Many of the legends of the land of the rising sun-tell about a mysterious woman that can subdue the whole world, to bring to mortals the highest knowledge, and the desire to transform their life hell or even take it away.
The goddess of the earth
Long Japanese witch chose the service of one power — white or black. White could turn into a Fox or snake, they expelled people from evil spirits and fought with evil, and black turned the owls and helped the evil to enter the world of mortals. But the inhabitants of the subtle world is often different than in humans, the idea of good and evil.
Black witch happened to help the person or give him the necessary knowledge, sometimes they saved even the fate of entire empires with your mind, charm or magical powers. And the white witch could lead to destruction of all who get in the way of her plans and desires. The abode of witches often become mountains — places where the strongest was the connection with the spirit world.
The various «magical professions» in the course of history could change the exact opposite, but the reverence of the people to witches has always remained the same. The Japanese believed that they — the divine embodiment of the Supreme power on earth, the elected, appointed to decide the fate of the world. At the turn of V-VI centuries there was a special concept of «Olmedo» meaning witchcraft.
And a century later in the Chronicles it has found the name «omeji» -the so-called man involved in witchcraft. Ammaji mentioned in the stories about the life of the Imperial court: they were invited to create «energy security» of the Palace premises to investigate cases of magic to predict the future and advice on a variety of issues.
The beginning of the ninth century, the Japanese witch had already taken the real orders: to adjust their activity Nakatsukasa (Ministry of interior) is specially organized by Directorate of ammaji. This unique says the fact that the sorceress in the Empire belonged more than seriously and systematically used their services.
We can assume also that on the way witches did a thorough job of Imperial propaganda: little by little, in the consciousness of society there has been a bright image of kudesnitsa, wall standing in the way of any evil. However, no matter how much good did witch people, the latter shouldn’t forget how dangerous are these mysterious creatures.
Thousands of years of werewolf
An excellent illustration of the complexities of Japanese characters witches may serve as the story of Tamamo no Mae seductive kitsune (were-Fox), who lived a long life and brought people a lot of grief.
Kitsune, as they say legends, possessed many magical abilities: they have possessed other bodies, fed on the life force of those who were near, created indistinguishable from reality illusions and even control time and space.
Lived a Millennium witch-Fox has acquired Golden skin, and as many as nine tails — marks its highest power. And Tamamo no Mae, who has lived as much as 3,500 years, in the short term led the Japanese Empire to the years of civil war and generally almost ceased its existence.
At the dawn of the «employment history» dangerous beauty honed magical power and charm of the sovereigns of China and India: according to legend, she sought to develop the rulers of the basest feelings, persuaded them to debauchery and cruelty, what quite a few have succeeded. In China witch led to the destruction of two Imperial dynasty.
In the VIII century under the name of Mizukami she appeared at the court of the Japanese Emperor. There the magician blew everyone away unearthly beauty, exquisite manners, amazing erudition and sophistication. The courtiers called her Tamamo no Mae (in Japanese — «Mrs. moss»).
The Emperor is no exception: enchanted and in love, he made a witch his wife. But the family idyll did not work, because immediately after marriage, the Emperor suddenly seriously ill. Called to the secret consultations, the sorcerer found that on the ruler induced damage, and pointed to his wife as the culprit misfortune.
The witch was forced to participate in the ritual, which was supposed to bring the villain to clean water, but in the midst of the ceremony she disappeared from the Imperial chamber in front of shocked spectators. Witch hunt lasted for a few months. It took 80-thousand army, a couple of characters-heroes and charmed arrows to destroy nine-tailed Fox.
The witch is dead, but Japan continued to move along her chosen path. For several years, death struck the Emperor and the nearest heirs to the throne and Empire had undone many years of war between several samurai clans. And the spirit of the sorceress moved in, as they say, in a huge stone lying on the crossroads. He kills any who dare to touch him.
The machinations of a mountain woman
In the middle of nowhere Japanese mountains, somewhere on the border between the world of living people and the spirits once lived a witch Yamauba (translated from the Japanese «mountain hag»), yet her name was Onibaba. By day, she was hiding in his little hut, and at night, turning it into a beautiful young woman, in a nice friendly old woman, sat down on the doorstep and were waiting for their victims.
Lost weary travellers she’s a shill for dinner and overnight, entertaining conversation, to satiety fed and put to bed. And in the night attacked them and devoured alive. Before her death, she was miserable shown your true face: it was a dreadful, disheveled old woman in a tattered kimono with a terrible huge mouth full of sharp teeth.
No matter how terrible was Onibaba, it can still be overcome. The day the witch was powerless and couldn’t move, then it can kill. In addition, it kept your soul in a rare mountain flower. Who found him rulership over the woman and could do with it what you wish. There were also pundits who have managed to outwit Yamauba and to flee from her home.
Interestingly, the aged sorceress, except for the propensity for cannibalism, possessed an extensive knowledge of magic, and perfectly versed in healing potions and poisons. Legends tell that sometimes she even shared his wisdom with people, but instead he took part of the soul coming to her for advice.
Another story tells of two sisters who met once Onibaba in the mountains. The old woman asked the girls for help, and then deservedly bestowed upon them. One of the sisters that showed kindness and hard work, gained wealth and a good husband. And the second, the evil scoundrel to the end of his days toiled from a variety of ills.
There is also a legend of how the witch raised abandoned by their parents in the forest boy, and from it grew a noble hero Japanese legend of Kintaro. In General, the way Youby discharged in folk stories, it is not only dark colors.
«…and the snow covers up the trail»
The old woman Onibaba is not the only creature that single travelers can meet in the mountains. At the time of winter snow storms or nights when the full moon shone particularly bright, they can appear beautiful Yuki-Onna («snow maiden»).
It was truly fascinating: a tall and slender woman with rich dark hair, powdered with snow, and surprisingly white skin, icy to the touch. But her gaze staying forced all to freeze in fear, and the cold breath stopped the hearts of the travelers forever.
She also happened to knock the travellers off the road, so they froze, not finding the way or to break into the huts of the poor, together with gusts of wind of the winter, killing the sleeping owners cold. A met a young man, the ice maiden has inspired him with love and through the copulation to the last drop sucked out his life force. But if the victim was brave and fought back, Yuki-Onna turned to fog or snow and gone from sight.
On the origin of the snow beauties in different regions of Japan tell different. I say she’s the spirit of a woman frozen once in the winter in the mountains. In some places it is called the lunar Princess, who out of boredom descended once on the ground, and then found my way back. Since then, the heavenly maiden began to wander through the mountains, feeding on the souls of people who met her on the way.
A true woman, Yuki-Onna sometimes for no apparent reason, showed men their location. From time to time she even became somebody’s wife and lived with her husband in agreement as long as the spouse had no idea who it was fate. Then the immortal beauty left her man forever.
One of the legends about the marriage of the virgin snow tells the story of a samurai, who took to wife a rare beauty, white-skinned, with burning, like ice in the sun, eyes. The woman everything was fine, but she refused to take a hot bath, a great lover of whom was her husband.
In one of the winters, when the cold was freezing all life, the man convinced her to soak in hot water, but a few minutes later found in an empty bathtub only melting the icicle — it was all that remained of his mysterious wife.