Come listen to what happens when you kill a mosquito, commit mutiny, or convince your drunken friend to do your evil bidding. Also, you don’t want to lie, lest an oni pull your tongue out with red hot pliers.
The third Monday of July is Umi no Hi (Marine Day), so this month I decided to talk about three otherworldly ocean creatures: Ship Goddesses, Boat Ghosts, and Sea Monks.
The amanojaku is a nasty Japanese beastie that predates Buddhism, might have originated from a Shinto deity, who you can usually find getting trampled on by the Four Heavenly Kings at temples all around Japan. It’s also used to describe a contrary person.
Back in old Japan when times were tough and there were too many mouths for one family to feed, they might do something called kuchi herashi, or getting rid of mouths by sending your children to live with a wealthier family or hauling grandma or grandpa up into the mountains and leave them to fend for themselves.
Hitori kakurenbo (一人隠れん坊) means playing hide and seek by yourself. It sounds silly, but it’s actually a super creepy, Japanese urban myth that involves you all alone at night with nothing but a stuffed animal, some red thread, and a knife.
The rokuyo or six days is the Japanese calendar that you consult when preparing to engage in various affairs: weddings, funerals, trips, and business dealings to name a few. Some days are good for some things, other days are good for others. Some days are just bad, bad, bad.
Living a life of luxury while being selfish and coveting your neighbors goodies just might lead you to another spin on this Wheel of Life. This means after you die you’ll be reborn not as a human again, not even as a squirrel in someone’s backyard. You might just come back as a hungry ghost, and let me tell you why that’s not a very good thing.