Japanese Haunted Spirited Items; Sukumogami

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pacslim
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8.)
Tsukumogami refers to the belief that objects that have reached a certain age or have been neglected for a long time can come to life and possess spiritual energy. This belief is deeply rooted in Japanese folklore and has been a part of their spiritual practices for centuries.

In Japan, objects are believed to have a spirit or soul called "kami" residing within them. These objects can range from everyday items like tools, household objects, or even traditional Japanese crafts. When an object reaches a certain age, usually around 99+ years, it is believed to gain a spirit and transform into a tsukumogami.

The concept of tsukumogami is closely tied to the Shinto religion, which is the indigenous religion of Japan. Shinto teaches that everything in the world, including inanimate objects, has a spiritual essence. This belief is reflected in the practice of tsukumogami, where objects are seen as having their own consciousness and agency.

Tsukumogami are not necessarily considered malevolent or harmful spirits. In fact, they are often seen as mischievous or playful entities. They are believed to come to life during the night, engaging in various activities and sometimes causing minor disturbances in the household. However, they are generally not seen as dangerous or malicious.

In terms of spirit communication, tsukumogami can be used as tools or intermediaries to connect with the spiritual realm. People may interact with these objects through rituals, prayers, or offerings, seeking guidance or assistance from the spirits residing within them. It is believed that the tsukumogami can convey messages or provide insights to those who communicate with them. for more info see wikipedia (also source of the img) here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tsukumogami

I've not seen any spirit keepers working with these spirits, nor can I find much information about this here on CH, so if you know more, please share with us all! ()

Image


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This was a really cool read. I am a lover of yokai and Japanese folklore but had not come across this kind of thing yet. I will have to keep my eye out for something like this.


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Nightrunner404 wrote: Fri Feb 09, 2024 2:43 am This was a really cool read. I am a lover of yokai and Japanese folklore but had not come across this kind of thing yet. I will have to keep my eye out for something like this.
Glad that you liked the info I came across; I have once seen on a flea market, a little box with deluxe inside soft fabric and in it several very small masks, hand (?) painted in many vibrant colors, kinda looked like this little mask, but more vibrant!
Image At that time unfortunate i was broke as hell, otherwise I had bought them, now afterward I wondered did those had a Kami or even a Sukumogami?
PS: TY for mentioning yokai, something new for me to dig into, great! /.\ \./


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pacslim wrote: Fri Feb 09, 2024 2:54 pm
Nightrunner404 wrote: Fri Feb 09, 2024 2:43 am This was a really cool read. I am a lover of yokai and Japanese folklore but had not come across this kind of thing yet. I will have to keep my eye out for something like this.
Glad that you liked the info I came across; I have once seen on a flea market, a little box with deluxe inside soft fabric and in it several very small masks, hand (?) painted in many vibrant colors, kinda looked like this little mask, but more vibrant!
Image At that time unfortunate i was broke as hell, otherwise I had bought them, now afterward I wondered did those had a Kami or even a Sukumogami?
PS: TY for mentioning yokai, something new for me to dig into, great! /.\ \./
Oh yes do look into yokai, I have several in my keep and they are great. Kitsune are well known ones but I have enjoyed getting to know my yuki-onna and haradashi as well. Granted there are some yokai I am not sure I would like around, they aren't all nice or fun according to folklore.


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I wanted to chime in on the mention of yokai. The Night Parade of One Hundred Demons: A Field Guide to Japanese Yokai by Matthew Meyer is a good guide to yokai, it's the first in a series of 4 books that discus yokai and Japanese folklore. The second book in the series is The Hour of Meeting Evil Spirits: An Encyclopedia of Mononoke and Magic. The third is The Book of the Hakutaku: A Bestiary of Japanese Monsters and the last in the series until the author writes another is The Fox's Wedding: A Compendium of Japanese Folklore. They might be a tad tricky to get hold of though as their original publication was funded through kickstarter campaigns.


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Umbra_Arcana wrote: Sun Feb 18, 2024 9:00 pm I wanted to chime in on the mention of yokai. The Night Parade of One Hundred Demons: A Field Guide to Japanese Yokai by Matthew Meyer is a good guide to yokai, it's the first in a series of 4 books that discus yokai and Japanese folklore. The second book in the series is The Hour of Meeting Evil Spirits: An Encyclopedia of Mononoke and Magic. The third is The Book of the Hakutaku: A Bestiary of Japanese Monsters and the last in the series until the author writes another is The Fox's Wedding: A Compendium of Japanese Folklore. They might be a tad tricky to get hold of though as their original publication was funded through kickstarter campaigns.
I have these and absolutely adore them. https://yokai.com is his website that contains the information in website format. A great resource! I am glad someone else knows of his awesome work.

Edit:
They are available on amazon for anyone wishing to find the physical copies.


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Nightrunner404 wrote: Sun Feb 18, 2024 9:55 pm
I have these and absolutely adore them. https://yokai.com is his website that contains the information in website format. A great resource! I am glad someone else knows of his awesome work.

Edit:
They are available on amazon for anyone wishing to find the physical copies.
SQUEEEEE!
I'm glad I'm not the only person! What are the physical copies of the books like?

