Yokai - Furutsubaki no Rei

Wednesday, 26 August 2015

Today I want to share with you a new illustration I've been working on! It may seem familiar to some of you as I already shared some pics of the proccess, didn't gave many details though. This is part of a series about japanese Yokai!

Yokai are mythologic creatures from japanese folklore whose shape, temperament, powers and attitude against humans can be very varied. There are little beings or animals, spirits, ghosts, monsters and demons; some of them like to trick and scare people, others help and bring good fortune, others live hidden in distant places where nobody can reach them. Some are beautiful and atractive (though dangerous), some are grotesque, uncanny, horrible...

✿ Furutsubaki no Rei - ¡Click to enlarge! ✿

This first yokai illustrated is Furutsubaki no Rei, the spirit of Camellia japonica. It is said Camellia trees which grow big and old get supernatural features, so they transform in Yokai. A beautiful woman would be seen near the tree, who attracts and scares people passing next to her...and some would misteriously dissappear. Other legends about Furutsubaki tell that a sad and solitary cry in the middle of the night coming from a tsubaki tree warned that a tragedy would occur soon in the village or neighborhood.

Some close ups...

Did you know that, unlike most of flowers that lose their petals one by one as they get old, Camellia flower is thrown all at once to the ground? That's why all stories about this creature are always surrounded by mistery, death, disappearance...

Drawing before coloring

Would you like to know more about yokai?

If you feel curious about this theme and want to deeply know about these creatures, there are plenty of books about it, but the writer and artist Sekien Toriyama was the very first in publishing some books between 1776 and 1784. In these bestiaries, Toriyama gathered together around a hundred of different yokais who where moving around japan, and he illustrated all of them. The books had a big influence in the subsequent yokai imagery, as well as it inspired lots of anime series, videogames, films, characters, etc.
Did you already know yokais or any other japanese mythologic creature?
What do you think of my personal version of this yokai?

Soon I'll show you a new yokai from the series! 
Comment and share if you liked it!

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