Category Archives: Japanese

The Hammer and the Hood

I started playing Dragon Quest Builders recently, and there’s a place you visit early on that’s full of Hammerhoods, and even called Hammerhood Heights. These are a type of monster originally introduced in DQ5, small impish creatures who, well, wear … Continue reading

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A Thousand Thousand Slimy Things Lived On

I wrote about Slimes in the Dragon Quest series eleven years ago, and mentioned the fact that they were inspired by Creeping Cruds from Wizardry, but Akira Toriyama drew them as cute. There was also a mention of Slimes in … Continue reading

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Sometimes I Feel Like I Hurled Meself in Too Deep

I thought I should write something about last month’s free update to Animal Crossing: New Horizons, since it did add a fair amount to the game. I also looked up how to do a few other things that I could … Continue reading

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Drainpipes and Dragons

Dragons are a mainstay of fantasy fiction, and of course have appeared in a number of video games. Even Metroid has them, and that series is more science fiction than fantasy. Dragons in the Super Mario universe in particular are … Continue reading

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Nobody Ever Suspects the Butterfly

Picture by Carsten Witte In this post about a Chinese drama, there’s a mention of butterfly demons, and some possibilities as to how this links to mythology. Butterflies are apparently considered manifestations of the soul in Greek, Chinese, and Japanese culture. … Continue reading

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Where There’s a Will, There’s a Wisp

The term “Will o’ the Wisp” refers to a sort of light that appears over swamps and marshes, caused by photon emissions from gases. Or at least that’s the scientific explanation. There’s a lot of folklore devoted to these weird … Continue reading

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Something Old, Something Nue

I was looking at the Wikipedia page listing flying mythological creatures. There were many I’d either already written about or didn’t appear to have much information, but I did take some interest in the Nue, a kind of yokai from … Continue reading

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Weasels on the Wind

Another mythical Japanese creature, or yokai, that came up in the Pokémon videos I talked about last week is the kamaitachi, the probable inspiration for the Sneasel. The name kamaitachi literally means “sickle weasel,” and that’s basically what they are, … Continue reading

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Such Shellfish Women

I’m not really not that knowledgeable about Pokémon, but I have played Pokémon Yellow and picked up a few other things here and there. These are mostly about the original Pokémon, though, and there have been so many others since … Continue reading

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Dragon Divinity

I can think of a few different video games with dragon gods, or at least dragons with celestial powers. I suppose that fits in with the East Asian conception of dragons, where they tend to be heavenly beings rather than … Continue reading

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