Monday, 31 August 2015

Shiga 2009 Tanuki

The tanuki has a long history in Japanese legend and folklore. Bake-danuki (化け狸) are a kind of tanuki yōkai (ghost) found in the classics and in the folklore and legends of various places in Japan.

Although the tanuki is a real, extant animal, the bake-danuki that appears in literature has always been depicted as a strange, even supernatural animal. The earliest appearance of the bake-danuki in literature, in the chapter about Empress Suiko in the Nihon Shoki written during the Nara period, there are such passages as "in two months of spring, there are tanuki in the country of Mutsu (春二月陸奥有狢),[7] they turn into humans and sing songs (化人以歌).

Bake-danuki subsequently appear in such classics as the Nihon Ryōiki and the Uji Shūi Monogatari. In some regions of Japan, bake-danuki are reputed to have abilities similar to those attributed to kitsune (foxes): they can shapeshift into other things, shapeshift people, and possess human beings.

There are many legends of tanuki in the Sado Islands of Niigata Prefecture and in Shikoku, and among them, like the Danzaburou-danuki of Sado, the Kinkyou-tanuki and Rokuemon-tanuki of Awa Province (Tokushima Prefecture), and the Yashima no Hage-tanuki of Kagawa Prefecture, the tanuki who possessed special abilities were given names, and even became the subject of rituals. Apart from these places, there are few cases where tanuki are treated with special regard.

Thanks to Kelly for this surprise resend. The first Tanuki from 2014 never arrived
and I'm so happy to receive this as it is one of my favourite gotochi cards out of the
329 prefecture designs. Arigato gozaimasu!
Sent: 6 August 2015   Received: 19 August 2015   Travelled: 13 days

No comments: