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Japanese Buildings in the news

Japanese history lives in buildings 

Pasadena Star-News - Jan 07 11:18 PM
PASADENA - The historical buildings in Old Pasadena provide more than just a pretty backdrop for shopping and eating. For a handful of area history sleuths, the ornate brick buildings provide clues to a once-thriving Japanese- American community that has all but disappeared.
Abe to seek measures to improve political funds transparency 
Kyodo via Yahoo! Asia News - Jan 11 8:07 AM
_ Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe expressed intention Thursday to have his ruling Liberal Democratic Party discuss measures to improve transparency of political funds amid fresh controversies over parliamentarians' accounting practices.

Monument to all that jazz: Shanghai's Peace Hotel, a piece of Old Europe in new China 
Independent - 50 minutes ago
Standing on the top floor of Shanghai's Peace Hotel, an art deco palace once known as the Cathay Hotel, you can look out over the turrets and spires of the elegant Bund promenade and dream of a China long gone.

Steven Arai remembered as a ‘gracious, respectful warrior' 
Seattle Daily Journal of Commerce - Jan 11 12:05 AM
Steven Arai, an architect and urban planner who was active in the Seattle Japanese American community, died Dec. 27 at the age of 60 after a prolonged illness.

- Japanes Buildings

Here is an article on Japanese Buildings.

A Japanesse Buildings statue of a red oni wielding a tetsubo.

Oni (?) are creatures from Japanese folklore, similar to Japnese Buildings Western demons, ogres, and trolls. They are Jappanese Buildings popular characters in Japanese art, literature, and theatre.

Appearance

Depictions of oni vary widely but Japanse Buildings usually portray them as hideous, gigantic creatures with sharp claws, wild Japannese Buildings hair, and two long horns growing from their heads. They are humanoid for the most part, but occasionally, they Japanee Buildings are shown with unnatural features such as odd numbers of eyes or extra fingers Apanese Buildings and toes. Japaese Buildings Their skin may be any number of colors, but blue, black, purple, Japamese Buildings pink, brown, green, white, and especially red, are particularly common. Their fierce Japanesee Buildings appearance is only enhanced by the tiger skins they tend to wear and the iron Japnaese Buildings clubs they favor, called kanabō (金棒?). This image leads to the expression "oni with an iron club" (鬼に金棒 oni-ni-kanabō?), that is, to be invincible or undefeatable. It can also be used in the sense of "strong beyond strong", or having one's natural quality enhanced or supplemented by the use of some tool.

Origins

The word "oni" is sometimes speculated to be derived from on, the on'yomi reading of a character (隠) meaning to hide or conceal, as oni were originally invisible spirits or gods which caused disasters, disease, and other unpleasant things. These nebulous beings could also take on a variety of forms to deceive (and often devour) humans. Thus a Chinese character (鬼) meaning "ghost" came to be used for these formless creatures.

The invisible oni eventually became anthropomorphized and took on its modern, ogre-like form, partly via syncretism with creatures imported by Buddhism, such as the Indian rakshasa and yaksha, the hungry ghosts called gaki, and the devilish underlings of Enma-Ō who punish sinners in Jigoku (Hell).

The Demon Gate

Another source for the oni's image is a concept from China and Onmyōdō. The northeast direction was once termed the kimon (鬼門, "demon gate"), and was considered an unlucky direction through which evil spirits passed. Based on the assignment of the twelve zodiac animals to the cardinal directions, the kimon was also known as the ushitora (丑寅), or "ox tiger" direction, and the oni's bovine horns and cat-like fangs, claws, and tiger-skin loincloth developed as a visual depiction of this term.

Temples are often built facing that direction, and Japanese buildings sometimes have L-shaped indentions at the northeast to ward oni away. Enryakuji, on Mount Hiei northeast of the center of Kyoto, and Kaneiji, in that direction from Edo Castle, are examples. The Japanese capital itself moved northeast from Nagaoka to Kyoto in the 8th century.citation needed]

Traditional Culture

Some villages hold yearly ceremonies to drive away oni, particularly at the beginning of Spring. During the Setsubun festival, people throw soybeans outside their homes and shout "Oni wa soto! Fuku wa uchi!" ("Demons out! Luck in!" "鬼は外!福は内!"). Monkey statues are also thought to guard against oni, since the Japanese word for monkey, saru, is a homonym for the word for "leaving". In Japanese versions of the game tag, the player who is "it" is instead called the "oni". citation needed]

In more recent times, oni have lost some of their original wickedness and sometimes take on a more protective function. Men in oni costumes often lead Japanese parades to ward off any bad luck, for example. Japanese buildings sometimes include oni-faced roof tiles, which are thought to ward away bad luck, much as gargoyles in Western tradition. citation needed]

Oni are prominently featured in the Japanese children's story Momotaro (Peach Boy).

Popular culture

Main article: Oni in popular culture

References

Wikimedia Commons has media related to:
Oni
  • Mizuki, Shigeru (2003). Mujara 3: Kinki-hen. Japan: Soft Garage, p. 29. ASIN 4861330068. 
  • Shiryōshitsu Oni Kan
  • Japanese Wikipedia: Oni
  • The Japanese Oni

External links

  • Article on Oni at The Obakemono Project

Japanese Mythology & Folklore

Mythic Texts and Folktales:
Kojiki | Nihon Shoki | Otogizōshi | Yotsuya Kaidan
Urashima Tarō | Kintarō | Momotarō | Tamamo-no-Mae
Divinities:
Izanami | Izanagi | Amaterasu
Susanoo | Ama-no-Uzume | Inari
List of divinities | Kami | Seven Lucky Gods
Legendary Creatures:
Oni | Kappa | Tengu | Fox | Yōkai | Dragon
Mythical and Sacred Locations:
Mt. Hiei | Mt. Fuji | Izumo | Ryugu-jo | Takamagahara | Yomi

Religions | Sacred Objects | Creatures and Spirits
Search Term: "Oni_%28folklore%29"