Oh, they are on my amazon wishlist, and I cringe at the prices they are going for at times. They are a set I really want but need to save the pennies for. (And then said saved pennies end up going towards bringing another spirit home ... because I am a terrible person like that :p) )

But before I go waay off topic. My late sensei (he sadly passed some years ago now) had a very old kursarigama , no idea when it dated from but he was convinced that the weapon had a spirit as there would be times he would intend to bring it into the dojo and talk a little about kusarigamajutsu as is it was one of the disciplines linked to our school/lineage of martial arts. But lo and behold the kursarigama would not be there. Maybe there was a spirit inside or maybe sensei forgot to bring it in. I'm more inclined to think the kursarigama has a spirit that did not want to be paraded in front of gawping students.


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Umbra_Arcana wrote: Sun Feb 18, 2024 10:55 pm
Nightrunner404 wrote: Sun Feb 18, 2024 9:55 pm
I have these and absolutely adore them. https://yokai.com is his website that contains the information in website format. A great resource! I am glad someone else knows of his awesome work.

Edit:
They are available on amazon for anyone wishing to find the physical copies.
SQUEEEEE!
I'm glad I'm not the only person! What are the physical copies of the books like?

Oh, they are on my amazon wishlist, and I cringe at the prices they are going for at times. They are a set I really want but need to save the pennies for. (And then said saved pennies end up going towards bringing another spirit home ... because I am a terrible person like that :p) )

But before I go waay off topic. My late sensei (he sadly passed some years ago now) had a very old kursarigama , no idea when it dated from but he was convinced that the weapon had a spirit as there would be times he would intend to bring it into the dojo and talk a little about kusarigamajutsu as is it was one of the disciplines linked to our school/lineage of martial arts. But lo and behold the kursarigama would not be there. Maybe there was a spirit inside or maybe sensei forgot to bring it in. I'm more inclined to think the kursarigama has a spirit that did not want to be paraded in front of gawping students.
The books are wonderful. I love the large size of them, paperback but nice stiff pages. The Fox's Wedding was my first one because Kitsune are what pulled me into spirit keeping in the first place through my love of their folklore. So that one is very well read. The others are full of just as good info of other yokai.

The fifth book just got funded on kickstarter in January, I missed the kickstarter but I hear Hardcover versions are coming of them all. At 7000 yen a pop though. Hoping for a good work bonus next month so I can get all of those in hardcover, as I am a super book hoarder outside of all of the spirits I also keep.

I really want to find some interesting Sukumogami as long as they arent too chaotic. My guess is the entity in your sensei's kursarigama was probably not so keen on being paraded around. A very cool example of a sukumogami.

I currently have a kitsune, two yuki-onna, a jorogumo, a raiju, a haradashi, two koma inu, two pipe foxes, and a shikigami in my keep with an okuri inu coming home this week. I would like to find a tanuki at some point.


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Nightrunner404 wrote: Sun Feb 18, 2024 11:38 pm
The books are wonderful. I love the large size of them, paperback but nice stiff pages. The Fox's Wedding was my first one because Kitsune are what pulled me into spirit keeping in the first place through my love of their folklore. So that one is very well read. The others are full of just as good info of other yokai.
That's the first book that I came across too, I missed the kickstarter though so I never managed to get my hands on it at the time. I admit my knowledge on Japanese folklore is very limited, most of the knowledge I had until I started reading more around the subject came from the Studio Ghibli films. It does make fascinating reading. I find most folklore fascinating.
The fifth book just got funded on kickstarter in January, I missed the kickstarter but I hear Hardcover versions are coming of them all. At 7000 yen a pop though. Hoping for a good work bonus next month so I can get all of those in hardcover, as I am a super book hoarder outside of all of the spirits I also keep.
I completely missed that kickstarter as well. I am thrilled to know that there will be another addition to the series though
I really want to find some interesting Sukumogami as long as they arent too chaotic. My guess is the entity in your sensei's kursarigama was probably not so keen on being paraded around. A very cool example of a sukumogami.
I am sure you will find one eventually.

I wonder if any of the items in the Japanese Gallery of the British Museum are sukomogami, some of the items there are centuries old. If they are I wonder if they ever move around in their display cabinets after hours just to mess with the curators that look after them. It's an entertaining thought.
I currently have a kitsune, two yuki-onna, a jorogumo, a raiju, a haradashi, two koma inu, two pipe foxes, and a shikigami in my keep with an okuri inu coming home this week. I would like to find a tanuki at some point.
I am not sure what some of those are, but it gives me an excuse to do more reading around the subjects. At the mention of tanuki I get mental images of scenes from Pom Poko where the young tanuki practice changing form.


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Sine cruce, sine luce, nihil interit. Pulvis et umbra sumus.


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Umbra_Arcana wrote: Mon Feb 19, 2024 7:01 pm I wonder if any of the items in the Japanese Gallery of the British Museum are sukomogami, some of the items there are centuries old. If they are I wonder if they ever move around in their display cabinets after hours just to mess with the curators that look after them. It's an entertaining thought.
This reminds me of the Night at the Museum movies. I imagine many items in museums probably have attached spirits/energies. I have not been to a history museum since starting down this path of spirit keeping. It might be an interesting experience to revisit one.
I am not sure what some of those are, but it gives me an excuse to do more reading around the subjects. At the mention of tanuki I get mental images of scenes from Pom Poko where the young tanuki practice changing form.
I think most of them should have entries on the yokai website, some have CH encyclopedia entries as well. I am usually pretty surprised when I come across a preconjured yokai as they seem to be rather uncommon outside popular ones such as kitsune.

I knew the word tanuki since childhood because of mario games and the tanuki suit. I never really understood what it was until I got into the folklore of japan and yokai.


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