Non-Japanese Yokai?:

Total posts: [13]
1 NarniaRanger16th Sep 2012 11:41:58 PM from The Moors , Relationship Status: In love with love
Narnia Ranger
I've been thinking of a story that involves Yokai for some time. It's still in its rough stages, but I've been considering using the All Myths Are True / Fantasy Kitchen Sink trope(s) somehow in regards to non-Japanese magical creatures. Does anyone have any suggestions on how to do this?
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2 JHM17th Sep 2012 02:37:50 AM from Neither Here Nor There , Relationship Status: Showing feelings of an almost human nature
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Well, yōkai is very much a Japanese term. Do you mean supernatural creatures in general? Demons? Inhabitants of Faerie? (The last are probably the closest analogue in the West.)
3 MajorTom17th Sep 2012 04:12:06 AM , Relationship Status: Barbecuing
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Quite a few creatures that are listed as Japanese Youkai are also known to have analogues in neighboring mythologies like Chinese.
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4 AnotherDuck17th Sep 2012 04:36:47 AM from Stockholm , Relationship Status: In season
No, the other one.
Is there a specific kind, or just magical creatures in general? If it's the latter, you've got tons from European folklore, like fey, trolls, undead, etc. If it's more specific, you're going to have to be a little more specific.
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5 NarniaRanger17th Sep 2012 08:28:44 AM from The Moors , Relationship Status: In love with love
Narnia Ranger
Thanks for the replies. :) I guess I should be a little more specific:

- The reason why I am using the term "yokai" is because the main character(s) of my story is/are Japanese. Additionally, I am planning on making Japanese yokai the main focus, but for the sake of planning ahead just to be safe, I've just been brainstorming ways to incorporate other magical creatures if the possibility/need arises.

- The only thing I'm sure of, as far as using non-Japanese magical creatures, is that I'll most likely also draw from other Asian countries, such as China, Vietnam, etc.

- I have also been thinking about The Fair Folk when it comes to European creatures, since it has been pointed out that yokai act similar to them.

- The setting for the story is in the US, and also around Japan. My reasoning is that, many Urban Fantasy stories set in the US use English, German, and other European creatures, so the idea of using yokai in an American setting seems plausible, since there are also Japanese-Americans.

- I was also thinking of how Gargoyles dealt with this in their show, i.e. most magical creatures were subjects of Oberon. I guess if I included other magical creatures, I'd use a system like that; the One Myth To Rule Them All trope. Another inspiration would be the books by Rick Riordan (Percy Jackson, Kane Chronicles, etc.).
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6 AnotherDuck17th Sep 2012 11:17:07 AM from Stockholm , Relationship Status: In season
No, the other one.
Do you intend to have them as simply monsters, characters who're just not human, or magical beings that don't really follow the laws of physics and reason, but instead their own mystical rules?

Just as an example, vampires nowdays are more often basically just powerful humans who drink blood (if that) and burn in the sun, but they rarely have many of the classical weaknesses, such as flowing water or being neat freaks in some ways. More subtly, the classical ones would probably not be able to drink from blood bags (and gain sustenance), since that blood would be "dead", compared to the blood they drink directly from a person.

Might not relate to what you're writing, but that mystical bit is what real magic is all about.
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7 NarniaRanger17th Sep 2012 02:19:21 PM from The Moors , Relationship Status: In love with love
Narnia Ranger
Thanks for the info on vampires; it might come in handy later on. :)

Well, for the most part, I do want to develop some as characters, with others as throwaway monsters for battles. And yes, keeping that mystical part of them would be good too. I just need to do some more research on that... :)

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8 AnotherDuck17th Sep 2012 05:22:54 PM from Stockholm , Relationship Status: In season
No, the other one.
The way I've seen it, there are two main ways myths about creatures come about. They are either attempts to try to explain various phenomena, or they're meant to encourage or enforce certain behaviour in society. Often, it's not just about one thing.

One example I've heard, though which may be entirely made up, as I've only seen it in one place, is an explanation for kappas. For one, they're meant to make people wary about water, especially deep water. That makes sense, since it is easy to drown in a river if you're not a good swimmer. When you drown, you tend to struggle, which can look like wrestling with something, and that's one thing kappas are good at. Two, one way to defeat them is to simply bow to them, so when they bow back, they spill the water in the dish on their head. Considering the culture in Japan, showing politeness can help you a lot when you're in trouble. Also, if you then help the kappa by refilling the water, they will be grateful and serve you. There's a pretty simple moral in that.

This is probably more something to think about if you're creating your own youkai or creatures, but it's also a way of understanding why some myths develop the way they do.
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9 Kiefen18th Sep 2012 07:00:39 AM from Germany , Relationship Status: It's not my fault I'm not popular!
From german folklore there is the wolpertinger

10 Blurring18th Sep 2012 09:03:30 PM from a potential future people archeological dig site
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Try our version of Nukekubi, the Penanggalan.
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11 NarniaRanger19th Sep 2012 12:36:32 AM from The Moors , Relationship Status: In love with love
Narnia Ranger
These are all very good suggestions; thanks a lot! :)

I'll have to remember that information about Kappa for later, and also if I ever need to create my own yokai. :)

The wolpertinger looks pretty interesting; I 'll have to remember that, too.

Also, the Penanggalan does sound interesting, especially how it's similar to the Nukekubi.

On a sort of related topic, I have heard stories of yokai-like activity occurring in Hawaii, the one I remember most being the Night Marchers. Does anybody know something about that? Just something that I remembered while brainstorming today.

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12 NekoLLX24th Sep 2012 06:12:43 PM from Soviet America
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13 Voyd21130th Sep 2012 06:34:26 PM from Somewhere in the Midwest , Relationship Status: Seeking boyfriend-free girl
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So basically, you're asking for mythological creatures, since the folklore that Youkai come from are Japanese mythology, if memory serves anyway. (it may not serve)

That said, goblins, satyrs, centaurs, naiads, dryads, trolls, ogres, werewolves, dwarves and a whole slew of other things come immediately to mind. And those were just from European mythologies and folklore. I can go on.
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Total posts: 13