Z is for Zipping-Around Zashiki-warashi – A to Z Blog Challenge

We are pleased to participate in the A to Z Blog Challenge (http://www.a-to-zchallenge.com/). The Story Crossroads theme for this year is Beating the Odds…Lucky Folktales Around the World to Brighten Your Day. Each post highlights that the stars aligned and what would have normally been…bad…turned out after all. Considering what we – as humankind – have experienced the past year, how nice is it to remember that all of us can “beat the odds” to some level in our lives.

And we’ll admit now…some are actually myths, legends, or epics rather than only limited to folktales. So is that a type of “loading the dice”? Ah, but the stories were too wonderful to pass by.

ZASHIKI-WARASHI-

From Japan

Japanese ghosts stories are sometimes known as yūrei while “strange tales” are known as kaidan. Ghosts could have evil or benevolent intentions. Sometimes, by the time you find out which kind hovers near you, it is too late. Many of these stories were collected by Kizen Sasaki, a folklorist. Some people compare Kizen Sasaki as the Japanese version of the Brothers Grimm.

What makes Zashiki-Warashi dangerous?

Zashiki-Warashi are house spirits that could…creep you out. You are minding your own business and–crash, slide, jangle–some random noise and you are on edge. Once you see the Zashiki-Warashi, then perhaps you will relax. Even good spirits can cause the heart to beat faster.

50-words-or-less summary:

Mother of Kizen Sasaki heard noise. Husband not home. Turned to door. Opened it to see if someone was there. No one. Continued with sewing. She remembered people telling her that Zashiki-Warashi resided there. Mother happy…as that was good luck and would bring prosperity.

That mother was lucky that the spirit was a Zashiki-Warashi so that no harm would come to her. Her son did collect a lot of amazing stories. Does that count as being prosperous with stories? What luck indeed!

People speculate that Zashiki-Warashi connects to infanticide but that has never been proven. Yet, the word “Warashi” does connect to child.

Finding the Story/Folklore:

https://www.jstor.org/stable/1178918?seq=1

More about yūrei

https://www.nippon.com/en/guide-to-japan/gu900101/traveling-in-tono-iwate-a-birthplace-of-japanese-legends.html

Please share in the comments…or anything on your mind. While you enjoy this blog, Story Crossroads has year-round offerings with virtual as well as proper-distanced/masked/outdoors.

We are excited for the monthly All Things Story virtual workshop series as well as the hybrid Story Crossroads Festival on May 10-13, 2021 (then viewing beyond the event to June 15, 2021). Interested in deeper articles and e-workbooks plus stories, activities, and recipes? Then pursue Story Crossroads Memberships.

As we are a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, you can also support by donating today!

From the Story Crossroads Academy, enjoy the free “Storytelling Basics in 8 Hours” that includes American Sign Language.

Y is for Yammering Yetis – A to Z Blog Challenge

We are pleased to participate in the A to Z Blog Challenge (http://www.a-to-zchallenge.com/). The Story Crossroads theme for this year is Beating the Odds…Lucky Folktales Around the World to Brighten Your Day. Each post highlights that the stars aligned and what would have normally been…bad…turned out after all. Considering what we – as humankind – have experienced the past year, how nice is it to remember that all of us can “beat the odds” to some level in our lives.

And we’ll admit now…some are actually myths, legends, or epics rather than only limited to folktales. So is that a type of “loading the dice”? Ah, but the stories were too wonderful to pass by.

YETIS-

From the Sherpa/Nepal

Yeti stories could be cautionary tales to teach morals from the Sherpa people. Being in the Himalayas Mountains, the weather is harsh and one must live with exactness to survive. While some cultures have the boogie man or other monsters to encourage children to be good, the yeti could be one of these creatures.

What makes Yetis dangerous?

Being 7-8 feet tall is not enough to be dangerous. Yet, this creature has teeth and the ability to interact with human beings. Some yeti stories focus on death while other yeti stories go so far as to rape people.

50-words-or-less summary:

Sherpa tell of tall and dangerous creatures. Explorers search after it. Some say it could be an ape. That kind of animals cannot survive Himalayas. Some say polar bear. Not right for the area. Closest could be brown bear. Yet, in 1951 and again in 1980, scientists claimed to see one. DNA may solve mythological beast to be “actual.”

Is it this time lucky we are the lucky ones? What would it mean if we had a clear picture of whether or not the yeti was real. The yeti is related but different than the bigfoot. Does the telling of these stories mean we are lucky to have scary stories rather than facing such a fear?

