Japanese Folklore In A Nutshell


When you hear someone gushing about Japan, what comes first into your mind?

Cherry blossoms? Anime shows? J-pop music?

You see, Japan is more than just having cherry blossoms flourish every spring. It’s more than just having anime shows dominate television networks. It’s more than just having J-pop music lead billboard charts.

Japan is best known for 4 things: history, culture, etiquette, and people – all of which perfectly represents the whole country: the Land of the Rising Sun, which shines brightly across other lands. But you know what? There’s more to Japan. There’s more to Japan having a rich history, a vibrant culture, a traditional etiquette, and disciplined people – even visitors who are saying more than just ohayou gozaimasu Japanese greetings.

Ladies and gentlemen, here’s Japanese folklore in a nutshell:

For starters, Japanese folklore is also best known for 4 things: religion, arts, clothes, and tales.

In religion, there’s Shinto. Better known as “kami-no-michi,” Shinto is a kind of ethnic religion that primarily involves rituals connecting Japan’s past and present. It has many forms – including Shrine Shinto, which involves ranking and priesthood; Folk Shinto, which involves divination and healing; and Sect Shinto, which involves 13 kinds of sects like Confucian and purification.

In arts, there’s crafting. This includes making “netsuke” or mini sculptures that can be made from wood and “shiragaki” or stoneware that can be made from clay. This also involves a type of art called representation, such as that of “ema” or wooden plaques depicting animals and “koinobori” or carp-shaped banners depicting Children’s Day.

In clothes, there’s weaving. This includes making “kasa” or hat made from bamboo strips and “mino” or rain cape made from rice straw. Both of these clothing articles are used to understand Japan’s history and culture even more, as well as glimpse into how people live then and now and how they uphold tradition in the best way possible.

As for tales, there are animals. This includes “kitsune” or fox that’s described to be intelligent and magical, as well as having the ability to shapeshift. This also includes “tanuki” or raccoon dog that’s described to be playful and friendly, as well as naive and forgetful. The tanuki is also described to have the ability to shapeshift, just like the kitsune.

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Mythical Creatures from Around the World


Mythical creatures have long fueled the imagination of people around the world. They have been become fixtures in folk tales, legends, and tall tales some of which can be convincing. Many have trembled in anxiety and fear with just the thought of meeting one of them. Real or not, these mythical creatures are hard to ignore. And these are just some of them.


In Irish mythology, a banshee is a female spirit that foretells death by screaming or screeching loudly. This mythical creature is often described as an ugly, old, and scruffy-looking woman. But there have been stories that the mythical banshee is the goddess Morrigan.


In Greek mythology, Cerberus is known as the “hound of Hades”. It is often depicted as a three-headed dog that purportedly stands guard at the entrance to Hades’ world. Cerberus is a well-known mythical creature and has been featured in one of the Harry Potter books and films.


The Chinese Dragon is a mythical creature that traces its roots in China. It has a long, almost serpent-like body. It possesses powers that can control the elements. Legends believe that a dragon’s power can summon rains and even hurricanes. They also embody strength and power and are believe to be capable of imbuing such traits to people.


Gumiho is a Korean mythical creature. It is a nine tailed fox that takes on the appearance of a beautiful woman. Legends depict them as scary creatures hiding under the guise of an enthralling woman. Many believe that they eat the liver of men.


Manananggal is one of the mythical creatures in the Philippines. It is often illustrated or portrayed as a fearsome woman. It can grow bat-like wings and separate its upper body while leaving its torso behind. It is said to prey on babies and pregnant women. Some believed that putting salt on the lower half of the manananggal’s body will prevent it from reattaching itself.


The Phoenix is another fascinating creature from Greek mythology. It is a beautiful bird that goes through the cycle of birth and rebirth. Once it reaches the end of its cycle, the bird is said to burst into flames and burn into ashes. It is reborn as it rises from its own ashes.


The unicorn is a beautiful creature in Greek mythology. It is often depicted as a pure white horse that sports a spiraling horn. It symbolizes purity.

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