This page contains all familiars inspired by East Asian (Chinese, Korean, Japanese) mythology.
Chinese mythology refers to those myths found in the historical geographic area of China: these include myths in Chinese and other languages, as transmitted by Han Chinese as well as other ethnic groups (of which fifty-six are officially recognized by the current administration of China).
Korean mythology consists of national legends and folk-tales which come from all over the Korean Peninsula. Even within the same ethnic group, myths tend to have slightly different variations.
Japanese mythology embraces Shinto and Buddhist traditions as well as agriculturally based folk religion. The Shinto pantheon comprises innumerable kami (Japanese for "gods" or "spirits").
Amaterasu (天照), Amaterasu-ōmikami (天照大神／天照大御神／天照皇大神) or Ōhirume-no-muchi-no-kami (大日孁貴神) is a part of the Japanese myth cycle and also a major deity of the Shinto religion. She is seen as the goddess of the sun, but also of the universe. The name Amaterasu derived from Amateru meaning "shining in heaven." The meaning of her whole name, Amaterasu-ōmikami, is "the great august kami (god) who shines in the heaven". According to the Kojiki and Nihon Shoki in Japanese mythology, the Emperors of Japan are considered to be direct descendants of Amaterasu.
Ame no Uzume no Mikoto (天宇受売命, 天鈿女命?) is the goddess of dawn, mirth and revelry in the Shinto religion of Japan, and the wife of fellow-god Sarutahiko Ōkami. She famously relates to the tale of the missing sun deity, Amaterasu Omikami. Her name can also be pronounced as Ama-no-Uzume.
Amaterasu's brother, the storm god Susano'o, had vandalized her rice fields, threw a flayed horse at her loom, and brutally killed one of her maidens due to a quarrel between them. In turn, Amaterasu became furious with him and retreated into the Heavenly Rock Cave, Amano-Iwato. The world, without the illumination of the sun, became dark and the gods could not lure Amaterasu out of her hiding place.
The clever Uzume overturned a tub near the cave entrance and began a dance on it, tearing off her clothing in front of the other deities. They considered this so comical that they laughed heartily at the sight. This dance is said to have founded the Japanese ritual dance, Kagura.
Amaterasu heard them, and peered out to see what all the fuss was about. When she opened the cave, she saw her glorious reflection in a mirror which Uzume had placed on a tree, and slowly emerged from her hiding spot.
At that moment, the god Ame-no-Tajikarawo-no-mikoto dashed forth and closed the cave behind her, refusing to budge so that she could no longer retreat. Another god tied a magic shimenawa across the entrance. The deities Ame-no-Koyane-no-mikoto and Ame-no-Futodama-no-mikoto then asked Amaterasu to rejoin the divine. She agreed, and light was restored to the earth.
Ame no Uzume no Mikoto is still worshiped today as a Shinto kami, spirits indigenous to Japan. She is also known as Ame-no-Uzume-no-Mikoto, The Great Persuader, and The Heavenly Alarming Female. She is depicted in kyōgen farce as Okame, a woman who revels in her sensuality
One of the eldest of the Shinto deities, Fujin (風神) was the god of winds. He is said to have been present at the initial creation of the world, well before Izanagi and Izanami were sent to create the islands of Japan. During the world’s creation, Fujin released the wind from his bag, clearing out all the mists of the world, seemingly linking heaven with earth, allowing the gods to address the further creation of the world.
He Xiangu (何仙姑), also named He Qiong (何瓊), is the only female deity among the Eight Immortals. The gender of her fellow immortal Lan Caihe is somewhat ambiguous.
She was the daughter of Ho T‘ai, from Yong Prefecture (today Linglin County) during the Tang Dynasty, or from a wealthy and generous family in Zēngchéng County (增城縣), Guangdong.
At birth she had six long hairs on the crown of her head. When she was about 14 or 15, a divine personage appeared to her in a dream and instructed her to eat powdered mica, in order that her body might become etherealized and immune from death. So she swallowed it, and also vowed to remain a virgin.
Later on by slow degrees she gave up taking ordinary food.
The Empress Wu dispatched a messenger to summon her to attend at the palace, but on the way there, she disappeared.
One day during the Jinglong (景龍) period (about 707 CE), she ascended to heaven in broad daylight, and became a Xian (Taoist Immortal).
In Shinto mythology, Kushinadahime (Japanese: クシナダヒメ; Kojiki: 櫛名田比売, Nihonshoki: 奇稲田姫, Kushiinadahime) is a deity (kami) and the wife of the god Susanoo.
According to the Nihon Shoki, Susanoo saved Kushinadahime from the dragon Orochi. Afterwards Susanoo built a palace or shrine for Kushinadahime in Suga, and made her father Ashinazuchi its head (obito).
According to Chinese forklore, Qing Nu (青女) is the goddess of winter. She takes charge of the snowing and blizzard allocation of the seasons.