Finding the Story/Folklore:

http://www.bbc.com/earth/story/20150630-is-there-such-a-thing-as-a-yeti

https://www.livescience.com/25072-yeti-abominable-snowman.html

Please share in the comments…or anything on your mind. While you enjoy this blog, Story Crossroads has year-round offerings with virtual as well as proper-distanced/masked/outdoors.

We are excited for the monthly All Things Story virtual workshop series as well as the hybrid Story Crossroads Festival on May 10-13, 2021 (then viewing beyond the event to June 15, 2021). Interested in deeper articles and e-workbooks plus stories, activities, and recipes? Then pursue Story Crossroads Memberships.

As we are a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, you can also support by donating today!

From the Story Crossroads Academy, enjoy the free “Storytelling Basics in 8 Hours” that includes American Sign Language.

X is for Xeroxing Xbalanque (twins) – A to Z Blog Challenge

We are pleased to participate in the A to Z Blog Challenge (http://www.a-to-zchallenge.com/). The Story Crossroads theme for this year is Beating the Odds…Lucky Folktales Around the World to Brighten Your Day. Each post highlights that the stars aligned and what would have normally been…bad…turned out after all. Considering what we – as humankind – have experienced the past year, how nice is it to remember that all of us can “beat the odds” to some level in our lives.

And we’ll admit now…some are actually myths, legends, or epics rather than only limited to folktales. So is that a type of “loading the dice”? Ah, but the stories were too wonderful to pass by.

Xbalanque-

From the Mayans (Ancient Mexico)

The Mayans have many names and places starting with the letter “X.” The story featured here focuses on Xbalanque and his twin, Hunahpu. What was not shared in the summary were the names “Xibalba,” which is the underworld where the Lords of Death reside. Later on, the twins involve two prophets, one of whom was named “Xulu.” The prophets said that the twins were destined to die. The Mayans used hieroglyphs. The Spanish colonists noticed and used “X” to be either an “h” or “sh” sound. Yet, to the Spanish, an “X” could be more like “j.” You can noticed this for “Texas” versus “Tejas.” Then, for tourism marketing, many places in Mexico continued using “X” when naming things.

What makes Xbalanque dangerous?

Xbalanque is one half of “The Hero Twins.” He and his twin could play a “mean” game of pohatok. How do you play? It feels a lot like soccer and basketball combined. That ball and what you are allowed to do with it was crucial. The twins made so much ruckus that perturbed the Lords of Death had to summoned them…and later played the game with them. The Lords of Death could testify that Xbalanque and his twin were annoying beyond compare. So…maybe as dangerous as an intense headache. You really will want to find the book to read the entire story.

50-words-or-less summary:

Xbalanque and twin summoned by Lords of Death. Twins learned names of Lords through hair-turned-mosquito. Three tests by Lords. Twins succeeded. Later Twin lost head-still lived. Xbalanque carved twin’s head on squash to fool Lords when challenging them to pohatok. Twins rescue uncle and father. Become sun and moon.

Those twins were lucky to succeed against those Lords of Death when their ancestors always failed. Then they recovered their father and uncle and were honored as the sun and moon. This is not bad considering that their loud playing of a game was the catalyst for all these adventures.

Finding the Story “The Hero Twins”:

Mayan and Aztec Mythology by Michael A. Schuman – https://www.amazon.com/Mayan-Aztec-Mythology-Michael-Schuman/dp/0766014096

Please share in the comments…or anything on your mind. While you enjoy this blog, Story Crossroads has year-round offerings with virtual as well as proper-distanced/masked/outdoors.

We are excited for the monthly All Things Story virtual workshop series as well as the hybrid Story Crossroads Festival on May 10-13, 2021 (then viewing beyond the event to June 15, 2021). Interested in deeper articles and e-workbooks plus stories, activities, and recipes? Then pursue Story Crossroads Memberships.

As we are a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, you can also support by donating today!

From the Story Crossroads Academy, enjoy the free “Storytelling Basics in 8 Hours” that includes American Sign Language.

W is for Wondering Walruses & Woe-be-gones – A to Z Blog Challenge

We are pleased to participate in the A to Z Blog Challenge (http://www.a-to-zchallenge.com/). The Story Crossroads theme for this year is Beating the Odds…Lucky Folktales Around the World to Brighten Your Day. Each post highlights that the stars aligned and what would have normally been…bad…turned out after all. Considering what we – as humankind – have experienced the past year, how nice is it to remember that all of us can “beat the odds” to some level in our lives.

And we’ll admit now…some are actually myths, legends, or epics rather than only limited to folktales. So is that a type of “loading the dice”? Ah, but the stories were too wonderful to pass by.

Walruses & Woe-be-gones-

From Inuit

In 1977, it became official that the offensive “Eskimo” word would be changed to “Inuit.” When a people are named by someone of another ethnicities, more than feelings and respect are harmed. Now, the story was in a book published in 1978 but probably was written in 1977 during this transition. Thus, the word “Eskimo” was used rather than “Inuit.”

