Strange Japanese monsters are beautiful

I found these old Japanese monsters to be ghoulish and strangely beautiful.  

In the sophisticated popular culture of the Edo period (1603-1868), much attention was devoted to Japan’s rich pantheon of traditional monsters and apparitions, known as youkai. Sometimes frightening, sometimes humorous, these compelling Japanese folk creatures were the subject of numerous artistic and literary works. One such work was Hyakkai Zukkan, a collection of picture scrolls completed in 1737 by Sawaki Suushi.

snakewoman.jpg

I like Nure-onna, which means “wet woman”
Special Powers:  Transformation, illusion
Likes:  The kind, the careful
Dislikes:  Hateful people, those who do not take her task seriously

She is a fast-swimming amphibious creature with the head of a human female and the body of a gigantic snake. Her appearance varies slightly from story to story, but she is usually described as having beady, snake-like eyes and long, sharp claws and fangs. Nure-onna is typically seen at the water’s edge, washing her long, flowing hair. In some stories, she carries a small child, which she uses to attract potential victims. If someone comes and offers to hold the child, they must hold the child carefully and lovingly, or else Nure-onna will become angry and the ‘child’ will be revealed as nothing more than an illusion, which will become heavier and freeze them in place for her to attack. So perhaps she tests people’s kindness in their hearts.

In some stories, Nure-onna uses her long, powerful tongue to suck all the blood from her victim’s body.

The pink tentacle site says, “Nure-onna is often misunderstood due to her terrifying appearance, to some.  However, perhaps once we open our hearts to her, we will be able to understand more her motives and her reasons, as well as what she is really like.  Only time will tell, and only our kindness and understanding will enable us to begin understanding.”

She sounds like every woman I know!

Check out more monsters at Pink Tentacle. They are all fabulously weird!

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