A crystal or crystalline solid is a solid material whose constituents are arranged in a ordered microscopic structure, forming a crystal lattice that extends in all directions. In addition, macroscopic single crystals are identifiable by their geometrical shape, consisting of flat faces with specific, characteristic orientations; the scientific study of crystals and crystal formation is known as crystallography. The process of crystal formation via mechanisms of crystal growth is called crystallization or solidification; the word crystal derives from the Ancient Greek word κρύσταλλος, meaning both "ice" and "rock crystal", from κρύος, "icy cold, frost". Examples of large crystals include snowflakes and table salt. Most inorganic solids are not crystals but polycrystals, i.e. many microscopic crystals fused together into a single solid. Examples of polycrystals include most metals, rocks and ice. A third category of solids is amorphous solids, where the atoms have no periodic structure whatsoever.
Examples of amorphous solids include glass and many plastics. Despite the name, lead crystal, crystal glass, related products are not crystals, but rather types of glass, i.e. amorphous solids. Crystals are used in pseudoscientific practices such as crystal therapy, along with gemstones, are sometimes associated with spellwork in Wiccan beliefs and related religious movements; the scientific definition of a "crystal" is based on the microscopic arrangement of atoms inside it, called the crystal structure. A crystal is a solid where the atoms form a periodic arrangement.. Not all solids are crystals. For example, when liquid water starts freezing, the phase change begins with small ice crystals that grow until they fuse, forming a polycrystalline structure. In the final block of ice, each of the small crystals is a true crystal with a periodic arrangement of atoms, but the whole polycrystal does not have a periodic arrangement of atoms, because the periodic pattern is broken at the grain boundaries.
Most macroscopic inorganic solids are polycrystalline, including all metals, ice, etc. Solids that are neither crystalline nor polycrystalline, such as glass, are called amorphous solids called glassy, vitreous, or noncrystalline; these have no periodic order microscopically. There are distinct differences between crystalline solids and amorphous solids: most notably, the process of forming a glass does not release the latent heat of fusion, but forming a crystal does. A crystal structure is characterized by its unit cell, a small imaginary box containing one or more atoms in a specific spatial arrangement; the unit cells are stacked in three-dimensional space to form the crystal. The symmetry of a crystal is constrained by the requirement that the unit cells stack with no gaps. There are 219 possible crystal symmetries, called crystallographic space groups; these are grouped into 7 crystal systems, such as hexagonal crystal system. Crystals are recognized by their shape, consisting of flat faces with sharp angles.
These shape characteristics are not necessary for a crystal—a crystal is scientifically defined by its microscopic atomic arrangement, not its macroscopic shape—but the characteristic macroscopic shape is present and easy to see. Euhedral crystals are those with well-formed flat faces. Anhedral crystals do not because the crystal is one grain in a polycrystalline solid; the flat faces of a euhedral crystal are oriented in a specific way relative to the underlying atomic arrangement of the crystal: they are planes of low Miller index. This occurs; as a crystal grows, new atoms attach to the rougher and less stable parts of the surface, but less to the flat, stable surfaces. Therefore, the flat surfaces tend to grow larger and smoother, until the whole crystal surface consists of these plane surfaces. One of the oldest techniques in the science of crystallography consists of measuring the three-dimensional orientations of the faces of a crystal, using them to infer the underlying crystal symmetry.
A crystal's habit is its visible external shape. This is determined by the crystal structure, the specific crystal chemistry and bonding, the conditions under which the crystal formed. By volume and weight, the largest concentrations of crystals in the Earth are part of its solid bedrock. Crystals found in rocks range in size from a fraction of a millimetre to several centimetres across, although exceptionally large crystals are found; as of 1999, the world's largest known occurring crystal is a crystal of beryl from Malakialina, Madagascar, 18 m long and 3.5 m in diameter, weighing 380,000 kg. Some crystals have formed by magmatic and metamorphic processes, giving origin to large masses of crystalline rock; the vast majority of igneous rocks are formed from molten magma and the degree of crystallization depends on the conditions under which they solidified. Such rocks as granite, which have cooled slowly and under great pressures, have crystallized.
