History of Ghosts in Japanese Lore : History of Ghosts in Japanese Lore Courtesy of:
Chavon-Chan-San ^_^ Let’s talk about Death ^_^ : Let’s talk about Death ^_^ For many cultures, not just Japan, Death was still a mystery.
It was viewed as an intruder.
Death is the change from one state to another, the reunion of body with earth, of soul with spirit. One Hundred Stories of Demons and Spirits Cont’d : Cont’d Humans, throughout the ages, have seldom been able to believe or to understand the finality of death. For this reason fables and legends have evolved around the spirits of the dead. Back to Japan! : Back to Japan! The Japanese believe that spirits are around them all the time
According to Japanese Shinto belief:
After death a human being becomes a spirit, sometimes a deity. It is believed that eight million deities inhabit the heavens and the earth - the mountains, the forests, the seas, and the very air that is breathed.
Traditions tell us that these deities have two souls: one gentle (nigi-mi-tama), and the other violent (ara-mi-tama). Buddhism : Buddhism When Buddhism was introduced in Japan in the late 6th century it added a whole new dimension to belief in spirits and the supernatural.
The Buddhist belief in the world of the living, the world of the dead, and the ‘Pure Land of Buddha’ (Jodo)= HEAVEN The way a man behaved during his lifetime determined whether he would go to the world of the dead or the ‘Pure Land’. Those driven to the nether-world found it to be a hell in all its vileness. Slide 6: The Japanese believe that after death a spirit is angry and impure.
Many rituals are performed for seven years to purify and pacify the soul. In this way the person becomes a spirit.
According to belief, a spirit wanders between the land of the living and the world of shadows.
For this reason, prayers are offered to insure passage to the Land of the Dead. GHOSTS= Yurei (NOT Yuri >_<) : GHOSTS= Yurei (NOT Yuri >_<) If the soul of the dead is not purified, it can return to the land of the living in the guise of a ghost.
Also, if a dead person is not delivered, through prayer, from personal emotions such as jealousy, envy or anger, the spirit can return in a ghostly guise. Cont’d : Cont’d The ghost haunts the place where it lived and punishes those responsible for his or her bitter fate.
The ghost will remain until released from its suffering by living person who prays that the soul of the dead may ascend. Yurei through the ages : Yurei through the ages During the Heian era (794-1185) it was believed that ghostly spirits floated above the living causing disease, plague and hunger.
In the Kamakura era (1185-1333) a belief was reinforced that spirits turned into small animals, such as raccoons and foxes, that led people astray.
And in the Momoyama (1573-1600) and the Edo periods (1603-1868) there was a belief that if a man died of disease or in an epidemic, he turned into a monstrous demon. Kinda weird… : Kinda weird… Household objects, when a hundred years old, could become deities in the Muromachi period (1336-1573). These honored objects were thought to possess special powers and were treated with care and respect. Cont’d : Cont’d The tyrannical feudal regime which prevailed during the Edo period, combined with natural disasters that occurred at that time, added to the lore of evil and vengeful spirits and ghosts.
At the close of the Edo era, laws were passed forbidding the display of theatrical performances with the theme of frightening ghostly spirits, for fear of undermining the government. Yurei and Women : Yurei and Women Most creatures in stories of unfortunate spirits were women. They were vengeful ghosts, and the greater the misery endured by the woman during her lifetime, the more threatening her ghostly spirits would be after her death.
Cruelty to women is a recurring theme in Japanese lore and legend. Ghosts in theater! : Ghosts in theater! Ghost stories were dramatized for puppet theaters in the early1700’s. Ghost stories then began to be enacted in various theaters
Vengeful spirits became the central theme in the Kabuki theater at the end of the 18th century. Murder was presented on the stage in all its gory details, and female ghosts were distinctly portrayed. House of Plates Ghosts the theatrical version cont’d : Ghosts the theatrical version cont’d The scenes of crime and bloodshed presented were shocking and intended to arouse suspense and fear.
Surprisingly, these plays were quite popular, and print artists reproduced many scenes of these Kabuki productions.
An example of this theme is in one of the plays enacted at the Kabuki theater called the ‘The Rock That Weeps at Night.” The Rock that weeps at Night : The Rock that weeps at Night “At Tokaido, on the road between Tokyo and Kyoto, there is a famous rock known as ‘The Rocks that Weeps at Night’.
Lore tells of a pregnant woman traveling along this road at night to meet her husband. Bandits stop her and she was barbarously murdered. Her blood spilled onto the rock, which became the home of her ghost. Legend has it that the rock weeps at night.” Japanese Demons : Japanese Demons Rokurokubi (Long-necked Demon) Facts about Demons : Facts about Demons Demons in Japanese lore wander between the living and the dead.
Sometimes demons do good deeds in the world, and sometimes they wreck havoc.
Demons have supernatural powers; but they also have the magical ability to affect natural phenomena.
According to Japanese belief, some demons are the root of all disasters, both natural and man-made. Demonic Facts Cont’d : Demonic Facts Cont’d Japanese demons are not altogether evil but are also tricksters and enjoy playing practical jokes.
In the Edo period they began to depict the demons with humour
This was a way in which the people equated the demons with the upper classes; also this was a way to mock the heavy-handed feudal rule. Slide 19: The end
Or is it?
No, seriously, this is the end. I’m just bored right now
So I totally just decided to draw this out way longer than it needed to be
In a galaxy far, far away…
Powerpoint made by:Chavon-chan-san
(and just for the record, you’re actually not supposed to attach that many honorifics to your name -_-)
Research done by:
To be honest, I’m not sure why you guys are still watching this. I’m sure it’s kinda like watching a really bad anime, it’s so strange, you just can’t look away from it…
Okay, I’m done. It’s all over. I promise. Slide 20: Fin
(Part one =^_^=)