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Have an incredibly fantastical holiday season and a wonderful 2017

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Have a Monstrously Happy Holiday
Season and a Fantastical 2017!
All images © Steve Gillick, 2016

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The Baku has the trunk and tusks of an elephant, the eyes of a rhinoceros, the tail of an ox and the paws of a
tiger. It e...

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Dragons look fearsome and powerful, but are considered to be benevolent and harbingers of good fortune.

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Have an incredibly fantastical holiday season and a wonderful 2017

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Fantastical beasts, guardian spirits and ogres can be found throughout Japan. Most will being you good luck and good health. Don't forget to put a Baku under your pillow on January 1st!

Fantastical beasts, guardian spirits and ogres can be found throughout Japan. Most will being you good luck and good health. Don't forget to put a Baku under your pillow on January 1st!

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Have an incredibly fantastical holiday season and a wonderful 2017

  1. 1. Have a Monstrously Happy Holiday Season and a Fantastical 2017! All images © Steve Gillick, 2016
  2. 2. The Baku has the trunk and tusks of an elephant, the eyes of a rhinoceros, the tail of an ox and the paws of a tiger. It eats nightmares and ensures that the first dreams of the New Year are positive and auspicious.
  3. 3. Dragons look fearsome and powerful, but are considered to be benevolent and harbingers of good fortune.
  4. 4. The Nio Temple Guardian Statues are there for protection. Left with open mouth is Angyo symbolizing new beginnings and on the Left is Ungyo, with the closed mouth, symbolizing the end of all things
  5. 5. Shishi--the ferocious lion dogs--greet you when you arrive at Okinawa Airport. They are usually depicted in pairs with the closed mouth shishi keeping in good spirits and the open mouth shishi scaring off demons
  6. 6. Two shishi that somehow ended up in our home
  7. 7. Not exactly shishis or lion dogs, but it's a cute picture anyway. The owner went around Koyasan visiting Temples and sharing good luck with 'the family"
  8. 8. A Shishi and Baku under the roof of an ancient Japanese Temple in Takaoka. Warding off evil spirits.
  9. 9. A shishi under the roof of the Kumano Shrine, Karuizawa
  10. 10. The Namahage --Fearsome Ogres-- come down from the mountains in Oga, howling and yelling to scare children into being good for the New Year. They bring luck to those who allow them to enter their homes.
  11. 11. A Namahage drinking Sake to appease him (I have a similar reaction to drinking sake)
  12. 12. Sake is a sure-fire way to chase away bad karma, especially around the time of the New Year. In fact, in some temple lodgings, you can order 'Hanya-to' with your meal, which is Sake--but instead of referring to the alcoholic beverage, Hanya-to refers to "attaining the Supreme Wisdom of the Buddha".
  13. 13. The entrance to the Ogre Cave on Megijima Island, near Takamatsu
  14. 14. You never know what you'll meet up with inside the cave
  15. 15. Guardians at the Nitenmon Gate at Senso-ji, Asakusa, Tokyo
  16. 16. Steve at the amazing rock formations at Tojinbo. Wishing you a monstrously happy holiday and New Year! (and don't forget to put a Baku under your pillow on the night of January 1st)
  17. 17. Steve Gillick Travel Writer, Speaker, Photographer www.gillicksworld.ca steve@talkingtravel.ca

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