Sunday, October 31, 2010

31 Amigurumi in October - October 31

Happy Halloween!
I hope you enjoyed this year's 31 Amigurumi in October series. I had a lot of fun and look forward to next year!

The Nurarihyon, or Slippery, appears as a little old man with a huge, elongated head. He has the habit of sneaking into human houses in the evening, while everyone is busy, and making himself at home and drinking up the tea. He is said to be the supreme commander of the yokai.


Moon's Creations will be closing from November 1 - November 7th, while the Moon Buns and I prepare for and appear at the Nekocon artist alley. All of the limited designs and unsold pieces from the 31 Amigurumi in October series will be made available at the convention.
I hope to see you there!

Saturday, October 30, 2010

31 Amigurumi in October - October 30

Throughout East Asia, the fox is considered an animal predisposed to magic and prone to developing ghostly qualities. Foxes are both divine and mischievous beings, adept at shape shifting, illusion and often accused of possessing and misleading humans. As a sign of its seniority and wisdom, a long-lived fox develops an extra tail with each passing century, until it possesses nine, becoming impossibly powerful and clever.

Friday, October 29, 2010

31 Amigurumi in October - October 29

The stories of the Kuchisake-onna, or Slit-Mouth Woman, is an old Japanese urban legend that has taken many forms as the story is retold from person to person and from generation to generation. The common theme of her story is that the Kuchisake-onna was attacked by someone, possibly her lover or a plastic surgeon or even herself, and her mouth was sliced open from ear to ear giving her a gastly grin.

It is said her spirit now roams the streets at night, wearing a surgical mask over her mouth. When she encounters a person, she will ask, "Am I pretty?" If the person answers yes, she removes her mask and asks, "How about now?" If the victim answers no, she either kills them or cuts their mouth to resemble hers. If the victim answers yes, she will follow them home, killing them at their door, because the word "kirei" (pretty) sounds like "kire" (to cut). In the 1970's it was said if you replied "You're average" your life was saved, however the saving response has continued to change with the years.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

31 Amigurumi in October - October 28

On the banks of mountain streams throughout Japan, you can hear the "shoki shoki" sounds of the elusive Azuki-arai, or Azuki (Red Bean) Washer, as he washes his azuki beans. Sometimes he can be heard singing:

"Azuki togo ka, hito totte kuo ka, shoki shoki"
(Shall I wash my azuki beans, or should I snatch a person to eat? Shoki shoki"

Despite its morbid song, the Azuki-arai is a very shy spirit whose only mischief is surprising humans with the sound of his washing and song. When a curious person approaches, he can be heard diving into the water to escape.

(As an aside, this is my absolute favorite yokai and I have no idea why.)

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

31 Amigurumi in October - October 27

The Tanuki is one of the most recognizable images of Japanese folk art. Statues of this animal appear throughout Japan, looking like rotund, bear-like animals, wearing large straw hats and carrying bottles of sake.

In folklore, the Tanuki is a trickster prone to mischief, shape-changing and the deception of humans as it searches for sake, food and women. They are also said to pound on their tummies at dusk making a deep pon-poko-pon sound.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

31 Amigurumi in October - October 26

The Konaki-jiji, or Old Man Crybaby, appears as a baby, crying in the remote mountains of the Tokushima prefecture. When a kind-hearted traveler picks up the child, the Konaki-jiji reverts to its true gigantic form increasing in weight until it crushes the kind stranger.

Monday, October 25, 2010

31 Amigurumi in October - October 25

On rainy evenings, sometimes the weather spirit, Ame-furi-kozo, or Little Rainfall Boy, can be seen splashing playfully in the puddles. The Ame-furi-kozo looks like a strange child, carrying a paper lantern and wearing a hat fashioned from the husk of an old umbrella.

