Michael (mukashi_banashi) wrote in little_details,

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Japanese folklore: Kimon/Northwest


Here's a question. The kimon (鬼門), the spirit gate that is in the northwest, and is said to be where the misfortune and the spirits come from... I have a question about this.

Is it northwest as in the direction (relative to wherever you are standing), or is it Northwest as in a region, as in a specific place, such as the Northwest of Japan, i.e. western Aomori or Hokkaido or something like that?

I've heard both from different sources. I've read about people in Japan being strangely proud because they lived in a northwest quarter of a city, but then I've also read that this ties into the Japanese historically considering Ainu (who lived in the north) to have been oni.

Which interpretation of "northwest" is correct (within the study of Japanese folklore, that is)? Or can they both be correct?

Tags: japan: folklore

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