Magic Earth - Alternate History Urban Fantasy world

Yōkai

Yōkai (妖怪, "strange apparition") are supernatural beings believed to originate from the Spirit Realm. Although they are sometimes compared to Demons they are actually much closer to spirits like the Fey. They can be either malevolent, mischievous are even friendly to humans.   Many types of yōkai have animalistic features but they can just as easily be fully humanoid in form. Most yōkai have supernatural abilities with shapeshifting as the most common one.  

Types

The term yōkai is rather vague and not everyone agrees on what kind of creatures actually fall within its boundries. In the largest sense it could even be a term for all supernatural beings. However, it is most commonly used for spirit creatures from Japan. Some regard the Demonlike Oni or the ghosts (Yūrei) as seperate but they could just as easily be included under the global yōkai term.  

Yūrei

Yūrei (幽霊) are a kind of spirit that in Japanse folklore is closest to a ghost. These beings are deceased people who are barred from going to a peaceful afterlife. A dying person can become a yūrei if they die in a violent way such as murder or suicide or if they express certain emotions at the moment of death. If a certain thought enters the mind of a dying person their yūrei will come back to try to complete the last actions thought of. Those with vengeful thought can become very dangerou yūrei known as onryō.   Certain rituals or resolving the emotions can relief a yūrei from their link to the physical realm.  

Oni

  Oni are a type of supernatural beings that are known for their evil nature. Oni are known to bring disasters to the world such plagues, earthquakes and war. They are even known to eat humans from time to time. According to the myths they are some of the guardians of Hell (Jigoku).   They can have a variety of forms and colours but are most often hideous giants with ogre-like characteristic. They can have multiple horns, tusks and even a third eye on their head.

Common Yōkai

 
  • Obake: is a term used for yōkai who can take human form. They are believed to love playing tricks on humans.
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  • Tengu: are bird monsters with human, monkey, and avian characteristics. For a long time they were seen corrupting creatures but that view has currently softend.
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  • Kappa: are river monsters that are known to drown people and are turtlelike in appearence. It is said that throwing cucumbers in rivers can appease them.
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  • Tsukomogami: are objects that have come to life. Once an object becomes 100 years old it can become a tsukomogami.
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  • Rokurokubi: look similar to humans but during the night their necks become very long while their heads start floating around.
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  • Onryō: are vengeful spirits who are can be found in many urban legends. Sometimes there are certain tricks to avoid being killed by them.
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  • Kitsune: are foxes that have supernatural abilities that only increase as they get older and wiser. The older they get the more tails they possess.


Comments

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12 Aug, 2022 14:53

Brief, but informative. Great job. Also i learned things, and have new ideas of how to incorporate some stuff into my world. So huge thank you for that. Keep being awesome.

As always, it would be appreciated if you would stop by my challenge article The Storm Giant Empire and leave some feedback.   If you are looking for things to read from summer camp there is also my Summer Camp 2022 Reading Challenge.. Happy worldbuilding.