Releasing Today!
Mini Monster Moon Buns!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

31 Amigurumi in October - October 24

The Dai-tengu, or Great Tengu, is a form of Tengu, or goblin, who has more humanistic appearance. Due to their long noses, they may also be called Hanatakatengu. The tengu are protective, but dangerous, spirits of the mountains and forest.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

31 Amigurumi in October - October 23

The Noppera-bo, or Faceless Ghost, is a famous, faceless apparition that seems to take delight in terrifying human beings. While its appearance is deeply disturbing, it is only a danger to those with weak hearts.

People who encounter a Noppera-bo, usually see these ghosts from the back or with their face obscured. When the victim tries to speak with the ghost, they are met with a face as smooth as an egg, without eyes, nose or mouth. The victim runs away to seek the comfort of a person they trust. After recounting their terrifying experience, their companion asks, "This face was it this sort of face?" At this point, the companion loses his facial features, showing again the face-less Noppera-bo.

Friday, October 22, 2010

31 Amigurumi in October - October 22

There is a Japanese legend that says when a cat becomes older, its tail will split in two and the cat becomes a Neko-mata, or forked cat. The Neko-mata are unusually large cats, measuring a meter and a half long, not including the tail, and they often walk about on their hind feed. Said to dance and manipulate the dead like puppets, the Neko-mata are associated with strange fires and other unexplainable occurrences. The fear of the Neko-mata caused many to cut off kitten tails as a precaution, because it was thought that if the tail couldn't fork, a cat would never turn into a Neko-mata.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

31 Amigurumi in October - October 21

The Yama-uba, or Mountain Hag, is a female figure, sometimes considered a monster, thought to inhabit mountainous regions. She takes a variety of forms throughout art and folklore, both malevolent and kind. As a monster, the Yama-uba is a cannibal, resembling a hag, who can change her appearance. However, she is also said to have raised the hero Kintaro.


Hello my Moon Bun Darlings,
I wanted to let you know I need to close Moon's Creations from November 1 - November 8th. I have a show coming up and absolutely must concentrate on stocking up. Any pieces from the 31 Amigurumi in October series will be pulled from the shop on November 1st and offered at the show.

Thank you!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

31 Amigurumi in October - October 20

The Hibagon is a creature similar to the Big Foot or Yeti, said to be living in the forests around Mount Hiba in Hiroshima Prefecture and has been said to resemble a short, hairy ape-like creature. It is said to have either red-brown or black fur and stink of rot.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

31 Amigurumi in October - October 19

The Ao-andon, or Blue Lamp Ghost, represents the spirit which appears during the Hyaku monogatari, or "hundred stories." In the Edo period, the Hyaku monogatari was a popular past time, in which a crowd would gather to tell ghost stories. The room would be lit by 100 candles in andon lamps, surrounded by blue paper to create an eerie atmosphere. After each story was told, one candle would be put out. After the last story was told, the room would be consumed in darkness and it was said the Ao-andon would appear.

Monday, October 18, 2010

31 Amigurumi in October - October 18

The Jinmenju is a mysterious tree, said to grow in remote valleys in China. It grows strange fruit that appears to be human heads. The faces smile and laugh even as they fall from the tree's branches.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

31 Amigurumi in October - October 17

Okiku is the tragic heroine from Bancho Sarayashiki, or The Dish Mansion at Bancho. In this well-known folktale, Okiku worked for a samurai. When she refused his advances, he plotted her downfall. He hid one of ten valuable family plates and tricked her into believing she had carelessly lost it. This act would usually result in the death of the servant, but the samurai offered her forgiveness if she gave into him. When Okiku refused again, he threw her down a well and to her death. Okiku's tragic ghost haunted the well and could be heard counting to nine and making a terrible shriek, representing the missing tenth plate.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

31 Amigurumi in October - October 16

The Oni, or ogre, are large hideous monsters that usually inhabit the mountains or populate distant countries. Folktales describe the Oni as being malicious, man-eating creatures to be feared and slain by only the bravest heroes. They are brutal giants, dressed tiger-skin loincloths, armed with great horns and a spiked iron club.

