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By Rebecca Kingsley

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If this water is spilled, the kappa is deprived of his magical powers. Like vampires, kappa feed on human 43 Above: The classical Japanese Noh drama began in the Heian period (8th-12th centuries), was highly developed by the 14th century Ashikaga period, and is still very popular today. Noh ("masked theater") is a very stylizedform of theater, with the main actors often wearing carved wooden masks. 1t developed from ceremonial religious dances, which were combined with monologs and dialogs. GODS AND GODDESSES blood, although they are also known to conSl;lmethe blood of horses and cattle.

Shinto encourages gratitude to the komi and to the ancestors, who are responsible for life and the blessings enjoyed by the living. The purpose of Shinto is to enact the will of the kami, the family ancestors, the community, and ultimately, the nation During festivals the deity is carried out of 39 GODS . AND GODDESSES '" Right: A mythical kappa emergingfrom a pool. Takenfrom a scroll painting in The Compendium of Ghosts by Bakemonojin, 1788. Kappa playa role in Japanese mythology similar to that taken by trolls and water spirits in western tales.

Guan Yin can also lessen the penance due to a mildly wicked person. The truly evil, however, face the wrath of Emma 0, who throws them into a vat of molten metal. ). GREAT LEGENDS spirits, at bay. Jizo hides souls in his robes to prevent oni from snatching them, and helps souls in purgatory by shielding them from the punishments of Emma O. A MULTIROOTED MYTHOLOGY Prince Shotuku(572-621),who engineeredthe first official Japanese contacts with China in 607, later compared the three philosophical systems of Japan to the root, the stem, and branches, and the fruit and flowers of a tree.

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