What makes walruses (and woe-be-gones) dangerous?

Walruses have attacked humans in boats. Those tusks can gouge. Walruses can be dangerous to polar bears and vice versa. The fact that this story sees them together is remarkable. And then to throw in a hare? And a fox? I do appreciate the peace-making with these animals despite their tendencies. As for the term “woe-be-gone,” you already know that it represents someone who is sad or miserable. I think all in the story were miserable…but could find some light in each other.

50-words-or-less summary:

Tiggak’s son drowned. Grief! Hut near son’s grave. Awoke in middle of night. Fox took son’s teeth. Walrus took son’s whiskers. Hare took organs. Ice-bear took–unsure. But explained to man that this was only way for them to get these gifts. Tiggak allowed it. Animals granted Tiggak successful hunts.

Those animals – walrus and “woe-be-gones” – were lucky that Tiggak gave his blessing despite his immense grief over his son’s loss. In turn for that incredible kindness, Tiggak was blssed forever in the hunt. Yet, who really is the woe-be-gone? The animals in need of those gifts or of Tiggak in his grief. I hope that all could find hope in each other despite the death.

Finding the Story “Tiggak”:

A Kayak Full of Ghosts: Eskimo Tales by Lawrence Millman – https://www.learningtogive.org/resources/tiggak

Please share in the comments…or anything on your mind. While you enjoy this blog, Story Crossroads has year-round offerings with virtual as well as proper-distanced/masked/outdoors.

We are excited for the monthly All Things Story virtual workshop series as well as the hybrid Story Crossroads Festival on May 10-13, 2021 (then viewing beyond the event to June 15, 2021). Interested in deeper articles and e-workbooks plus stories, activities, and recipes? Then pursue Story Crossroads Memberships.

As we are a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, you can also support by donating today!

From the Story Crossroads Academy, enjoy the free “Storytelling Basics in 8 Hours” that includes American Sign Language.

V is for Vexing Viracocha – A to Z Blog Challenge

We are pleased to participate in the A to Z Blog Challenge (http://www.a-to-zchallenge.com/). The Story Crossroads theme for this year is Beating the Odds…Lucky Folktales Around the World to Brighten Your Day. Each post highlights that the stars aligned and what would have normally been…bad…turned out after all. Considering what we – as humankind – have experienced the past year, how nice is it to remember that all of us can “beat the odds” to some level in our lives.

And we’ll admit now…some are actually myths, legends, or epics rather than only limited to folktales. So is that a type of “loading the dice”? Ah, but the stories were too wonderful to pass by.

Viracocha-

From Incas

The Incas took up most of the western part of South America. While they could invent and do many feats, they did not have a written language. We are lucky to know the stories we do. The emperor was seen as the descendent of the sun. Hopefully, the emperor gives credit to Viracocha.

What makes Viracocha dangerous?

Of all the Incan gods and goddesses, Viracocha is the god of gods. While he does not interfere too much in human’s lives, he is one not to turn angry. He could snap people out of existence. Though, he prefers to be benevolent.

50-words-or-less summary:

Viracocha created creatures before sun, moon, or stars. Creatures were too giant. Viarcocha made smaller. Creatures forgot Viracocha. Mad! Turned some to stone, drowned others. Last three beings re-created world. Forgotten again! Mad! Fire! People begged forgiveness. Viarcocha put out fire. Created special rocks people loved. Left in the sea.

Those people were lucky to be given chances by Viarcocha. Not all were lucky, but some were able to be part of that second world and enjoyed special stones. Interestingly, Viarcocha then left the people never to be seen again but promised a messenger while he walked into the seaspray. Thus, even the name “Viarcocha” means seaspray.

Finding the Story:

“Viarcocha’s People” in Myths and Legends of Incas by Daniele Kuss – https://books.google.com/books/about/Myths_and_Legends_of_Incas.html?id=rUHzNwAACAAJ

Please share in the comments…or anything on your mind. While you enjoy this blog, Story Crossroads has year-round offerings with virtual as well as proper-distanced/masked/outdoors.

We are excited for the monthly All Things Story virtual workshop series as well as the hybrid Story Crossroads Festival on May 10-13, 2021 (then viewing beyond the event to June 15, 2021). Interested in deeper articles and e-workbooks plus stories, activities, and recipes? Then pursue Story Crossroads Memberships.

As we are a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, you can also support by donating today!

See a teaser of our Story Crossroads Academy. While the video has closed captioning, the “Storytelling Basics in 8 Hours” is free and includes American Sign Language.