Qing Nu's original name was Wu Jie and she is the sister of Wu Gang (吴刚) that resides on the moon. She was invited to the Mount Qing Yao (青要山) to help with the epidermic problem of the region. She stands at the peak of the mountain and cast down the snow of healing and cure the illness of the villagers. She was later named by the peoples as the Goddess of Qing Lady (Qing Nu).
Raijin (雷神) is a god of lightning, thunder and storms in the Shinto religion and in Japanese mythology. His name is derived from the Japanese words "rai" (雷, "thunder") and "god" or "kami" (神 jin)神. He is typically depicted as a demon-looking spirit beating drums to create thunder, usually with the symbol tomoe drawn on the drums.
Susanoo no Mikoto (須佐之男 (スサノオ) romanized as Susano-o, Susa-no-O, Susano'o, and Susanowo?), also known as Takehaya Susanoo-no-Mikoto (建速須佐之男命?) and Kumano Ketsumiko no kami, at Kumano shrine, is the Shinto god of the sea and storms. He is also considered to be ruler of Neno-Katasu-Kuni (now in Yasugi-shi, Shimane-ken). He is married to Kushinadahime.
In Japanese mythology, Susanoo, the powerful storm god of Summer, is the brother of Amaterasu, the goddess of the Sun, and of Tsukuyomi, the god of the Moon. All three were born from Izanagi, when he washed his face clean of the pollutants of Yomi, the underworld. Amaterasu was born when Izanagi washed out his left eye, Tsukuyomi was born from the washing of the right eye, and Susanoo from the washing of the nose. Susanoo used Totsuka-no-Tsurugi as his weapon.
Takemikazuchi (建御雷 or 武甕槌, "Brave-Awful-Possessing" or "Thunder-God") is a deity in Japanese mythology, considered a god of thunder and sword god. He also competed in what is considered the first sumo wrestling match recorded in mythology.
He is otherwise known as Kashima-no-kami, the chief deity revered of the Kashima Shrine at Kashima, Ibaraki (and all other subsidiary Kashima shrines). In the namazu-e or catfish pictures of the Edo Period, Takemikazuchi/Kashima is depicted attempting to subdue the giant catfish supposedly dwelling at the kaname-ishi (要石 "pinning rock"?) of the Japanese land-mass and causing its earthquakes.
In the Kojiki the god's name is sometimes written in the full-blown form 建御雷之男神 "Brave-Awful-Possessing-Male-Deity". He also bears the alternate names Takefutsu (建布都神 "Brave-Snapping-Deity"?) and Toyofutsu (豊布都神 "Luxuriant-Snapping Deity"?)
In the Nihon shoki different sets of characters are used to represent the name (武甕雷男神). Its early translator Aston styled the name simply as Ikazuchi no Kami or "The Thunder-God".
Also a more simple notation (建雷命) is employed as well.
Zhurong (Chinese: 祝融), also known as Chongli (Chinese: 重黎), is an important personage in Chinese mythology and Chinese folk religion. According to the Huainanzi and the philosophical texts of Mozi and his followers, Zhurong is a god of fire and of the south. The Shanhaijing gives alternative genealogies for Zhurong, including descent from both the Yan Emperor and Yellow Emperor. Some sources associate Zhurong with some of the principle early and ancient myths of China, such as those of Nuwa, Gong Gong and the Great Flood. Chinese mythology has in the past been believed to be, at least in part, a factual recording of history. Thus, in the study of historical Chinese culture, many of the stories that have been told regarding characters and events which have been written or told of the distant past have a double tradition: one which tradition which presents a more historicised and one which presents a more mythological version. This is also true in the case of Zhurong. In Sima Qian's Records of the Grand Historian (Shi Ji), Zhurong is portrayed as a historical person, who held the governmental office of Minister of Fire.
Zhurong was said to be the son of Gaoyang (also known as Zhuanxu), a sky god. (Again, the more historicised versions of the mythology portray Zhuanxu as a historical person; in this case an "Emperor of China"). Gaoyang also had a son, Gun, who fathered Yu the Great. The imperial clan of the Qin Dynasty also claimed descent through Gaoyang (though not Zhurong). Zhurong was also claimed to be an ancestor to the eight lineages of the royal families of the Chu state.
Ashigaru (足軽 lit. lightfeet) were foot-soldiers who were employed by the samurai class of feudal Japan. The first known reference to ashigaru was in the 1300s, but it was during the Ashikaga Shogunate-Muromachi period that the use of ashigaru became prevalent among various warring factions.
Diao Chan (貂蟬) was one of the Four Beauties of ancient China. She was said to have been born in 161 or 169 or 176, depending on the source. However, unlike the other three beauties, there is no known evidence that suggests her existence; therefore, she is likely to be a fictional character. She appeared in Luo Guanzhong's famous historical novel Romance of the Three Kingdoms, which features the epic war between three kingdoms between 220–280 in China.