Friday, October 15, 2010

31 Amigurumi in October - October 15

The Zashiki-warashi, or Tatami Room Child, is a household spirit resembling a child between the ages of three to twelve. The name Zashiki-warashi is from the Iwata Prefecture, but similar legends are found throughout Japan. It's said when this beneficial spirit inhabits a home, the owners will prosper, despite the Zashi-warashi mischief, such as moving the pillows of those sleeping or pulling on the bedding. However if mistreated, the Zashiki-warashi will leave and the house will fall into ruin.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Moon Buns available from Plush You!

Hello, Lovies!

I wanted to let you know that the Plush You! show in Seattle has opened. This means these artistic pieces are now available for purchase.

Kristen from Schmancy has announced in this blog post that she will not be uploading the items to her online store, but you can still contact her to purchase any unsold pieces.

To contact Schmancy, please follow this link.

31 Amigurumi in October - October 14

The Hito-dama are newly dead, human souls. They take the form of great floating balls of fire. Hito-dama are often found near graveyards and forests in the summer, where they are said to live. Most Hito-dama fade or fall the the ground shortly after being seen, although some are believed to be the "fox-fire" of the trickster Kistune, or Fox, and lead people astray.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

31 Amigurumi in October - October 13

The Yuki-onna, or Snow Woman, is considered the spirit of the snow itself or the ghost of a woman who died in a snow storm. She is often described as wearing a thin white kimono against her white skin that is cold to the touch. Yuki-onna has many stories, including being a maiden of the moon trapped on earth, kidnapping children and freezing travelers to death.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

31 Amigurumi in October - October 12

On the island of Okinawa, grown large banyans called gajumaru, which are inhabited by mischievous, fairy-like spirits, called Kijimuna.

The Kijimuna are associated with mysterious fires and are sometimes seen wandering along beaches and riverbanks accompanied by ghostly flames and sometimes try to steal fire from paper lanterns.

Despite being adept fishermen, the Kijimuna are also so absent-minded they often forget they are eating fish and only eat one eye before forgetting about the rest.

Although fond of pranks, Kijimuna are innocent and friendly, often befriending human beings and helping them with their fishing. These human-Kijimuna relationships easily sour, ending with the human driving the Kijimuna away with the one thing it cannot stand, an octopus.

Monday, October 11, 2010

31 Amigurumi in October - October 11

Oiwa is the tragic character from arguably the most famous Japanese ghost story of all time, Yotsuya Kaidan, a tale of betrayal, murder and ghostly revenge. In the story, the tragic heroine is disfigured by a poison, given to her by her husband's mistress. Horrified by her appearance, she commits suicide cursing her husband's cruelty. Oiwa's ghost returns to enact vengeance upon those who plotted against her in life.

Oiwa's ghost is very unique, in that she bears the hideous scars of the poison gave her in life, including her left eye, which droops down her face, and partial baldness, another effect of the poison.

Oiwa is supposedly burred at temple Myogyo-ji, in Sugamo. The dates of her death is listed as February 22, 1636.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

31 Amigurumi in October: October 10

Again, many apologies for the lateness of today's design.

The Futa-kuchi-onna is a woman cursed with a supernatural disease that transforms the back of her head into a yokai. Beneath the hair, the woman's skull splits, forming lips, teeth and a tongue. The mouth will begin to mumble spiteful and threatening things as well as demand food. If it is not fed, the mouth will screech obscenely, causing the woman tremendous pain. Eventually the woman's hair will begin to move like tentacles, allowing the mouth to help itself to the woman's meals.

Futa-kuchi-onna is often considered to be a woman who lets her stepchild die of starvation while keeping her own children well fed. However other stories include a stingy woman, who is accidentally hit by an axe and the wound never heals, and a woman who never eats, sought as a wife by a miser. While she eats nothing, the mouth on the back of her head eats twice what the other would.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

31 Amigurumi in October - October 9

Originally a Chinese import, the Shoujou are sea sprites with ruddy skin and unruly red hair. They are good natured and mostly harmless creatures. Their jovial personality, however may be the result of their inordinate love of sake, a love that dominates their existence above all other pursuits, excluding the dancing and merrymaking that accompanies their perpetual drunkenness.