Shinigami are gods or supernatural spirits that invite humans toward death, can be seen to be present or interpreted to be present in certain aspects of Japanese religion and culture. Shinigami have been described as monsters and helpers, creatures of darkness, fallen angels. Many cultures describe Shinigami as Death themselves. In Buddhism, there is the Mara, concerned with death, the Mrtyu-mara, it is a demon that makes humans want to die, it is said that upon being possessed by it, in a shock, one should want to commit suicide, so it is sometimes explained to be a "shinigami". In the Yogacarabhumi-sastra, a writing on Yogacara, a demon decided the time of people's deaths. Yama, the king of the Underworld, as well as oni like the Ox-Head and Horse-Face are considered a type of shinigami. In Shinto and Japanese mythology, Izanami gave humans death, so Izanami is sometimes seen as a shinigami; however and Yama are thought to be different from the death gods in western mythology. Some forms of Buddhism do not involve believing in any deities, so it is sometimes thought that the concept of a death god does not exist to begin with.
Though the kijin and onryō of Japanese Buddhist faith have taken humans' lives, there is the opinion that there is no "death god" that leads people into the world of the dead. After the war, the western notion of a death god entered Japan, shinigami started to become mentioned as an existence with a human nature; the word "shinigami" does not appear to be used in Japanese classical literature, there are not many writings about them, but going into the Edo period, the word "shinigami" can be seen in Chikamatsu Monzaemon's works of ningyō jōruri and classical literature that had themes on double suicides. In Hōei 3, in a performance of the "Shinchuu Nimai Soushi", concerning men and women who were invited towards death, it was written "the road the god of death leads towards", in Hōei 6, in "Shinchuuha ha Koori no Sakujitsu", a woman, about to commit double suicide with a man said, "the fleetingness of a life lured by a god of death", it never became clear whether the man and woman came to commit double suicide due to the existence of a shinigami, or if a shinigami was given as an example for their situation of double suicide, there are interpretations that the word "shinigami" is an expression for the fleetingness of life.
Other than that, in Kyōhō 5, in a performance of The Love Suicides at Amijima, there was the expression, "of one possessed by a god of death". Since the character was seller of paper, the character who confronted death wrote "paper" as "god", but there are interpretations that Chikamatsu himself didn't think about the existence of a shinigami. In the classical literature of the Edo period, shinigami that would possess humans are mentioned. In the Ehon Hyaku Monogatari from Tenpō 12, there was a story titled "Shinigami", but in this one, the shinigami was the spirit of a deceased one and had bad intent, acting in jointly with the malicious intent within people who were living, those people were led on bad paths, which caused repeat incidents to occur at places where there was a murder incident, for example by causing the same suicide at places where people have hanged themselves before, thus these shinigami are somewhat like a possession that would cause people to want to die. Close to this, according to the essay of the Bakumatsu period titled "Hogo no Uragaki", there were the itsuki that made people want to commit suicide through hanging, as well as things told through folk religion such as gaki-tsuki and shichinin misaki.
In the Edo Period, the essay "Shōzan Chomon Kishū" in Kaei 3 by the essayist Miyoshi Shōzan, the one titled "upon possession by a shinigami, it becomes difficult to speak, or easier to tell lies" was a story where a prostitute possessed by a shinigami invites a man to commit double suicide, in the kabuki Mekuranagaya Umega Kagatobi by Kawatake Mokuami in Meiji 19, a shinigami enters into people's thoughts, making them think about bad things they have done and want to die. These are, rather than more like yūki, or evil spirits. In the San-yūtei Enchō of classical rakugo, there was a programme titled "Shinigami", but this was something, not thought of independently in Japan, but rather from adaptions of the Italian opera the Crispino e la comare and the Grimm Fairy Tale "Godfather Death". Shinigami are spoken about in folk religion after the war. According to the mores of Miyajima, Kumamoto Prefecture, those who go out and return to attend to someone through the night must drink tea or eat a bowl of rice before sleeping, it is said that a shinigami would visit if this was ignored.