According to the Nihon Shoki, he was the son of Emperor Korei. Legends says this prince slayed an ogre called Ura, which may be the demonization of the Kingdom of Kibi, destroyed during the reign of Kōrei-Tennō.
His kami is enshrined at Shinto shrines in Okayama Prefecture and Hiroshima Prefecture.
Fūma Kotarō (風魔 小太郎?) was the name adopted by the leader of the ninja Fūma clan (風魔一党 Fūma-ittō?) during the Sengoku era of Japan. According to some records, his name was originally Kazama (風間). A popular story says that in 1596 he was responsible for the death of Hattori Hanzō. He was caught by the shogunate's special law-enforcement force, guided by his rival and a former Takeda ninja Kosaka Jinnai (高坂甚内), and executed through beheading by an order of Ieyasu in 1603.
Lü Bu (Chinese: 吕布; pinyin: Lü Bu)(died February 199), courtesy name Fengxian, was a military general and warlord who lived in the late Eastern Han dynasty. Originally a subordinate of a minor warlord Ding Yuan, he betrayed and murdered Ding and defected to Dong Zhuo, the warlord who controlled the Han central government in the early 190s. In 192, he turned against and killed Dong Zhuo after being instigated by Wang Yun and Shisun Rui, but was later defeated and driven away by Dong Zhuo's followers. From 192 to mid 195, Lü Bu wandered around central and northern China, consecutively seeking shelter under warlords such as Yuan Shu, Yuan Shao and Zhang Yang. In 194, he managed to take control of Yan Province from the warlord Cao Cao with help from defectors from Cao's side, but Cao took back his territories within two years. In 196, Lü Bu turned against Liu Bei, who had offered him refuge in Xu Province, and seized control of the province from his host. Although he had agreed to an alliance with Yuan Shu earlier, he severed ties with him after Yuan declared himself 'Emperor' – an act perceived as treason against the Han emperor – and joined Cao Cao and others in attacking the pretender. However, in 198, he sided with Yuan Shu again and came under attack by the combined forces of Cao Cao and Liu Bei, resulting in his defeat at the Battle of Xiapi in 199. He was captured and executed on Cao Cao's order.
Although Lü Bu is described in historical and fictional sources as an exceptionally mighty warrior, he was also notorious for his temperamental behaviour. He switched allegiances erratically and freely betrayed his allies, and was noted for his poor planning and management skills. He was always suspicious of others and could not control his subordinates. All these factors ultimately led to his downfall. In Luo Guanzhong's historical novel Romance of the Three Kingdoms, the details of his life are dramatised and some fictitious elements – including his romance with the fictional maiden Diao Chan – are added to portray him as a nearly unchallenged warrior who was also a ruthless and impulsive brute bereft of morals.
Kunoichi (くノ一?) is the term for a female ninja or practitioner of ninjutsu.
Mochizuki Chiyome recruited several young women who were recently orphaned, prostitutes or victims of the civil wars of the Sengoku period. She also recruited girls who were either lost or abandoned. Many people believed that she was helping these women, and giving them an opportunity to start up a new life. But in reality, they were trained to become highly efficient information gatherers and verifiers, seductresses, messengers and when necessary, assassins. The girls were taught all the skills of a miko (Shinto shrine maiden or a wandering female shaman), which allowed them to travel virtually anywhere without suspicion, receiving religious education to complete their disguise. Over time, Chiyome's kunoichi learned to effectively use more disguises such as actresses, prostitutes or geisha. This allowed them to move freely within villages, towns, castles and temples, and get closer to their targets. Eventually, Mochizuki Chiyome and her kunoichi had set up an extensive network of some 200-300 agents that served the Takeda clan and Shingen was always informed of all activities, putting him one step ahead of his opponents at all times until his mysterious death in 1573.
Longnü (traditional Chinese: 龍女; simplified Chinese: 龙女; pinyin: Lóngnǚ; Sanskrit: nāgakanya; Vietnamese: Long nữ), translated as Dragon Daughter, along with Sudhana are considered acolytes of the bodhisattva Avalokiteśvara in Chinese Buddhism. However, there are no scriptural sources connecting both Sudhana and Longnü to Avalokiteśvara at the same time. It is suggested that the acolytes are representations of the two major Mahāyāna texts, the Lotus Sūtra and the Avataṃsaka Sūtra, in which Longnü and Sudhana appear, respectively. The depiction of Longnü and Sudhana with Avalokiteśvara may have been influenced by the Jade Maiden (Chinese: 玉女; pinyin: Yùnǚ) and Golden Youth (traditional Chinese: 金僮; simplified Chinese: 金童; pinyin: Jīntóng) who both appear in the iconography of the Jade Emperor. She is described as being the eight-year-old daughter of the Dragon King (traditional Chinese: 龍王; simplified Chinese: 龙王; pinyin: Lóng Wáng; Sanskrit: nāgarāja) of the East Sea.
