Folkelore, Natsume and Nature

Very interesting read.


When I first saw anime containing Japanese folklore, I passed it off as fantasy content. I didn’t think about the youkai much differently than I would about fairies. I didn’t even notice that the word “youkai” was being used most of the time, as translators muddled along with words like “spirit” and “demon.” But over the years, I’ve learned that these youkai still have a more respected place in the Japanese culture than Western fairies and related superstitions do in our culture—even if very few people believe in them. At the very least, their modern portrayals are often fairly consistent with their portrayals from a few hundred years ago—even if creators mix in their own, new youkai with the older legends. Yet the portrayals themselves are not, to my mind, as important as the themes they carry with them.

Author: Foxfier

Former sailor, current geek, conservative, mother and practicing Catholic. Refugee from the Seattle blob. (No, we DIDN'T vote for those taxes!) Elf is my husband, our kids are Princess, Duchess, Baron, Empress, Chief, and Contessa.

7 thoughts on “Folkelore, Natsume and Nature”

    1. Thank you for writing it! I grew up with a mom whose home town had a high enough number of folks from the same very small area of Ireland that some of the folks who did believe in Others were still around, enough that I’ve got a sort of sense for it even if I don’t have details. (I kind of suspect a lot of the super detailed stuff for the Irish was made up out of But It Makes A Good Story.)

  1. have you run in to anything on the Chinese Fey? I’m working on Book 3 of the John Fisher chronicles and they play a part… Unfortunately I can’t find much on them

    1. Al I know about the Chinese Others is that there would probably be a lot of them– the Chinese make the Irish look like a unified culture.

      1. Well to be “fair”, Chinese is a term that covers multiple cultures and languages. :wink:

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