In the Hamamatsu area, Shizuoka Prefecture, a shinigami would possess people and lead them to mountains and railroads where people have died. In those places, the dead would have a "death turn", as long as there is nobody to die there next, they shall never ascend if they were given a service, it was said that people who were alive would be invited by the dead to come next, it is ordinary to visit graves for the sake of Higan during noon or when the sun sets, but in the Okayama Prefecture, visiting the grave for Higan during sunrise without a previous time would result in being possessed by a shinigami. However, once one has visited the grave in sunset it would become necessary to visit the grave again during sunrise, to avoid a shinigami possessing one's body. With this background of folk belief, it is thought that sometimes people would consider the ghosts of the deceased, who have nobody to deify them, to b
Hare of Inaba
The Hare of Inaba can refer to two distinct Japanese myths, both from the ancient province of Inaba, now the eastern part of Tottori Prefecture. The Hare of Inaba legend belongs to the Izumo denrai, or tradition of myths originating from the Izumo region; the Hare of Inaba forms an essential part of the legend of the Shinto god Ōnamuchi-no-kami, the name for Ōkuninushi within this legend. The hare referred to in the legend is the Lepus brachyurus, or Japanese hare the subspecies found on the Oki Islands known as the Lepus brachyurus okiensis; the Japanese hare ranges between 43 centimetres and 54 centimetres in length, is much smaller than the common European hare. Japanese hares are brown, but may turn white during winter in areas with a varying climate, such as that of the Inaba region. One version of the tale of the Hare of Inaba is found in the Kojiki, the oldest extant chronicle in Japan, which dates from early in the 8th century; the legend appears in the first of the three sections of the Kojiki, the Kamitsumaki known as the Jindai no Maki, or "Volume of the Age of the Gods".
This section of the Kojiki outlines the myths concerning the foundation of Japan prior to the birth of the Emperor Jimmu, the first Emperor of Japan. In the Kojiki version of the myth, a hare tricks some wanizame into being used as a land bridge in order to travel from the Island of Oki to Cape Keta. Cape Keta is now identified with the Hakuto Coast in the present-day city of Tottori; the hare challenges the sharks to see whose clan is larger -- that of the hares. The hare had the sharks lie in a row across the sea; the hare hopped across them, counting them as he went. Nearing the end, the hare exclaims; the last shark attacks the hare, ripping his fur from him.Ōnamuchi-no-kami and his eighty brothers were traveling through the Inaba region to woo Princess Yakami of Inaba. While the brothers were on their way to visit the princess, the flayed hare stopped them and asked them for help. Rather than helping the hare, they advised it to wash in the sea and dry itself in the wind, which caused it great pain.
In contrast Ōnamuchi, unlike his quarreling elder brothers, told the hare to bathe in fresh water from the mouth of a river, roll in the pollen of cattails. The body of the hare was restored to its original state, after its recovery, revealed its true form as a god. In gratitude, the hare told Ōnamuchi, the lowest born in the family, that he would marry Princess Yakami; the Hare of Inaba legend emphasizes the benevolence of Ōnamuchi, enshrined at the Izumo-taisha. Japanese scholars have traditionally interpreted the struggle between the kind Ōnamuchi and his wrathful eighty brothers as a symbolic representation of civilization and barbarism in the emergent Japanese state; the version of the Hare of Inaba legend told in the Kojiki has been compared to similar myths from Java in Indonesia, Sri Lanka, India. Long ago, when Japanese goddess Amaterasu and her entourage traveled around at the boundary of Yakami in Inaba, they were looking for a place for their temporary palace a white hare appeared.
