In Scottish mythology, Selkies or Selkie folk meaning "Seal Folk" are mythological beings capable of therianthropy, changing from seal to human form by shedding their skin. They are found in folktales and mythology originating from Orkney and Shetland; the folk-tales revolve around female selkies being coerced into relationships with humans by someone stealing and hiding their sealskin, thus exhibiting the tale motif of the swan maiden type. There are Icelandic folklore that speak of seal-women and seal-skin. In some instances the Irish mermaid is regarded as a half-human being; the Scots word selkie is diminutive for selch which speaking means "grey seal". Alternate spellings for the diminutive include: selky, sejlki, silkey, sylkie, etc; the term "selkie" according to Alan Bruford should be treated as meaning any seal with or without the implication of transformation into human form. W. Traill Dennison insisted "selkie" was the correct term to be applied to these shapeshifters, to be distinguished from the merfolk, that Samuel Hibbert committed an error in referring to them as "mermen" and "mermaids".
However, when other Norse cultures are examined, Icelandic writers refer to the seal-wives as merfolk. There seems to be some conflation between the selkie and finfolk; this confounding only existed in Shetland, claimed Dennison, that in Orkney the selkie are distinguished from the finfolk, the selkies' abode undersea is not "Finfolk-a-heem". There is further confusion with the Norse concept of the Finns as shapeshifters, "Finns" being the Shetlandic name for dwellers of the sea who could remove their seal-skin and transform into humans according to one native correspondent. Gaelic termsIn Gaelic stories, specific terms for selkies are used, they are differentiated from mermaids. They are most referred to as maighdeann-mhara in Scottish Gaelic, maighdean mhara in Irish, moidyn varrey in Manx and have the seal-like attributes of selkies; the only term which refers to a selkie but, only encountered is maighdeann-ròin, or "seal maiden". Many of the folk-tales on selkie folk have been collected from the Northern Isles.
In Orkney lore, selkie is said to denote various seals of greater size than the grey seal. The type of large seals that might have been seen on the islands include the Greenland seal and the crested seal. Something similar is stated in Shetland tradition, that the mermen and mermaids prefer to assume the shape of larger seals, referred to as "Haaf-fish". A typical folk-tale is that of a man who steals a female selkie's skin, finds her naked on the sea shore, compels her to become his wife, but the wife will spend her time in captivity longing for the sea, her true home, will be seen gazing longingly at the ocean. She may bear several children by her human husband, but once she discovers her skin, she will return to the sea and abandon the children she loved. Sometimes, one of her children knows the whereabouts of the skin. Sometimes it is revealed she had a first husband from her own kind. Although in some children's story versions, the selkie revisits her family on land once a year, in the typical folktale she is never seen again by them.
In one version, the selkie wife was never seen again by the family, but the children would witness a large seal approach them and "greet" them plaintively. Male selkies are described as being handsome in their human form, having great seductive powers over human women, they seek those who are dissatisfied with their lives, such as married women waiting for their fishermen husbands. In one popular tattletale version about a certain "Ursilla" of Orkney, it was rumored that when she wished to make contact with her male selkie would shed seven tears into the sea. Children born between man and seal-folk may have webbed hands, as in the case of the Shetland mermaid whose children had a "a sort of web between their fingers", or "Ursilla" rumored to have children sired by a male selkie, such that the children had to have the webbing between their fingers and toes made of horny material clipped away intermittently; some of the descendants did have these hereditary traits, according to Walter Traill Dennison, related to the family.
Some legends say that selkies could turn human every so when the conditions of the tides were correct, but oral storytellers disagreed as to the time interval. In Ursilla's rumor, the contacted male selkie promised to visit her at the "seventh stream" or springtide. In the ballad The Great Silkie of Sule Skerry, the seal-husband promised to return in seven years. According to one version, the selkie could only assume human form once every seven years because they are bodies that house condemned souls. There is the notion that they are either humans who had committed sinful wrongdoing, or fallen angels, it was only during hard times that the people of the Scottish Isles would kill seals to make use of their skin and blubber. It was thought. Ernest Marwick recounts the tale of crofters who brought their sheep to graze upon a small group of holms within the Orkney Islands. During the sum
Evelyn Maude Blanche Paul was an artist best known for her book illustrations, including those replicating the style of medieval illuminations. Her work shows a variety of influences including Art Nouveau and Arts and Crafts. Most the Pre-Raphaelite artist Dante Gabriel Rossetti has been identified as one of Paul's major influences. Paul was born on 4 November 1883, at Kentish Town, in North London, her father was the portraitist Robert Boyd Paul, her mother was Annie née McGlashan, the daughter of a sergeant in the Royal Artillery and Robert Paul’s 2nd wife. In her teens, Evelyn attended art school in London and in 1906 entered the Schools of Art National Competition, she continued her studies, on 1 June 1911 married the artist Alexander George Small, son of William Small, a well-known painter and honorary Fellow of the Royal Scottish Academy. Alexander died twelve years at St Pancras Hospital, London, at the age of 48. Evelyn died of broncho-pneumonia at the same hospital on 29 January 1963.
