Meet the gashadokuro, a yōkai (supernatural Japanese being) whose story proved strangely elusive for a giant clattering skeleton-demon.
In stories like “The Singing Bone,” we see sibling rivalry that turns to murder, a crime eventually revealed by the eerie song of an instrument made from the murder victim’s bones.
There’s a lot of messed-up stuff there, but of course the most important question is: Can you really make instruments from human bones?
Have you ever heard that an adult swan can break a person’s arm?
Disappointingly enough, that’s a myth.
But in the past few days, I’ve learned that swan-maidens are absolutely capable of breaking a mind. There are just so many variants, so many connections between stories, so many different directions to take.
But I used some restraint and included just a few of the variants I found, some main themes, and a good number of illustrations — a more pleasant version of my own journey in pursuit of the swan maidens.