Asian Folklore Essay

Asian Folklore Essay-18
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These are the commonly used terms in Japan for ghosts: (怪談/かいだん) are terms used to categorize classic and traditional ghost stories, usually from the Edo Period.

Or, there is also 実話怪談 (じつわ かいだん) or “real ghost stories,” which are usually personal stories, but many have gained popularity and are retold.

Perhaps they’re the real inventors of the 河童巻き (かっぱ まき) sushi.

The “snow woman” is a spirit that died in the snow, and now only appears in the snow—here we’ll take a quick break from the summer ghost stories, and learn one that has a winter setting.

Primarily, the 河童 is used as a cautionary tale to children to be careful while swimming.

河童 are tricksters that, depending on the story, are mischievous or downright malevolent.In tamer stories, 雪女 will sometimes let victims go if they’re beautiful or young.Do you think you’re good-looking enough to survive?There’s no telling if it could scare you to death, so watch out!Studio Ghibli’s includes a scene with a のっぺら坊, which in the story is actually a shapeshifting raccoon parading as a のっぺら坊.This is a creature that usually assumes normal human form, but is able to wipe its facial features off so a blank stretch of skin is left where the eyes, nose and mouth should be.These creatures do not harm anyone in the stories, but simply scare people.Literally “river boy,” these creatures resemble turtles with webbed (and somewhat human-like) feet and hands.They’re about the size of small children, and they’re able to stand, walk on land and swim.Don’t let her beauty fool you though—she’s a ruthless killer.In the stories, she usually appears to travelers and traps them in snowstorms, breathing on them until they’re frosted dead, or simply leading them out farther and farther so they die from hypothermia.


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