Please note, tomorrow's design will be showcased later in the day, due to my being away from my computer. I'm very sorry for any inconvenience.

Friday, October 8, 2010

31 Amigurumi in October - October 8

The Hitotsume-Kozo, or One-Eyed Youngster, usually appears as a bald-headed youth dressed as a Buddhist monk, with a face dominated by one huge eye. Like many obakemono who are mostly human in appearance, the Hitsotsume-Kozo enjoys frightening people with it's appearance and mocking them.

It's said the Hitotsume-Kozo can be repelled by hanging baskets in the doorway. When it see the basket's many holes, which it perceives to be eyes, the Hitotsume-kozo runs away, ashamed of its single eye.

Thursday, October 7, 2010


The Plush You show is opening Friday!
The opening reception is October 8th from 5:00 to 9:00.

At Schmancy, 1932 Second Ave, Seattle, WA

Go and see my artistic Moon Bun!

31 Amigurumi in October - October 7

An ancient form of the Tengu, or mystic goblin, was the Karasu or Crow Tengu. The Karasu Tengu is capable of kidnapping adults and children, starting fires and ripping apart those who willfully damaged the forest, which is where the Tengu make their homes.

However, the Tengu are not seen as entirely evil and are said to reward modest people and those ready to help. They are often called in prays to help lost children find their way home. It is said they are great masters of martial arts and swordplay.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

31 Amigurumi in October - October 6

The Ubume, or childbirth woman, is a type of yokai or ghost, which is the spirit of a mother who died in childbirth or died before making sure her children were provided for. In some stories, the Ubume will buy sweets for her still living children with money that later turns to dead leaves. While in others, the Ubume will lead a living human to her child so that it can be properly cared for.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

31 Amigurumi in October - October 5

Ama-no-jaku, or Wicked Demon of Heaven, is a cruel demon-like creature found in Buddhist mythology. It is contrary in spirit and has the power to see into a human's heart. It is said to be able to provoke a person's darkest desire and incite wicked deeds.

The Ama-no-jaku appears in the folktale, Uriko-hime, where it devours the melon princess on her wedding day and wears her skin to impersonate her.

Monday, October 4, 2010

31 Amigurumi in October - October 4

The Baku, or Dream Eater, is a fantastic, chimera-like beast originally from China. It is described as having the body of a bear, trunk of an elephant, eyes of a rhinoceros, tail of a cow and legs of a tiger, with a spotted coat.

Despite its ferocious appearance, the Baku is a helpful spirit who can consume nightmares or bad fortune from dreams. It is also said to prey upon the spirits of disease and plague. The Baku is so well thought of, some place a Baku talisman beside their bed to protect against bad dreams and evil spirits. It is said if you make a bed from the skin of a Baku, it will keep illness at bay.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

31 Amigurumi in October - October 3

The Keukegen, or fluffy hair appearance, is a disease spirit which lives in damp, dark places and causes people in the house it lives to become ill. It's name is a pun, which when written in different kanji means "an unusual thing which is rarely seen."

Saturday, October 2, 2010

31 Amigurumi in October - October 2

The Abura-sumashi, or Oil Presser, is a yokai that appears on a mountain pass on the island of Amakusa. It is said the Abura-sumashi was once a human who stole oil, in the days when oil was the only source of fuel.

Legend tells of an old woman who was once walking her grandchild through the mountain pass. To entertain the child, she told stories she'd heard of the Abura-sumashi and how he would appear before travelers on the road. At that moment the Abura-sumashi appeared with his walking stick, straw raincoat and stony, potato-shaped head and proclaimed, "I still appear."

Friday, October 1, 2010

31 Amigurumi in October - October 1

The Nurikabe is a truly unique yokai, or spirit, from Japan. This creature will appear at night, blocking the path and misdirecting travelers. Attempts to walk around the Nurikabe are thwarted by it's ability to extend forever. To remove a Nurikabe from your path, you must knock on the lower part of the wall and it will vanish.