Muramasa Senji (千子 村正 Senji Muramasa) was a famous swordsmith who founded the Muramasa school and lived during the Muromachi period (14th to 16th centuries) in Japan. It is said that Muramasa "was a most skillful smith but a violent and ill-balanced mind verging on madness, that was supposed to have passed into his blades. They were popularly believed to hunger for blood and to impel their warrior to commit murder or suicide."
A ninja (忍者?) or shinobi (忍び?) was a covert agent or mercenary in feudal Japan who specialized in unorthodox warfare. The functions of the ninja included espionage, sabotage, infiltration, and assassination, and open combat in certain situations. Their covert methods of waging war contrasted the ninja with the samurai, who observed strict rules about honor and combat. The shinobi proper, a specially trained group of spies and mercenaries, appeared in the Sengoku or "warring states" period, in the 15th century,but antecedents may have existed in the 14th century,and possibly even in the 12th century (Heian or early Kamakura era).
Jiraiya (児雷也?, literally "Young Thunder"), the title character of the Japanese folktale Jiraiya Gōketsu Monogatari (児雷也豪傑物語?, "The Tale of the Gallant Jiraiya"), is a ninja who uses shapeshifting magic to morph into a gigantic toad. Originally also known as Ogata Shuma Hiroyuki. The heir of a powerful clan in Kyūshū of the same name, Jiraiya fell in love with Tsunade (綱手), a beautiful young maiden who masters snail magic. His arch-enemy was his one-time follower Yashagorō (夜叉五郎), later known as Orochimaru (大蛇丸), who mastered serpent magic .
The White Tiger (Chinese: 白虎 Bái Hǔ) is one of the Four Symbols of the Chinese constellations. It is sometimes called the White Tiger of the West (西方白虎, Xī Fāng Bái Hǔ). During the Han Dynasty, people believed the tiger to be the king of all beasts. According to legend the tiger's tail would turn into white colour when it reached the age of 500 years. In this way, the white tiger became a kind of mythological creature. It was said that the white tiger would only appear when the emperor ruled with absolute virtue, or if there was peace throughout the world. Because the color white of the Chinese five elements also represents the west, the white tiger thus became a mythological guardian of the west.
The Legend of the White Snake, also known as Madame White Snake, is a Chinese legend which existed in oral tradition long before any written compilation. It has since been presented in a number of major Chinese operas, films and television series.
The white snake was simply known as the "White Lady" or "White Maiden" (Chinese: 白娘子; pinyin: Bái Niángzǐ; Jyutping: Baak6 Noeng4-zi2) in the original tale in Feng Menglong's Jingshi Tongyan (警世通言). The name "Bai Suzhen" was created in a later era.
The original story was a story of good and evil, with the Buddhist monk Fahai setting out to save Xu Xian's soul from the white snake spirit, who was depicted as an evil demon. Over the centuries, however, the legend has evolved from a horror tale to a romance story, with Bai Suzhen and Xu Xian being genuinely in love with each other even though their relationship is forbidden by the laws of nature.
Baku (獏) are Japanese supernatural beings that devour dreams and nightmares. According to legend, they were created by the spare pieces that were left over when the gods finished creating all other animals. They have a long history in Japanese folklore and art, and more recently have appeared in Japanese anime and manga.
The Japanese term baku has two current meanings, referring to both the traditional dream-devouring creature and to the zoological tapir (e.g., the Malayan Tapir). In recent years, there have been changes in how the baku is depicted.
Fenghuang (Chinese: 鳳凰; pinyin: fènghuáng) are mythological birds of East Asia that reign over all other birds. The males were originally called feng and the females huang but such a distinction of gender is often no longer made and they are blurred into a single feminine entity so that the bird can be paired with the Chinese dragon, which is deemed male.
The fenghuang is also called the "August Rooster" (Chinese: 鶤雞; pinyin: kūnjī) since it sometimes takes the place of the Rooster in the Chinese zodiac. In the West, it is commonly referred to as the Chinese phoenix or simply Phoenix, although mythological similarities between the two birds are no more than superficial.
The Gu Huo (姑獲鳥 in China; also known as Kokakucho [コカクチョウ] in Japan) is a bird of Chinese lore that kidnaps human girls an raises them on its own. It is normally seen in bird form, but it is said to be able to take off its feathers and become a human woman. A girl kidnapped and raised by this demon is said to become one herself. In Japan, the Kokakucho is a Japanese spirit of a woman who died delivering a child without providing care for her baby.
