Thursday, May 08, 2014

Zashiki-warashi - Japanese Child-like spirit

Zashiki-warashi- sometimes also called zashiki-bokko are a Japanese yōkai, stemming from Iwate Prefecture, similar to a domovoi. The Zashiki-Warashi is fairy of hearth which guards a house and its inhabitants. In addition, some claim that the Zashiki-Warashi is not a fairy but a spirit from its nature.

The name breaks down to zashiki, a tatami floored room, and warashi, an archaic regional term for a child. The appearance of this spirit is that of a 5 or 6 year child with bobbed hair and a red face. Zashiki-warashi can be found in well-maintained and preferably large old houses.

It often appears in fairy tale or native myth. Once a Zashiki-Warashi inhabits a house, it brings the house and its other inhabitants prosperity and happiness, keep them from danger.In the other hand, however, if the Zashiki-Warashi left them,they would possibly fall. The typical Zashiki-Warashi manifests as a little child, usually a little girl, wearing short bob style hair and kimono .

Zashiki-warashi can be found in well-maintained and preferably large old houses. She usually resides in astral space. Only when something happens, i.e. inhabitants are meeting danger, threats come close,or else, it manifests to save the house and inhabitants. It is said that once a zashiki-warashi inhabits a house, it brings the residence great fortune; on the other hand, should a zashiki-warashi depart, the domain soon falls into a steep decline.

To attract and maintain a zashiki-warashi in the home, it is said the spirit must be noticed, appreciated and cared for properly, much in the manner one would raise a child, though too much attention may drive it off. As the zashiki-warashi is child-like in nature, it is prone to playing harmless pranks and occasionally causing mischief.

They might for instance sit on a guest's futon, turn people's pillows over or cause sounds similar to kagura music to be heard from rooms no one uses. Sometimes they leave little footsteps in ashes. There are different variations as to who can see the zashiki-warashi; usually this is limited to inhabitants of the house, sometimes to children.

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