So for thousands of years, creatures of folklore and mythology have stalked the Japanese countryside, keeping wayward children in at night. But what about in the era of electric lights and digital cameras? What happened to the youkai, the bakemono, the monomo and ayakeshi — where are they now?
They’re glad you asked. Continue reading
Today we feature a guest post by my friend Emilia Blaser, a collector of kimono. Because there’s a lot of misinformation and false assumptions regarding kimono, Emilia is graciously allowing me to repost her convenient guide to kimono for beginners. Continue reading
nishiki food market, kyoto, pickled vegetables (nukamiso) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Today we’re going to have a meal with the oyakata-sama and okugata-sama, the lord and lady of the household. Have you been practicing with your chopsticks? I hope you’re hungry! Continue reading
A painting of a Japanese woman using chopsticks, by Utagawa Kuniyoshi (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Today we will learn an important aspect of polite society — chopsticks! Or, as they are known in Japanese, hashi. Continue reading
I don’t usually do a Wordless Wednesday post — for one thing, I’m pretty bad at “wordless” — but here are some fantastic pictures I collected for research and inspiration while working on Kitsune-Tsuki and Kitsune-Mochi.
If you like these, be sure to check out the Kitsune-Tsuki/Kitsune-Mochi Pinterest board! Continue reading
me, in my kitchen, just before starting the transformation
Kitsune are clever shapeshifters who can appear as a human. Today, we’re going to change our own appearances toward a kitsune costume. Continue reading
For the First Day of Kitsune, I’d like to share one of the oldest and most common folk stories about a kitsune. It’s a tale of a fox wife, similar to Western stories of fairy brides, and it features many of the key points in the kitsune legend.
Fox women (kitsune in human form). Woodcut by Bertha Boynton Lum, 1908. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
It’s also a story the village girl Murame hears in Kitsune-Mochi, which prompts her to do some deep thinking…. Continue reading
Warning! Here there be spoilers, in great measure. Also, plot dissection and narrative breakdown. Continue reading
VA Tag: KITSUNE (Photo credit: shawnblog)
Christmas is one of my favorite holidays — but it wasn’t exactly popular during Heian and Kamakura eras in Japan, for obvious reasons. So here on the blog we’re going to celebrate Twelve Days of Kitsune, and each post we’ll discover a new folk tale, period foods, or other fun surprises related to Kitsune-Tsuki and Kitsune-Mochi.
Watch for the first post in the series on Monday!
So this is what was waiting for me when I flew home through Hurricane Sandy turbulence and walked in the front door.
McCoy the skeleton, at my table