NAMAZU THE CATFISH
In Japanese mythology, the Namazu (鯰) or Ōnamazu (大鯰) is a giant catfish who causes earthquakes. He lives in the mud under the islands of Japan, and is guarded by the god Kashima who restrains the catfish with a stone. When Kashima lets his guard fall, Namazu thrashes about, causing violent earthquakes.
Baku watch over humans and act as a guardian spirits. They feed on the dreams of humans – specifically bad dreams. Evil spirits and yokai fear baku and flee from them, avoiding areas inhabited by them. Therefore, health and good luck follow a baku wherever it goes.
Beautiful traditional Japaneses style of painting. Filled with yokai and Japaneses inspired monsters. I love the court-in-the-act presentation of these pictures combined with there very detailed old fashioned ink appearance. P.S. This was all painted in digital.
The artist’s gallery is here. http://raiu-alive.deviantart.com/ Enjoy!
Post camo from this lagon. http://frozenoverblackballoon.tumblr.com/post/67674246273/beautiful-traditional-japaneses-style-of
Yokai pictures by Matthew Meyer
Ok, I’m stretching relevancy here to Hakuouki and/or the Shinsengumi quite a bit, but it’s my tumblr, and I adore Matthew Meyer’s yokai art. (The style reminds me a bit of Michael Hague’s illustrations in childhood fantasy/fairy tale books).
These creatures (and some ghosts) are from all over Japan, and Meyer explains where from, and shares stories with sources about them in the links below.
I picked some of my favourite pieces of Meyer’s artwork, and also, to be more strictly relevant, I included an oni.
In order, these are
- Nurikabe (塗壁)
- Sagari (さがり)
- Kappa (河童)
- Okuri-inu (送り犬)
- Shirime (尻目)
- Ittan-momen (反木綿), Kosode-no-te (小袖の手), Jatai( 蛇帯)
- Inugami (犬神)
- Shiryō (死霊)
- Imori (守宮)
- Oni (鬼)
Meyer also has a pretty, more easily-navigable site: Yokai.com, which takes the form of a field guide to Yokai (plus some ghosts and gods), and some people might enjoy that site more, but I love the blog best because of all the extra information about his art and the history.
Katsushika Hokusai - Rokurokubi. A drawing from the Hokusai Manga. N.d.
怪奇談絵詞 (Kaikidan Ekotoba), Monsters Scroll, last part
mid-19th century, unknown author