includes "ghosts" (Yuki on'na, as well)
and those are very good. We all know some of them, and those short stories have some lessons in life,
moral lessons or doctrines. I remember, somehow, "hebi nyoubou" (へび女房 lit. snake wife) was impressive.


Moshi moshi!

I'd apologize for your nightmares but I am one of those strange sorts whom actually enjoy nightmares. xD So for me it's actually a pleasing thing to know that I may have provided for you an exhilerating experience to go with your rest---I only find myself regretting that you may not have enjoyed them as much as I have in the past. But who knows! Maybe that'll give you a little courage for the next scare!

I will however thank you, as I have the others, for your suggestion. I think I shall look into this Shigeru Mizuki, though this person seems vaguely familiar to me~.

Please do rest well when you move to do so~. Enjoy the adventure your nightmares bring.

Also I apologize for replying so amazingly late to all of you, the holidays have had their way with me. xD The christmas spirit is a force to be rekoned with!

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Re: Japanese Folklore & Ghost Stories

Postby community.japanese » January 7th, 2014 2:43 pm

AudioF175654-san,
oh well, I'm simply glad I could help! :mrgreen:
As long as those ghosts don't visit me, I'm good :lol:

Enjoy Japanese horror and a happy new year! :obake:

Natsuko (奈津子),
Team JapanesePod101.com

watertommyz9255
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Re: Japanese Folklore & Ghost Stories

Postby watertommyz9255 » February 5th, 2014 5:33 pm

Yurei creep me out. Unlike a lot of western ghost stories I'm familiar with, it seems Japanese ghosts tend to be a lot more vengeful and angry, and usually with good reason. My favorite one so far being Goze no Yurei, and seems to be a great example of what I'm talking about.

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Re: Japanese Folklore & Ghost Stories

Postby community.japanese » February 7th, 2014 1:43 pm

watertommyz9255 san,
I also think they are different.
Thank you.
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JohnC
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Re: Japanese Folklore & Ghost Stories

Postby JohnC » February 16th, 2016 1:37 pm

Akutagawa's Rashomon is probably my all time favorite. While not necessarily a tried and true "ghost story" there is something altogether eerie and creepy about the whole tale itself.

The legend of Onibaba is another that freaks me out as well.

OH! Before I forget, since we are talking about ghosts and folklore, you should all look for the series called Yamishibai: Japanese Ghost Stories. They are a series of 3-5 minute long tales, done like paper puppets, and very creepy. They are perfect if you ever want to collect some tales for having a game of Hyaku Monogatari! The series is currently showing on Crunchy Roll and into its third season.
“Hither came Conan, the Cimmerian, black-haired, sullen-eyed, sword in hand, a thief, a reaver, a slayer, with gigantic melancholies and gigantic mirth, to tread the jeweled thrones of the Earth under his sandaled feet.” -Conan, by R.E. Howard

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Re: Japanese Folklore & Ghost Stories

Postby community.japanese » February 22nd, 2016 7:05 am

JohnCさん、
Konnichiwa.
Than you for giving us the information.
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Last edited by community.japanese on February 29th, 2016 3:10 am, edited 1 time in total.

JohnC
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Re: Japanese Folklore & Ghost Stories

Postby JohnC » February 22nd, 2016 10:58 am

Not a problem. Yamishibai is so worth telling folks about. It's a really awesome production.
“Hither came Conan, the Cimmerian, black-haired, sullen-eyed, sword in hand, a thief, a reaver, a slayer, with gigantic melancholies and gigantic mirth, to tread the jeweled thrones of the Earth under his sandaled feet.” -Conan, by R.E. Howard

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Re: Japanese Folklore & Ghost Stories

Postby community.japanese » February 29th, 2016 3:11 am

JohnC san,
Konnichiwa. :)
I see.
I will see it.
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JohnC
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Re: Japanese Folklore & Ghost Stories

Postby JohnC » March 7th, 2016 11:19 pm

:obake: Cool...then be prepared to be creeped out!
“Hither came Conan, the Cimmerian, black-haired, sullen-eyed, sword in hand, a thief, a reaver, a slayer, with gigantic melancholies and gigantic mirth, to tread the jeweled thrones of the Earth under his sandaled feet.” -Conan, by R.E. Howard

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Re: Japanese Folklore & Ghost Stories

Postby community.japanese » March 15th, 2016 8:04 am

JohnC san,
Konnichiwa. :)
Thank you for your post.
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