Posts tagged ayakashi
Posts tagged ayakashi
Are monsters in Japanese folklore. By day, nukekubi appear to be normal human beings. By night however, their heads detach at the neck smoothly from their bodies and fly about independently in search of human prey. These heads attack by screaming (to increase their victims’ fright), then closing in and biting.
While the head is detached, the body of a nukekubi becomes inanimate. In some legends, this serves as one of the creature’s few weaknesses; if a nukekubi’s head cannot locate and reattach to its body by sunrise, the creature dies. Legends often tell of would-be victims foiling the creatures by destroying or hiding their bodies while the heads are elsewhere.
By day, nukekubi often try to blend into human society. They sometimes live in groups, impersonating normal human families. The only way to tell a nukekubi from a normal human being is a line of red symbols around the base of the neck where the head detaches. Even this small detail is easily concealed beneath clothing or jewelry.
In a folktale collected for his book Kwaidan, Lafcadio Hearn relates that the nukekubi can be misidentified as Rokurokubi, an error that also appears in the Fighting Fantasy book, Sword of the Samurai, and in Stephen Dedman's novel The Art of Arrow-Cutting. The rokurokubi is a similar but slightly different being from Japanese folklore belonging to the same overall class; instead of heads that completely sever, the rokurokubi have necks that stretch to enormous lengths during night-time. The book Even More Short & Shivery by Robert D. San Souci has a tale called Rokuro-kubi, but, again, the descriptions in the book are nukekubi, not rokurokubi.
Yama-uba (山姥?, mountain crone) is a yōkai (“spirit” or “monster”) found in Japanese folklore. The name may also be spelled Yamamba or Yamanba. She is sometimes confused with the Yuki-onna (“snow woman”), but the two figures are not the same.
Yama-uba looks like an old woman, usually a hideous one and her kimono is filthy and tattered. Her mouth is sometimes said to stretch the entire width of her face, and some depictions give her a second mouth at the top of her head. She is able to change her appearance, though, and she uses this tactic to great success in capturing her victims.
Yama-uba inhabits the deep forests of the mountains of Japan. Various regions claim her as a native, including Sabana (where she is supposed to have once lived in a cave at the base of Mt. Nabekura, near Fukui), the Tōhoku Region (northern Honshū), and the Ashigara Mountains. Most stories say that she lives in a hut.
Yama-uba preys on travelers who have become lost in her wooded lair. Her exact tactics vary from story to story. Sometimes, she changes her appearance to that of a beautiful woman or possibly one of her victim’s loved ones. Other times, she retains her hag-like form and plays the part of a helpless old woman. Once she has gained her quarry’s trust, she often closes and eats them then and there. She is able to animate her hair (or turn it to snakes in some legends) and use it to pull the prey into the maw atop her head. She may also offer to “help” the lost soul and then lead him to a dangerous area of the mountain where he falls to his death and allows her to feed. Alternatively, she may offer to lodge the victim in her hut. Once the luckless traveler is sufficiently fattened up, she pounces. In addition to killing adults, Yama-uba is often blamed for missing children, and parents use her as a sort of bogeyman.
Because her behavior is similar to that of female oni, some scholars suggest that Yama-uba is simply a named member of that class of creature. Others suggest that several Yama-uba live all throughout Japan. Unlike the invincible oni, however, Yama-uba is fallible. A few tales make her a nocturnal creature unable to move about in sunlight. At least one tradition holds that her only weakness is a flower that holds her spirit, so that if the flower is destroyed, the mountain crone is as well. She is often depicted as quite gullible, and tales of her would-be prey fooling her to make their escape are common.
Yama-uba is skilled in the arts of sorcery, potions and poisons. She sometimes trades this knowledge to human beings if they bring her a substitute victim to eat or satisfy some similarly wicked bargain.
Some scholars place Yama-uba’s origin in stories about times when great famine caused Japanese villagers to cast their elderly out into the woods for lack of food. Yama-uba would thus be born out of the psychological undercurrent from such actions.
Legends of Yama-uba have existed since at least the Heian period. At this time, a village named Sabane. built a bypass around a cave that was thought to house the witch.
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“Fear … is admiration.”
HOT Bitch ALERT
the ayakashi of old take it to the next stage
I super Me Gusta that Rihan file and wanted it so bad