In terms of mythology, Japanese folklore makes up some of the most intriguing stories. Japanese religion is based around the kami, spirits that are linked to nature and embody different virtues. Kami are known to exhibit good and evil characteristics, with their nature being ambiguous. Marvel has always represented Japanese culture in a faithful way, which extends to the mythology. A character that represents the power of kami is Amatsu-Mikaboshi, the Japanese god of darkness and one of the greatest threats to the Marvel Universe. Mikaboshi’s existence offers a window into the idea of chaos. Continue reading “The Chaotic Nature Of Kami: Amatsu-Mikaboshi And Japanese Mythology”
Knowing where you come from is important. Heritage provides a connection between the past a present, a way to appreciate your family members and inform where you’d like to be in future. Living in the UK, I’ve grown up around my English relatives, but I didn’t know a lot about the Polish side of the family. Recently, I took a trip to Warsaw to get in touch with my Polish heritage, and that would have never happened if I hadn’t discovered The Witcher. What started out as an appreciation for a series turned into a pilgrimage of learning about my family’s history.
Symbols are an important part of any culture and there are many significant images in Japanese folklore. Spirits play a vital role and one of the most important is the kitsune, or fox spirit. Kitsunes are depicted as intelligent shapeshifters whose magical ability increases with age. They have the ability to be benevolent or malicious depending on the situation. Some stories portray them as guardians, while others depict them as tricksters. The ambiguity of the fox makes it an interesting symbol in Japanese folklore, one that’s transitioned into modern pop culture.
Comics are some of the best places to find diverse characters and Marvel have done a lot to push ethnic superheroes and villains in recent years. Mister Negative is one of best examples, as his background is interesting and his personality makes him an intriguing villain. Taking inspiration from Doctor Jekyll and Mr Hyde, the character has a split personality in the form of the benevolent Martin Li and nefarious Mister Negative. As a villain of Spider-Man, Mister Negative has become one of the web-slinger’s most formidable foes, and The Comic Vault is taking a close look at his history.
Learning about a new culture is a great way to expand your knowledge of the world, and that was the case for me with the Doki Doki Festival in Manchester on the 11th November. The festival was a celebration of Japanese culture, ranging from music to history. Anime fans, cosplayers and pop culture geeks got together under one roof to embrace a culture that has become incredibly popular in the West. Here are my thoughts of the day.