Monster mazes, empty spaces, pretty faces and more!

Archive for February, 2011

Protected: Haikyo – The photographer’s House (Original Find)

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Haikyo – Animal Pens

A really brief haikyo update today.

Just three collages from photos taken at some old animal pens I found while out cycling.

There’s not much to be seen there now, exactly what kind of animals were kept here, or if there used to be some bigger structure here, isn’t really clear.

Later on in the same day I found a far more impressive place, a house, which will the subject of my next (much bigger) haikyo report.

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The Yokai Files – Raigo/Tesso: The Iron Rat

Tesso (The iron rat) is truly a one of a kind yokai. A rat demon the size of a full-grown man, armed with metal teeth and claws, capable of shredding and tearing almost anything. Combine this with a pied-piper like ability to call a legion of real rats to do his destructive bidding, and Tesso becomes quite a formidable foe to be reckoned with

Today’s yokai shares something in common with Hashi Hime in that also Tesso began life as a human, a buddhist monk named Raigo, but was later transformed into a vengeful yokai. Again it was sheer force of will, and a driving anger, that provde the catalyst for the transformation.

I already knew the basic story of how Raigo came to turn into his rodent form, however as Raigo’s temple (Mii-Dera) is  not far from where I live, I decided to make the trip there and see if I could dig up anything connected with the myth.

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Haikyo – Biwako Tower Revisited

Biwako Tower was one of the first haikyo I visited in Japan and I probably wouldn’t have returned if Florian hadn’t wanted to go and take some photos after we left the nearby love hotel haikyo.

Yet I’m glad I did as this extended return visit turned up quite a lot more information about the history of the place as well revealing several things I missed on my first (brief) visit.

I also got a perfect answer to the question I was left with after my last visit – Why did they call a huge ferris wheel ‘Biwako Tower’ ? (more…)


Thank You :-)

I just sat down to write a new haikyo article and was pleased to discover that yesterday was my first day with more than 100 visits – 107 to be precise! Considering the short time I’ve been writing this blog I’m very happy about that.

Thank you all for stopping by and a big thank you to the small (but growing) pool of regular visitors.

On another positive note – I wrote to Skydrive and got my deleted galleries reinstated (minus a few photos of Japanese adult magazines) so the gallery links should be working again :-)

There’s a lot more haikyo and Yokai to come this year, so stay tuned.

Now I’ll go and finish today’s main article :-)


The Yokai Files – Kappa

Here’s another of the more famous members of the Japanese Yokai pantheon, and one that I seem to have been crossing paths with quite a bit recently, the Kappa.

That the Kappa, a water spirit whose behaviour can veer from troublesome to lethal, has become prominent in Japanese folk law isn’t surprising – Japan is a very watery place full of lakes, rivers, irrigation canals and drainage ditches.

Watery deaths must have claimed a lot of Japanese lives over the years, and the Kappa is the anthropomorphized embodiment of that danger.

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Haikyo – Tainted Love (Hotel)

This trip was another join exploration with my friend Florian over at abandonedkansai.com. We had two sites in mind for today’s exploration, firstly an old love hotel, and a return trip to Biwa Tower (which proved to be much more interesting than my first trip there).

For those of you who don’t know about love hotels, they are exactly what they sound like hotels where you go to get a bit of love – though you have to take your own partner with you. They aren’t brothels, just cheap hotels with rooms rented by the hour or for overnight stays. They range from quite elegant to ferociously tacky, and from unremarkably bland to truly bizarre. As a haikyo type ‘the love hotel’ was high on my list of must sees.

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The Yokai Files – Oni and Setsubun

Today is the 1st of February which means in two days  it’ll be time for Setsubun. Setsubun is the day which marks the start of the new season, though the most significant of these is the spring setsubun (or Risshun).

The spring setsubun is a chance for a fresh start, much like New Year’s day it’s a chance to stop the bad and usher in the good. (more…)


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