The Inugami (犬神?, lit. "dog god") is a class of being from Japanese mythology, which is similar to the Shikigami and who belongs to the range of the spirits, the Kami. Folklore has it that Inugami can be conjured from a complex and cruel ceremony. Inugami are evoked for criminal activities, such as murdering, kidnapping and mutilation of the victims. If the evoker is perfectly trained, he can order his Inugami to possess humans and manipulate them. The victim is often forced to kill itself or other people, or to act like a lunatic. But Inugami are also said to be very dangerous for the evoker himself: since the Inugami's soul is blinded by its desire for revenge and its unstoppable rage, the Inugami can quickly escape the master´s control and kill his own evoker.
The Izuna is taken from the Izuna Shogen cult that practiced fox sorcery, utilizing creatures such as the kuda-kitsune, or "pipe fox" in Japanese. The kuda-kitsune, is a creature supposedly employed by Japanese kitsune-tsukai, those who use foxes as spirit familiars. Foxes are a common subject of Japanese folklore; in English, kitsune refers to them in this context. Stories depict them as intelligent beings and as possessing magical abilities that increase with their age and wisdom. Foremost among these is the ability to assume human form. While some folktales speak of kitsune employing this ability to trick others—as foxes in folklore often do—other stories portray them as faithful guardians, friends, lovers, and wives. Foxes and human beings lived close together in ancient Japan; this companionship gave rise to legends about the creatures. Kitsune have become closely associated with Inari, a Shinto kami or spirit, and serve as its messengers. This role has reinforced the fox's supernatural significance. The more tails a kitsune has—they may have as many as nine—the older, wiser, and more powerful it is. Because of their potential power and influence, some people make offerings to them as to a deity.
Jorōgumo (Japanese Kanji: 絡新婦, Hiragana: じょろうぐも) is a type of Yōkai, a creature, ghost or goblin of Japanese folklore. According to some stories, a Jorōgumo is a spider that can change its appearance into that of a seductive woman.
In Japanese Kanji, Jorōgumo is written as "絡新婦" (literally meaning "binding bride") or "女郎蜘蛛" (literally meaning "whore spider"). Jorōgumo can also refer to some species of spiders, but in casual use it can refer to the Nephila and Argiope spiders. Japanese-speaking entomologists use the katakana form of Jorōgumo (ジョロウグモ) to refer, exclusively, to the spider species Nephila clavata.
Mizuchi, Midzuchi (蛟?) is a type of Japanese dragon or legendary serpent-like creature, either found in aquatic habitat or otherwise connected to water. Some commentators perceived it to have been a water deity. It is described in the ancient chronicle Nihon Shoki, and one Manyoshu poem.
Mizuchi is also the Japanese transliteration for several types of Chinese dragons (Shinmura 1976, Kojien dictionary, 2nd. ed.[a]), and may refer to the jiaolong (蛟; Japanese: kōryū) or "4-legged dragon", the qiulong (虬 or虯; Japanese: kyūryū) or "hornless dragon", and the chilong (螭; Japanese: chiryū) or "yellow dragon".
Daniels (1960:157) notes that rain-controlling Japanese snake deities are sometimes called dragons, but cautions that for okami and mizuchi, "it is unsafe to deduce their forms from the Chinese characters allotted to them".
A jiangshi, also known as a Chinese "hopping" vampire or zombie, is a type of reanimated corpse in Chinese legends and folklore. "Jiangshi" is read goeng-si in Cantonese, cương thi in Vietnamese, gangshi in Korean and kyonshī in Japanese.
It is typically depicted as a stiff corpse dressed in official garments from the Qing Dynasty, and it moves around by hopping, with its arms outstretched. It kills living creatures to absorb their qi, or "life force", usually at night, while in the day, it rests in a coffin or hides in dark places such as caves. Jiangshi legends have inspired a genre of jiangshi films and literature in Hong Kong and East Asia.
The Jin Chan (Chinese: 金蟾; pinyin: jīn chán; literally: "Golden Toad"), also called Chan Chu (Chinese: 蟾蜍; pinyin: chánchú; literally: "the Toad") or "Zhaocai Chan Chu" (Chinese: 招财蟾蜍; pinyin: zhāocái chánchú; literally: "wealth-beckoning toad"), is most commonly translated as "Money Toad" or "Money Frog". It represents a popular Feng Shui charm for prosperity. This mythical creature is said to appear during the full moon, near houses or businesses that will soon receive good news (most of the time, the nature of this good news is understood to be wealth-related). According to one Chinese legend, the Jin Chan was the greedy wife of one of the Eight Immortals, who was transformed into a toad as punishment for stealing the Peaches of Immortality. The Jin Chu is usually depicted as a bullfrog with red eyes, flared nostrils and only one hind leg (for a total of three legs), sitting on a pile of traditional Chinese cash, with a coin in its mouth. On its back, it often displays seven diamond spots symbolizing the Big Dipper, or the Plough, which plays an important role in Chinese astrology.
A Qilin (Chinese: 麒麟 qílín) is a mythical Chinese chimerical creature known throughout various East Asian cultures, and is called Kirin in Japan. Depictions vary, but some versions give the kirin the head of a dragon, the hooves of a horse, the body of a deer covered in scales, and the tail of an ox, with stylised clouds or fire around its body. It is rarely seen, only appearing during the reign of a great ruler or when a great sage is born or dies. It is also said to carry extraordinary children from heaven on its back and deliver them to their parents.
Kua Fu or Kuafu (Chinese: 夸父) is a giant in Chinese mythology who wished to capture the sun. Kuafu was a grandson of Houtu. One day, Kuafu decided to chase and catch the Sun. With each stride he gets closer to the Sun, however, he could never catch up to it.
He followed the Sun from the East to the West, draining all rivers and lakes crossing his path as sources of water to quench his burning thirst as he closed in on the star. However, he wasn't able to finish his quest because he died of the extreme heat and exhaustion.
The wooden club he was carrying grew into a vast forest. In modern day Chinese usage, the story of Kua Fu chasing the sun (夸父追日) is used to describe a person who fails to obtain his goal because he greatly overestimates himself.
Ma Gu (Chinese: 麻姑; pinyin: Mágū; Wade–Giles: Ma Ku; literally "Hemp Maid") is a legendary Taoist xian (仙 "immortal; transcendent") associated with the elixir of life, and she is a symbolic protector of females, in Chinese mythology. Stories in Chinese literature describe Ma Gu as a beautiful young woman with long birdlike fingernails, while early myths associate her with caves. Ma Gu xian shou (麻姑獻壽 "Ma Gu gives her birthday greetings") is a popular motif in Chinese art.
The Makaliphon or Naree Pon are the mysterious "tree women" of Thai folklore. They are magic fruit that look like beautiful women, and come from the magical Makalipon trees planted by the god, Lord Indra. Makalipon would drop from the tree after they are ripe, and could talk, dance, and sing. They would die a few days after, shriveling until eventually becoming about the size of a person’s hand.
Namahage (生剥) in traditional Japanese folklore is a demonlike being, portrayed by men wearing oversized ogre masks and traditional straw capes during a New Year's ritual of the Oga Peninsula area of Akita Prefecture in northern Honshū, Japan. The frightfully dressed men, armed with deba knives (albeit wooden fakes or made of papier-mâché) and toting a teoke (手桶 "hand pail" made of wood?), marching in pairs or threes going door-to-door making rounds of peoples' homes, admonishing children who may be guilty of laziness or bad behavior, yelling phrases like
"Are there any crybabies around?" (泣く子はいねがぁ nakugo wa inēgā??)
"Are naughty kids around?" (悪い子はいねえか waruigo wa inēka??)
in the pronunciation and accent of the local dialect.
Niu Mo Wang the Demon King of Bulls (Chinese: 牛 Níu, "Cow/Bull"; 魔王 MóWáng "Demon King") were found in the classical Chinese epic novel Journey to the West. He is the sworn brother of Son Goku and self proclaim the title of "Great Sage, Be Equal with Heaven" (平天大聖). He lives in Flaming Mountain (火燄山) with his wife, Princess Iron Fan (铁扇公主）. Son Goku (孙悟空） wants to extinguish the fire of the mountain to clear a path for master Tang-Shan-Zhang to get across, he camouflaged into Niu Mo Wang to trick Princess Iron Fan for her Plantain Fan.
Oni (鬼?) are a kind of yōkai from Japanese folklore, variously translated as demons, devils, ogres or trolls. They are popular characters in Japanese art, literature and theatre.
Depictions of oni vary widely but usually portray them as hideous, gigantic ogre-like creatures with sharp claws, wild hair, and two long horns growing from their heads. They are humanoid for the most part, but occasionally, they are shown with unnatural features such as odd numbers of eyes or extra fingers and toes. Their skin may be any number of colors, but red and blue are particularly common. They are often depicted wearing tiger-skin loincloths and carrying iron clubs 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.
Shuten-dōji (酒呑童子, also sometimes called 酒顛童子, 酒天童子, or 朱点童子) is a mythical oni leader who lived in Mt. Ooe (大江山) of Tamba Province or Mt. Ooe (大枝) on the boundary between Kyoto and Tamba in Japan. He was based in a palace somewhat like a Ryūgū-jō on Mt. Ooe, and he had many oni subordinates.
Oniroku (from Japanese oni "ogre", "demon", roku "six") is the antagonist of the Japanese folktale "The Carpenter and Oniroku." Oniroku demands the Carpenter's eyes as payment for building a bridge over a particularly turbulent river. The Carpenter manages to avoid his fate by correctly guessing the oni's name.
