Writing Echoes

Delijah's Writing Blog

Tag Archives: research-map

Hyakki Yagyō Research

In this post I have compiled a few references that I have used for Hyakki Yagyō. My Japanese is very, very limited, so I’ve been using mostly English Wikipedia people [link], but also a couple of old folklore books provided by the Gutemberg Project [link]. As I worked I also built a map for locations that you can also see in this post.

Hyakki Yagyō has been in the back of my mind for long, but I always thought that the research work would be humongous and did not feel up to tackling it with my level of Japanese, so I kept thinking “not now”. Fortunately for me, Denise [link], doing some research for one of her own projects, found a Wikipedia List of legendary creatures from Japan [link] that helped me organise my thoughts and find out the beings I needed for the story to work. All thanks to her. You can find the summary of this list at the end of this post, or on the printed pdf with the lot of articles I was using.


You can browse them online, download them using the downward arrow on the lower right area, print, share them, anything (just don’t hotlink too much, my bandwith is limited XD).

Collection of Wikipedia articles, for reference [link] (CC-BY-SA 3.0 Unported License, I just printed the articles in pdf form)

The Fire-fly’s lovers, and other fairy tales of old Japan (1908), by W. E. Griffis (public domain book) [link]

In Ghostly Japan by L.Hearn (public domain book) [link]


List of the Main Preternatural Beings

Aka Manto (赤マント(?)): A malicious spirit who haunts bathrooms and asks the cubicle occupants if they want red or blue paper [link]

Amanojaku (天邪鬼) A small demon that instigates people into wickedness. [link]

Amefurikozō (雨降り小僧): Child-looking spirit that plays in the rain [link]

Bake-kujira (化け鯨): A ghostly whale skeleton that drifts along the coastline of Shimane Prefecture.

Bakeneko (化け猫) A shape-shifting cat [link]

Basan (波山) / Basabasa (婆娑婆娑) / Inuhōō (犬鳳凰)- A large fire-breathing chicken monster [link]

Chōchinobake (提灯お化け) A possessed chōchin lantern. [link]

Funayūrei (船幽霊): Ghosts of people who died at sea [link]

Inugami (犬神) A dog-spirit created, worshipped, and employed by a family via sorcery [link]

Jubokko (樹木子): a Vampire Tree [link]

Kitsune (狐) A fox spirit [link]

Kiyohime (清姫) A woman who transformed into a serpent demon out of the rage of unrequited love [link]

Komainu (狛犬): lion dogs that guard the entrance of Shinto Shrines [link]

Mizuko (水子) dead fetus or, archaically, a dead baby or infant, their souls [link] or statues [link]

Nue (鵺): A monster with the head of a monkey, the body of a raccoon dog, the legs of a tiger, and a snake-headed tail. Can cause nightmares [link]

Nurikabe (ぬりかべ) A ghostly wall that traps a traveler at night [link]

Obake (お化け) / Bakemono (化け物): Shapeshifting spirits [link]

Onryō (怨霊): The vengeful spirits of the dead. The seeking vengence spirits, yurei up to no good [link]

Samebito (鮫人) A shark-man from the undersea Dragon Palace [link]

Tsukumogami (付喪神): Any 100-year-old inanimate object that has come to life [link]

Uwan (うわん): A spirit named for the sound it shouts when surprising people [link]

Yuki-onna (雪女) The snow woman [link] To be honest, I did not write about the Yuki-onna (that’s why name is not bold), but… but.


Victim #14 – Scenery (4)

Here is the last scenery post for Victim #14. It is a bit more random than the previous one, since basically it is random things that I want to show you.

First, I am not sure that I have mentioned this, but they drive on the left side of the road. I keep trying to remember if it is shown in the James Bond movies that the cars are… well, the other way around.

Selective perception is a funny thing. I had never noticed this monument to the fallen during the Korean War (click on the picture for bigger) the first couple of times that I went to the Necropolis before I started writing this, and when I was for the third scenery post [link], I used another entrance. This time, however, it almost punched me in the face as, you can imagine.

Speaking of perception, this is a neat trick with light. Since Scotland is a cloudy country, the buildings seem to have been built to reflect the sun if directly hit. It makes the streets look brighter, even when there’s just a bit of sun (just check the sky XD).

Coatbridge, where David lives, feels like the most boring place on earth. I mean… “Sunnyside”? Really? I think you are trying too hard and clinging to… that one sunny day a year.

Glasgow Royal Infirmary, where the wounded heroes are treated. The entrance marked in red is the ER.

Also, this has nothing to do with anything but I think it’s worth pointing out that most of the Chinese population do not have accents. We’ve become used to the “Chinese accent” through movies and series, but a great deal of the Chinese Scots originally come from Hong Kong, and they have been speaking English all their lives.

Finally, I composed a map with the main locations that appear in the novel. I hope you like it / find it useful.

S – Cambridge Street
C – Coatbridge
D – Dumbarton
G – Glasgow City Centre
N – Glasgow Necropolis
I – Glasgow Royal Infirmary
P – Partick
Policeman – Pitt Street Police Station
V – Victorian house (approximate location, I don’t want anyone suing me!)

Okay, I lied. There’s something else here, a spoiler map! Location of the mobile phone towers that were used to triangulate the Calligrapher’s during his call [link]

Now, remember that I am moving out soon, is there anything else that you’d like to see before I leave? Last chance-ish to ask for pictures!