The white hare bit Amaterasu's clothes and took her to an appropriate place for a temporary palace along Nakayama mountain and Reiseki mountain. About two hours' walk, accompanied by the white hare, Amaterasu reached a mountain top plain, now called Ise ga naru; the white hare disappeared at Ise ga naru. The place of this legend is in Yazu town and Tottori city, in Tottori Prefecture, where the shrine Hakuto Jinja reveres the white hare. English Wikisource has original text related to this article: The White Hare And The Crocodiles Full text of Basil Hall Chamberlain's translation of "The White Hare of Inaba"
The kuni-yuzuri "Transfer of the land" was a mythological event in Japanese prehistory, related in sources such as the Kojiki and the Nihon Shoki. It relates the story of how the rulership of Japan passed from the earthly kami to the kami of Heaven and their eventual descendants, the Imperial House of Japan; the Kojiki and the Nihon Shoki both relate that the Japanese archipelago were created by the primordial couple Izanagi and Izanami, who brought forth many gods into existence, three of which – Amaterasu and Susanoo – were appointed to govern the sky, the night, the seas, respectively. Susanoo, expelled by Izanagi either because he refused to perform his allotted task of ruling the sea or his impetuous nature, went to Takagamahara to see his sister. Suspected of insurrection, Susanoo protested his innocence, at which the two gods underwent a trial by pledge, giving birth to five male kami and three female kami when each chewed and spat out an object carried by the other. Declaring himself winner of the trial, Susanoo began to wreak havoc upon Takagamahara, causing Amaterasu to hide herself in the Ama-no-Iwato, plunging heaven and earth into darkness.
Though Amaterasu was persuaded to come out of the cave, Susanoo was banished a second time as punishment for his misdeeds. He came down to Ashihara-no-Nakatsukuni, to the land of Izumo, where he slew the eight-headed serpent Yamata-no-Orochi and married Kushinada-hime. At length, Susanoo went to the underworld to become its ruler. A son or descendant of Susanoo, Ōnamuji, married the goddess Yagami-hime of Inaba Province, earning the jealousy of his eighty brothers, who were seeking for her hand in marriage. Seeking refuge in Ne-no-kuni after his brothers had made attempts on his life, Ōnamuji met Susanoo's daughter Suseri-bime, with whom he fell in love with. Upon learning of their affair, Susanoo imposes four trials on Ōnamuji, each of which he overcame with Suseri-bime's help. Taking his new wife Suseri-bime, as well as Susanoo's sword and bow and arrow back with him, Ōnamuji – now called Ōkuninushi – defeats his wicked brothers, thereby becoming the lord of Ashihara-no-Nakatsukuni. Upon subduing his brothers, Ōkuninushi takes a third wife, Nunakawa-hime of Koshi, causing his second wife Suseri-bime to become jealous.
Ōkuninushi begins the task of creating the land started by Izanagi and Izanami, being helped in his task by a dwarf named Sukunahikona, a son of the primordial deity Takamimusubi or Kamimusubi. Together they made the lands habitable and invented means of dispelling various diseases and calamities such as medicine and magic. In time, the amatsukami of Takagamahara, headed by Amaterasu or/and Takamimusubi, decided that Ashihara-no-Nakatsukuni, considered to be overpopulated by unruly and evil kami, must be turned over to them to be pacified. Amaterasu decreed that Ame-no-oshihomimi, one of the five sons born to Amaterasu when Susanoo chewed her magatama beads, shall take possession of the earth and ordered him to go down to it. Ame-no-oshihomimi, inspecting the land below from the bridge connecting heaven and earth, deemed it to be too tumultuous and refused to go any further, instead going back to report what he saw; the heavenly gods decided to send another of Amaterasu's sons, Ame-no-hohi, the most heroic among the gods, down to Ashihara-no-Nakatsukuni.