Stories from Dante. GRO birth and death certificates: 1891 Census: RG12/Piece 140/Folio 73/ Page 28. 1901 Census: RG13/Piece 171/Folio 30/ Page: 9. 1911 Census: RG14 PN712 RG78 PN25 RD9 SD3 ED2 SN218. 1911 Census: RG14 PN712 RG78 PN25 RD9 SD3 ED2 SN119. This website gives brief details of her life, a photographic portrait. Illuminated Books.com Works by Evelyn Paul at Project Gutenberg
Cercidiphyllum is a genus containing two species of plants, both called katsura. They are the sole members of the monotypic family Cercidiphyllaceae; the genus is unrelated to Cercis. The type species, Cercidiphyllum japonicum, can reach 45 m in height, is one of the largest hardwoods in Asia; the other species, Cercidiphyllum magnificum, is much smaller reaching over 10 m in height. Cercidiphyllum produces spurs along its twigs; these are short stems with spaced leaves. The foliage is dimorphic. According to a recent description "short shoots bear broadly cordate or reniform, palmately veined leaves with crenate margins. Leaf size varies from 3–8 cm long and 3-5.5 cm broad. The genus is dioecious, having separate female trees; the small inconspicuous flowers are produced in early wind-pollinated. The fruits mature in release their seeds in autumn through winter. Katsura is the Japanese name for the tree; the scientific name Cercidiphyllum refers to the close resemblance of the leaves to those of Cercis.
The two species are: Cercidiphyllum japonicum. Throughout the range of the genus. A multi-stemmed tree to 40–45 m tall in the wild, though smaller in cultivation. Bark rough, furrowed. Leaves smaller, not over 4.5 cm long and 3.2 cm broad. Seed winged only at lower end. Plants from China were at one time separated as C. japonicum var. sinense, but no consistent difference between Japanese and Chinese origins has been found. Cercidiphyllum magnificum. Endemic to central Honshū, where it grows at higher altitudes than C. japonicum. A small tree, not more than 10 m tall. Bark smooth. Leaves larger, up to 8 cm long and 5.5 cm broad. Seed winged at both ends. Katsura is grown as an ornamental tree for its delicate heart-shaped leaves and bright autumn colour, a mix of bright yellow and orange-red. Where conditions are suitable, it is fast-growing, but it is sensitive to drought and needs deep, permanently moist soil. Under drought conditions, the species will abscise its leaves. Of particular interest is the scent produced by the leaves in the autumn, resembling burnt brown sugar or cotton candy.
Trees in cultivation, like those in natural environments, tend to sucker from the base when young and become multi-stemmed at maturity. Within Cercidiphyllum japonicum, several cultivars with pendulous branches are grown for their unique weeping habit. Two general types exist; those with a strong central leader, or excurrent growth, are all one clone originating in Morioka City, Japan. This cultivar can reach over 25 m in height; the other type is rounded in habit. There are several clones of this, including'Amazing Grace' and'Tidal Wave'. Both the species C. japonicum and the weeping form C. japonicum f. pendulum have gained the Royal Horticultural Society's Award of Garden Merit. Katsura wood is used to make gobans, i.e. boards for the game Go. Andrews, S.. "Tree of the Year: Cercidiphyllum". International Dendrology Society Yearbook. 1997: 17–46. Dosmann, M. S.. "Katsura: A review of Cercidiphyllum in cultivation and in the wild". The New Plantsman. 6: 52–62. Dosmann, M. S.. "Classification and nomenclature of weeping katsuras".
The Plantsman. New Series. 2: 21–27. Dosmann, M. S.. R.. "Drought avoidance in katsura by drought-induced leaf abscission and rapid refoliation". HortScience. 34: 871–874
Oto-hime or Otohime, in the Japanese folktale of Urashima Tarō, is the princess of the undersea palace Ryūgū-jō
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
Ō no Yasumaro
Ō no Yasumaro was a Japanese nobleman and chronicler. He may have been the son of Ō no Honji, a participant in the Jinshin War of 672, he is most famous for compiling and editing, with the assistance of Hieda no Are, the Kojiki, the oldest extant Japanese history. Empress Genmei charged Yasumaro with the duty of writing the Kojiki in 711 using the differing clan chronicles and native myths, it was finished the following year in 712. Yasumaro most also played an active role in compiling the Nihon Shoki, finished in 720. Yasumaro became clan head in 716, died in 723. On January 23, 1979 the grave of Ō no Yasumaro was unearthed in a tea plantation in Konose Ward of Nara City, its engraving reads: 左京四條四坊従四位下勲五等太朝臣安萬侶以癸亥 年七月六日卒之 養老七年十二月十五日乙巳 "Ō no Yasumaro, Junior 4th Grade Lower, 5th Grade Order of Merit, who lived in the 4th Ward of 4th Street on the left side of the Capital, Who died on the 6th day of the 7th month of the Kigai year. The 15th day of 12th month of the 7th year of Yōrō Ki no Tomi" Yasumaro appears in the video game Toukiden: The Age of Demons as a mitama.
Yasumaro appears in the video game Sid Meier's Civilization VI as a Great Prophet. Aston, W G. Nihongi: chronicles of Japan from the earliest times to A. D. 697. Tuttle Publishing. ISBN 978-0-8048-3674-6. Philippi, Donald L.. Kojiki. Tōkyō: University of Tokyo Press. ISBN 0-86008-320-9. Heldt, Gustav; the Kojiki: An Account of Ancient Matters. New York: Columbia University Press. ISBN 978-0-231-16389-7
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