Pixiu or Pi Yao (Chinese: 貔貅; pinyin: píxiū, Wade-Giles: P'i-hsiu), originally known as Bixie (Chinese: 辟邪; pinyin: bìxié; "to ward off evil spirits"), is a Chinese mythical hybrid creature considered to be a very powerful protector to practitioners of Feng Shui. It resembles a winged lion. Pixiu is an earth and sea variation, particularly an influential and auspicious creature for wealth. It is said to have a voracious appetite towards only gold and silver. Therefore traditionally to the Chinese, Pixiu has always been regarded as an auspicious creature that possessed mystical power capable of drawing Cai Qi (財氣 wealth) from all directions. Thus, it is helpful for those who are going through a bad year according to Chinese zodiac.
There are two different types of Pixiu. The difference is with their horns. The one with two horns is known as Pi Ya (possibly a corruption from pi xie (辟邪)) and the one with one horn is called Tian Lu (天祿) (Pi Chen).
Tian Lu (天祿) - is in charge of wealth. Displaying Tian Lu at home or in the office is said to prevent wealth from flowing away.
Pi Ya - wards off evil. It is also believed that Pi Ya has the ability of assisting anyone who is suffering from bad Feng Shui that is due to having offended the Grand Duke Jupiter (also called as Tai Sui (太岁)).
Pixiu is the ninth offspring of the dragon. Pixiu craves the smell of gold and silver and it likes to bring his master money in his mouth. Statues of this creature are often used to attract wealth in feng shui.
Today, Pixiu is also a popular design on jade pendants.
Qiong Qi (Chinese: 穷奇; pinyin: qíongqí), is one of the four evil spirits according to Classic of Mountains and Seas. It was described as a creature that reassembles tiger with wings. It catch and feed on human flesh as meal. It will show up upon disputes between humans and eat the good person, while hunt for wild beast and give them to the villian.
Raiju (Japanese: 雷獣, "thunder animal" or "thunder beast") is a legendary creature in Shinto myth, and takes the form of a cat, fox, weasel or wolf enveloped in lightning. It is the companion animal of the Shinto lightning god Raijin. During thunderstorms, it becomes agitated and will leap about as a ball of lightning. Lightning-damaged trees or buildings were said to be "clawed by Raiju".
In Japanese folklore, Gashadokuro, (がしゃどくろ) also known as Odokuro, are giant skeletons, fifteen times taller than an average person. If a Gashadokuro sees a human, it will grab it and attempt to bite its head off. Gashadokuro are created from gathering bones from people who have died of starvation. The only way a Gashadokuro can be detected before it appears is by hearing a ringing in one's ears.
Son Goku is the Japanese name of Sun Wukong (Chinese: 孙 Sūn, "monkey" and 悟空 Wùkōng "understanding emptiness”, emptiness here referring to the Taoist state of "pure mind"), the main character in the classical Chinese epic novel Journey to the West. He is an immensely strong and intelligent monkey born from a stone, with many powers gained from Taoist practices and treasures he stole from the Jade Palace in Heaven. An arrogant creature, he once gave himself the title "Great Sage, Be Level with Heaven" (Seiten Taisei, Japanese form of the Chinese phrase Qítiān Dàshèng (齊天大聖) meaning "Great Sage, Be Level with Heaven").
Suan Ni (Chinese: 狻猊; pinyin: suān ní) is one of the nine sons of the Chinese dragons who are the mythological sons of the Dragon King. There are many variations in the different descriptions of the nine sons, including in basic facts like their names, but all versions state that there are nine.
The Suan Ni, (Hybrid of lion and dragon) a creature which likes to sit down, are represented upon the bases of Buddhist idols (under the Buddhas' or Bodhisattvas' feet).
Tamamo-no-Mae (玉藻前, 玉藻の前, also 玉藻御前) is a legendary figure in Japanese mythology. She was said to be a most beautiful and intelligent woman. She caused the Emperor to be extremely ill and was chased away by Abe no Yasuchika, who had been called to diagnose the cause of the Emperor's poor health. Abe no Yasuchika discovered the true nature of Tamamo-no-mae. A few years later, in the area of Nasu, the nine-tailed fox was seen killing and eating women and travelers. Emperor Konoe thus sent Kazusa-no-suke and Miura-no-suke along with 80,000 troops to kill the fox. In the plains of Nasu, it was finally killed and became a stone called the sesshoseki.