Ame-no-hohi, began to curry favor with Ōkuninushi and did not send back any report for three years. The Nihon Shoki adds that Ame-no-hohi's son, Ōsobi-no-mikuma-no-ushi was sent afterwards, but like his father, he did not report back to Takamagahara. After Ame-no-hohi's failure to return, the amatsukami sent another messenger, Ame-no-wakahiko. However, he too came to side with Ōkuninushi marrying his daughter Shitateru-hime. After eight years of waiting, the heavenly deities sent a female pheasant to question Ame-no-wakahiko, but he shot it with his bow and arrow at the prodding of a goddess named Ame-no-sagume; the blood-stained arrow flew straight up to Takamagahara at the feet of Amaterasu and Takamimusubi, who threw it back to earth with a curse, killing Ame-no-wakahiko. Ame-no-wakahiko's relatives, hearing the wailing of his bereaved wife, erect a mortuary house for Ame-no-wakahiko's corpse at the place where he died or at Takamagahara, they celebrated his memory with song and dance for eight days and nights.
A friend of Ame-no-wakahiko during his time on the earth who resembled him in appearance, Ajishiki-/Ajisuki-takahikone, went to attend Ame-no-wakahiko's funeral. Taking offense at being confused with the dead god by the family of the deceased, Ajisuki-takahikone destroyed the funeral house they built for Ame-no-wakahiko. After Ame-no-wakahiko's death, the gods of heaven convened another assembly to decide about who to send next. In the Kojiki, the selected candidates were his son, Takemikazuchi; as Itsu-no-ohabari was busy damming the headwaters of the heavenly river, accompanied by the bird-boat deity Ame-no-torifune, was sent instead. In the Nihon Shoki, the gods choose the sword god Futsunushi as their messenger. The
Urashima Tarō is the protagonist of a Japanese fairy tale, who in a typical modern version is a fisherman, rewarded for rescuing a turtle, carried on its back to the Dragon Palace which lies beneath the sea. There he is entertained by the princess Otohime as reward, he spends what he believes to be 4 or 5 days, but upon his return to his home village, he finds himself 300 years in the future. When he opens the box he was told never to open, he turns into an old man; the tale originates from the legend of Urashimako recorded in various pieces of literature dating to the 8th century, such as the Fudoki for Tango Province, Nihon Shoki, the Man'yōshū. During the Muromachi to Edo periods, versions of Urashima Tarō appeared in storybook form called the Otogizōshi, made into finely painted picture scrolls and picture books or mass-printed copies; these texts vary and in some, the story ends with Urashima Tarō transforming into a crane. Some iconic elements in the modern version are recent; the portrayal of him riding a turtle dates only to the early 18th century, while he is carried underwater to the Dragon Palace in modern tellings, he rides a boat to the princess's world called Hōrai in older versions.
The Urashima Tarō tales familiar to most Japanese follows the storyline of children's tale author Iwaya Sazanami in the Meiji period. A condensed version of Sazanami's retelling appeared in Kokutei kyōkasho, Japan's nationally designated textbook for the elementary school, became read by the schoolchildren of the populace. Modern versions of Urashima Tarō, which are similar, are demonstrably based on the story from these nationally designated textbook series. A summary of the Urashima tale from the textbook series will be given below; the base text used will be Urashima Tarō, from the 3rd edition, a familiar textbook used during the 1918–1932 period. An English translation has been provided in Yoshiko Holmes's thesis. Long ago, a man named Urashima Tarō found a turtle on the beach being toyed with by a group of children, he released it in the ocean. Two or three days while he was fishing on a boat as always, the grateful turtle came and told him he would carry him on his back to the underwater palace known as Dragon Palace.
