Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Day C - Oni


Japanese ogre,
Kanabō-swinging demon,
Brute strong beyond strong.


The captivating ogre or troll creature of Japan, Oni refers to a wide range of demonic humanoids in the region's cultural legend. Monstrous beings of a variety of types and individual odd traits (see the demon hag-woman Onibaba, for example) Oni are most often depicted as having huge fangs, a pair of horns and red or blue skin. A destructive and dangerous bunch, the demons typically wear a tiger-skin loin cloth and wield a distinctive iron club (the kanabō) to emphasise their might and ferocious nature. Said to torment sinners in Hell, the Oni's reputation for fearsome strength is such that its image is used to ward off bad luck and malign spirits. Nasty but lovable, nevertheless, the mythical Far Eastern entity with the lethal iron weapon has permeated pop culture and appears all over art through the ages. The Oni has even made its mark on the Japanese language: idioms like 'Oni with an iron club' ("oni-ni-kanabō"), for instance, refer to invincibility or something that is 'strong beyond strong'. A perilous demonic powerhouse swinging an impressive iron club: kudos to all the Oni of Japan. By demons, be driven...

And that's one hundred mythical creatures, one hundred screwy haiku verses and one hundred silly supernatural sketches. Whoa. It's been beautifully beastly. To the majestic mythical entities of the supernatural realms: I salute you!

7 comments:

  1. so are you a better person now? I like the idea of having a theme and drawing for 100 days, pretty cool.

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  2. Thanks Pia. I definitely feel like a better person and enjoyed the whole thing.

    Some thoughts on the project here... http://james-clayton.blogspot.com/2010/02/one-hundred-days-to-make-me-better.html and here... http://anorexiaoni.blogspot.com/2010/03/stay-on-target-or-how-im-going-to-focus.html

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  3. These drawings & captions are absolutely brilliant!! You should be doing them as t-shirts man...

    Regards,

    Stuart.

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  4. Thanks for reading and complimenting Stuart. I may end up making some t-shirts out of these beasties. If there's a demand, hey, I'll do what I can to supply...

    Thanks again!

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  5. Mr. Clayton,
    As a researcher of mythical creatures, I applaud your efforts, creativity, and accuracy! It's so nice to see such a healthy sampling of creatures from SE Asia. I can't begin to tell you how many 'world' encyclopedias of mythic creatures poorly cover Asian creatures.

    You obviously have a keen interest in the subject. I would love for the chance to speak further with you.

    Congratulations on a valiant effort.

    Sincerely,
    Crave Cravak
    (American living in Aomori, Japan)
    scravak@hotmail.com

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  6. Whoa. Thanks Crave, I'm humbled.

    I would love to talk more about mythical creatures, Asian culture and folklore and whatever else. I'll be in touch soon.

    Thanks for the compliments and enthusiasm for the beasties. :)

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  7. I read them all and i feel like a better person. o.o

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