Monday, April 17, 1995

Japanese Mythology

by Juliet Piggott

A brief summary of Japanese mythology. As with all Paul Hamlyn myth books, really fine examples of the art of the culture were included, which made the book. Most of it wasn't about the gods themselves or their histories, but either folktales concerning talking animals or ghosts, or very loosely historical tales of heroes.

Of the indigenous mythological creatures, I liked the kappa, who lose their strength when the water is spilled from the dents in their heads. I also like the idea of the mischievous tengu. Like the others I've read in the series, the book could have used some cohesion, more detail where interesting-sounding stories are only glossed over, and a little better organization. But it's a good reference book as a starter, and again, great pictures (Japanese art is so detailed and stylized!).

[read twice]

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