"What are they reading? ""Issunboshi""!  (means inch boy) Oh, this is an interesting story!  He uses the little hammer getting from the ghost- Huh? Obviously it's such an interesting story...   Why they look so serious...?"

Why are their face like this? The reason will be announced below--I'd like to introduce to you the image of ghosts in different countries!

Occident: Who are the ghosts of Japan? ! "What is the ""oni"" here? Hmm-it must be the powerful and terrible non-human. Thats right, Eh-then is that the demon in our country?  Japanese ghosts will do like that..."

It is not incomprehensible that she think so. In western countries, demon or devils is not only the evil itself, but also a kind of supernatural being that deceives humans and lure them to go downhill. In some cases, the devils are on the same level with the "God". Such a "ghost" will actually appear in a fairy tale, but also to grab the princess, it's really can not be imagined!
Incidentally, in the Western stories, grabbing the princess shall be done by the giant or the dragon!

China: Japanese ghosts are not the same with ours?! "Gee? Why can this ""ghost"" swallow the Issunboshi?   And he can stab it with needle..."

The reason for thinking like that is, in China, the "鬼(ghost)" in Chinese characters means the soul of the deceased, it is not the substance that is invisible.
So he doesn't think the "ghost" who is not alive can feel pain, it is really unbelievable.
If people can see the ghost, then it is very likely that it is a evil spirit. So, in the eyes of the Chinese, the evil spirits will appear in human ugliness at night, or a female ghost with long hair in white.

It’s really terrible and powerful but ...

No, no, the Japanese oni is actually the ...!

ONIs in Japanese folktales are a kind of "monsters". The Japanese "ONI" often appear in various stories as villains, but they do not have special supernatural abilities.
In the picture books such as "Momotaro"or "Issunboshi", the ONIs are painted like the terrible and huge monsters with long horns on their heads. The skin on which they are painted is red or blue, wearing the fundoshi of tiger skin, a weapon called "Kanabo"in hands.
In Setsubun, one of zaqsetu in Japan, people will take the activities of scattering beans to drive away the evil, which is the best opportunity to feel the "ONI of Japan".

What do you think? What is the existence of terrible ""ghosts"" in your country?
If you are interested in the story of Issunboshi, please click here to continue reading!


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