Friday, May 6, 2016

JAKOTSU BABA

Jakotsu Baba - The Old Snake Bone Woman
Good Moring my dears, I hope that you all are doing well. I have sunshine today so I have been spending a lot of time in my garden but I will keep in touch with you all my dear friends, followers, supporters and readers too. For today I am going to one of my favorite legends and urban legends of sorts in the land of Japan/China. I hope you will find it interesting my dears WENDY...
The Jakotsu Baba - is basically an legend of the 'Old Snake Bone Woman' in Japanese/Chinese  folklore. It is so ancient that one doesn't know which culture it originally comes from. So this is how the tale goes; If you happen to be wondering through the woods at night and stumble
upon something that looks like a carved stone stamped with the symbol of the snake -RUN!!!
It could be nothing... Or you could have stumbled across the hidden grave of the long-dead
Jako Emon, which means that you are seconds away from an encounter with his wife, the 'Old Snake Bone Woman' called Jakotsu Baba. So you all might be curious - What is the Jakotsu Baba?
Well, in Japanese/Chinese folklore the 'Old Snake-Bone Woman's kanji reads exactly that! 蛇-ja-snake + 骨-kotsu-bone + 婆-baba-old woman. It really depends on the region and the dialect that you happen to be in Japan too! So there are other names too! Known as Jagoba- the 'Five-Snake Woman: 蛇-ja-snake + 五-go-five + 婆-baba-old woman. I hope this will give you a little idea of the culture and the writings too.
Also the Jakotsu Baba would seem to origin in Toriyama Sekiens Konjaku Hyakki Shui- 今昔百鬼拾遺, which means in English - [Supplement to a Hundred Demons from the Present and Past]. As it is shown in the illustration to the left as an old woman with her body is wrapped in Snakes. It is said that 'Toriyama Sekiens Konjaku Hyakki Shui wrote:
 'There is an old woman from in northern Funkan-koku -China. In her right hand she holds a large blue snake and in her left hand a red one. The people of this country call her the Jakotsu Baba - The Old Snake-Bone Woman. They say she is the wife of Jakoemon [Five-Snake Emon] and that she holds vigil over the family tombs. She is sometimes called the Jagoba-the Five -Snake Woman-depending on the dialect of the region'
So now that you know a little about the Jakotsu Baba I thought we should go over her Origins.
As I found out about this legend of the Old Snake Bone Woman or Jakotsu Baba I found that little is known about her origins apart from what Toriyama had wrote in his Konjaku Hyakki Shui. It is not known if Konjaku had invented or created the character centuries ago - or if he collected the legend from somewhere or from someone. However, it would seem that Jakotsu Baba doesn't appear in any prior collections in either China or Japan. Kinda makes you wonder but China & Japan are very ancient country's with very long ancient past so one could never tell? There are a few other names that are mentioned by Toriyama - these are - [The Snake Family-云蛇塚- Sadly it would seem that the 'Old Snake-Bone Woman's Husband Jako Emon has never been found in any type of text of either Japanese or Chinese. Nor has either of their tombs been discovered. However, all of these peculiar and particular details give more flavor to this tale. It would seem that the area of Funkan-koku is a region particularly touch by the supernatural & renowned for its mediums and fortune tellers too. Also the Yokai Books from the Showa period expanded on the Jakotsu Baba and moved her mysterious grave to Japan. If your curious about the Showa period, it is said that Jako Emon once was a human, but when he died the sign of a snake was stamped onto his gravestone, hence he became wife of the 'Old Snake Bone Woman' called Jakotsu Baba. To stand eternity guarding over his grave and his wife transformed into a yokai with a blue snake slithering into her right hand and a red snake into her left. She world attack anyone who came too close to her husbands grave. It is said that the Jakotsu Baba doesn't appear often in Japanese folklore.
I hope that you found the tale interesting
love your all very much
your friend always
WENDY






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