At the palace, the princess thanked him for saving the turtle. After an unspecified number of days, remembrance of his mother and father made him homesick, he bid farewell to Otohime; the princess tried to dissuade him from leaving, but let him go with a parting gift, a mysterious box called tamatebako whose lid he was told never to open. When Tarō returned to his hometown, everything had changed, his home was gone, his mother and father had perished, the people he knew were nowhere to be seen. Not remembering the princess's warning, he lifted the lid of the box. A cloud of white smoke arose; the story remained as one of the dozen tales included in the 4th edition of national reader textbooks, used from 1933–ca. 1940, thus continuing to enjoy wide recognition. There are a number of renditions set to music. Among the most popular is the school song "Urashima Tarō" of 1911 which begins with the line "Mukashi, mukashi Urashima wa, tasuketa kame ni tsurerarete", printed in the Jinjō shōgaku shōka; this song's author was long relegated to anonymity, but the lyricist is now considered to be Okkotsu Saburō.
Another school song "Urashima Tarō" appeared in the Yōnen shōka. Although written in stilted classical language, Miura considered this version the more familiar. Long before the versions in 19th century textbooks, there had been the otogi-zōshi versions from the Muromachi period. Conventionally, commentators using the term otogizōshi are referring by default to the text found in the Otogi Bunko, since it was printed and disseminated. In the Otogi Bunko version, a young fisherman named Urashima Tarō catches a turtle on his fishing line and releases it; the next day, Urashima encounters a boat with a woman on it wishing to be escorted home. She does not identify herself, although she is the transformation of the turtle, spared; when Urashima rows her boat to her magnificent residence, she proposes. The residence is the Dragon Palace, on each of the four sides of the palace is the gardenscape of a different season. Urashima is given a memento box in parting, he arrives in his hometown to find it desolate, discovers 700 years have passed since he last left it.
He cannot restrain his temptation to open the box which he was cautioned not to open, whereupon three wisps of purple cloud appear and turn him into an old man. It ends with Urashima Tarō transforming into a crane, his wife reverting back to the form of a turtle, the two thereafter revered as myōjin. There are over 50 texts of the Urashima Tarō otogi-zōshi extant; these variants fall into four broad groups, clustered by their similarity. The Otogi Bunko text belongs to Group IV; the Otogi Bunko version, despite its conventional status as the type text, differs from the typical children's storybook published in the modern day: the protagonist neither purchases the turtle from others to save
The Ryukyuan religion, Ryukyu Shintō, Nirai Kanai Shinkō, or Utaki Shinkō is the indigenous belief system of the Ryukyu Islands. While specific legends and traditions may vary from place to place and island to island, the Ryukyuan religion is characterized by ancestor worship and the respecting of relationships between the living, the dead, the gods and spirits of the natural world; some of its beliefs, such as those concerning genius loci spirits and many other beings classified between gods and humans, are indicative of its ancient animistic roots, as is its concern with mabui, or life essence. Over time, Ryukyuan religious practice has been influenced by Chinese religions and Japanese Shinto. One of its most ancient features is the belief onarigami, the spiritual superiority of women derived from Amamikyu, which allowed for the development of a noro system and a significant following for yuta. Ryukyuan religion, with its focus on demonstrating respect of and reverence toward ancestors, is based in the family home.
The oldest female relative acts as a primary celebrant, officiating rituals concerning ancestors, household gods and those family members who live both in and outside the home. Daily incense offerings are made and prayer "reports" are delivered aloud, in which each family member is described for the benefit of the incorporeal being addressed; the oldest female relative is responsible for cleaning and upkeep of the buchidan and furugan. The Ultimate Ancestors, those from whom all life springs, are Utin, Ryūgū, they originate and exist, along with kami, or the gods of the world, during the Usachi-yu, the "Ancient Age". They are held in highest regard as the originators of all things and are worshiped in the community's utaki. Ancestors living in the distant past, but not in the Usachi-yu – that is, ancestors living more than about 25 generations ago but not living with the gods at the beginning of time – are said to be living in Nakaga-yu, the "Middle Age"; these ancestors are worshipped as collective spirits called futuchi, whose worship is focused in Buddhist temples.