The Taotie (Chinese: 饕餮; pinyin: tāotiè; sometimes translated as a gluttonous ogre mask) is a motif commonly found on Chinese ritual bronze vessels from the Shang and Zhou dynasty. The design typically consists of a zoomorphic mask, described as being frontal, bilaterally symmetrical, with a pair of raised eyes and typically no lower jaw area. Some argue that the design can be traced back to jade pieces found in Neolithic sites such as the Liangzhu culture (3310–2250 BCE)
During the Ming dynasty, a number of scholars compiled lists of traditional motifs seen in architecture and applied art, which eventually became codified as the Nine Children of the Dragon (龍生九子). In the earliest known list of this type (in which the creatures are not yet called "children of the dragon", and there are 14 of them, rather than 9), given by Lu Rong (1436–1494) in his Miscellaneous records from the bean garden (菽园杂记, Shuyuan Zaji), the taotie appears with a rather unlikely description, as a creature that likes water and depicted on bridges. However, a well-known later list of the Nine Children of the Dragon given by Yang Shen (1488–1559) accords with both the ancient and the modern usage of the term.
The taotie likes to eat and drink; it used to appear on the surface of the dings.
Tengu (天狗?, "heavenly dog") are a class of supernatural creatures found in Japanese folklore, art, theater, and literature. They are one of the best known yōkai (monster-spirits) and are sometimes worshipped as Shinto kami (revered spirits or gods). Although they take their name from a dog-like Chinese demon (Tiangou), the tengu were originally thought to take the forms of birds of prey, and they are traditionally depicted with both human and avian characteristics.
The Ushi-oni (牛鬼?, Ox Oni (demon)), or gyūki, is a creature which appears in the folklore of Japan. There are various kinds of Ushi-oni, all of them some sort of monster with a horned, bovine head. One well-known Ushi-oni is a massive, brutal sea-monster which lives off the coast of Shimane Prefecture and other places in Western Japan and attacks fishermen. It is often depicted with a spider- or crab-like body. This Ushi-oni seems to be connected to another monster called the nure-onna, who sometimes appears before an Ushi-oni attack and tricks the victim into holding her child, which then becomes stuck to the person's hands and grows heavier in order to hinder escape.
Wu Chang (Chinese: 無常 WúCháng) are two Hell-god of Taoism: White Wu Chang (白無常) & Black Wu Chang (黑無常). White Wu Chang were hung to dead hence he had a long tongue & whitish face; Black Wu Chang were drown hence with dark face tone. Their responsibilities including capturing of wandering souls & assist Hell God in the accessing of afterlife deeds & reincarnation of spirits.
Shenlong, also Shen-lung, (simplified Chinese: 神龙; traditional Chinese: 神龍; pinyin: shén lóng, literally "spirit dragon", Japanese: 神竜 Shinryū) is an azure spiritual dragon from Chinese mythology who is the master of storms and also a bringer of rain. He is of equal significance to other creatures such as Tianlong, the celestial dragon.
Xuan Wu (Chinese: 玄武 Xúan Wǔ) The Black Tortoise or Black Turtle is one of the Four Symbols of the Chinese constellations. Despite its English name, it is usually depicted as a turtle entwined together with a snake. Further, in East Asia, it is not called after either animal but is instead known as the "Black Warrior" under various local pronunciations. It is equivalent to Genbu in Japan. It represents the north and the winter season.
The creature's name is identical to that of the important Taoist god Xuan Wu, who is sometimes (as in Journey to the West) portrayed in the company of a turtle and snake.
Ye Xing (夜行, 産女, 姑獲鳥, うぶめ) is a specter of a pregnant woman who had died of Dystocia (abnormal or difficult childbirth). Ye Xing reside in areas of wildfire and has the ability to harvest human souls & particularly likes to abduct children.
A Ye Xing can turn into a bird when cloaked with bird feathers and return to a humanoid form when the feathers are removed. Ye Xings are afraid of dogs in general. Ye Xings are usually active around the July-August period every year and is a mainly nocturnal creature.
Ye Xings usually leave behind 2 drops of blood on any baby clothes left outside a house, signifying that the child has been marked for abduction by her.
In order to prevent Ye Xings from spawning from pregnant women who had died of Dystocia , the Japanese often cut out the foetus from the dead body of a pregnant monther, and buried the dead child alongside the mother.
Yuki Onna (雪女?, snow woman) is a spirit or yōkai in Japanese folklore.
Yuki-onna appears on snowy nights as a tall, beautiful woman with long black hair and blue lips. Her inhumanly pale or even transparent skin makes her blend into the snowy landscape (as famously described in Lafcadio Hearn's Kwaidan: Stories and Studies of Strange Things). She sometimes wears a white kimono, but other legends describe her as nude, with only her face and hair standing out against the snow. Despite her inhuman beauty, her eyes can strike terror into mortals. She floats across the snow, leaving no footprints (in fact, some tales say she has no feet, a feature of many Japanese ghosts), and she can transform into a cloud of mist or snow if threatened.
Some legends say the Yuki-onna, being associated with winter and snowstorms, is the spirit of someone who perished in the snow. She is at the same time beautiful and serene, yet ruthless in killing unsuspecting mortals. Until the 18th century, she was almost uniformly portrayed as evil. Today, however, stories often color her as more human, emphasizing her ghost-like nature and ephemeral beauty.