Other, more immediate ancestors are those who lived between the present day and the twenty-fifth generation into the past, a time period called Ima-ga-yuu, the "Present Age". They are those enshrined in the family home's buchidan, it is these ancestors who visit on special occasions in the home and at the haka; the buchidan is the primary focus of ancestor worship. It is a space a small closet, dedicated to the family altar and various memorial plaques featuring the names of ancestors. Incense and alcohol are offered to ancestors at the butsudan. In the Ryukyus the buchidan or butsudan does not house a statue of Buddha but memorial tablets inscribed with the names of the family ancestors; the butsudan is placed in a room called the ichibanza. The practice of placing ancestral tablets in the butsudan is believed to derive from the influence of Confucianism; the butsudan is passed from generation to generation, first son to first son and only those who have inherited the parental house and carried on the main line possess a butsudan.
The butsudan serves as the family gathering place on special holidays, e.g. New Year's and Obon; the butsudan receives offerings of incense, tea and cooked rice. During festivals the butsudan is lavishly adorned with offerings of pineapple, apples, exotic tropical fruits, sugar cane, rice cakes. During these times, families may offer alcohol in the form of sake or awamori. Hinukan is a hearth god, represented by three small stones and located in the kitchen; as his name suggests, he is a fire god, but more is the guardian of the "family fire". Hinukan, by extension, is the guardian of sacred communal fire. Hinukan, while he inhabits the family home, doesn't call it his own home, in fact leaves to return to his home to celebrate the solar New Year, he may be compared with hearth goddess of the Ainu Religion. The fuuru nu kami, or "god of the toilet", is the family protector of the area of waste; the pig toilet, lacking this benevolent god, could become a place of evil influence and potential haunting.
Because he is considered a primary household god, the fuuru nu kami's habitat is kept clean and is perceived to warrant deferential behavior. Reports on the family's status are delivered to the fuuru nu kami, he shares traits with Cheukshin. Traditionally, periodic gatherings of the extended family occur at the family haka, or "tomb"; the tombs resemble houses, complete with a courtyard, family name markers, "porch" upon which offerings are arranged. A common tomb style in many areas is the so-called turtle-back tomb, whose roof is shaped as the carapace of a tortoise; these tombs have variously been described as "horseshoe-shaped" or "omega-shaped" tombs by Westerners, but Okina
Ryūjin or Ryōjin, which in some traditions is equivalent to Ōwatatsumi, was the tutelary deity of the sea in Japanese mythology. This Japanese dragon symbolized the power of the ocean, had a large mouth, was able to transform into a human shape. Ryūjin lived in Ryūgū-jō, his palace under the sea built out of red and white coral, from where he controlled the tides with magical tide jewels. Sea turtles and jellyfish are depicted as Ryūjin's servants. Ryūjin was the father of the beautiful goddess Otohime; the first Emperor of Japan, Emperor Jimmu, is said to have been a grandson of Hoori's. Thus, Ryūjin is said to be one of the ancestors of the Japanese imperial dynasty. According to legend, the Empress Jingū was able to carry out her attack into Korea with the help of Ryūjin's tide jewels. Upon confronting the Korean navy, Jingū threw the kanju into the sea, the tide receded; the Korean fleet was stranded, the men got out of their ships. Jingū threw down the manju and the water rose, drowning the Korean soldiers.
An annual festival, called Gion Matsuri, at Yasaka Shrine celebrates this legend. Another legend involving Ryūjin is the story about. According to this story, Ryūjin wanted to eat monkey's liver, sent the jellyfish to get him a monkey; the monkey managed to sneak away from the jellyfish by telling him that he had put his liver in a jar in the forest and offered to go and get it. As the jellyfish came back and told Ryūjin what had happened, Ryūjin became so angry that he beat the jellyfish until its bones were crushed. Ryūjin shinkō is a form of Shinto religious belief, it is connected with agricultural rituals, rain prayers, the success of fishermen. Ryūjin shinkō, Encyclopedia of Shinto Netsuke: masterpieces from the Metropolitan Museum of Art, an exhibition catalog from The Metropolitan Museum of Art, which contains many representations of Ryūjin Media related to Ryūjin at Wikimedia Commons