3/23/2008

Will-o'-the-wisp (kitsunebi)

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. onibi 鬼火 "demon fire", "devil's fire" .
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Will-o'-the-wisp (kitsunebi)

***** Location: Japan
***** Season: All Winter
***** Category: Earth


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Explanation

"fox fire", kitsunebi 狐火 (きつねび)
"fox lantern", kitsune no choochin
狐の提燈(きつねのちょうちん)
"devil's fire", onibi 鬼火 (おにび)


CLICK for english reference CLICK for more Japanese reference


. janjanbi じゃんじゃん火 / ジャンジャン火 Janjan fire .
- Legends from Nara

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”a mysterious light associated with spirits,
found in various folklore tales”

The will-o'-the-wisp, sometimes will-o'-wisp or ignis fatuus (modern Latin, from ignis ("fire") + fatuus ("foolish"), plural ignes fatui) refers to the ghostly lights sometimes seen at night or twilight — often over bogs. It looks like a flickering lamp, and is sometimes said to recede if approached. Much folklore surrounds the legend, but science has offered several potential explanations.

One Asian theologist ponders the relation of will-o'-the-wisp to that of the foxfire produced by kitsune, an interesting way of combining mythology of the West with that of the East.

In addition to Kitsunebi (aka Foxfire) described above, additional similar phenomena are described in Japanese folklore, including Hitodama (literally "Human ball" as in ball of energy), Hi no Tama (Ball of Flame), Aburagae, Koemonbi, Ushionibi, etc. All these phenomena are described as balls of flame or light, at times associated with graveyards, but occurring across Japan as a whole in a wide variety of situations and locations. These phenomena are described in Shigeru Mizuki's 1985 book Graphic World of Japanese Phantoms (妖怪伝 in Japanese)。
© More in the WIKIPEDIA !


Kitsunebi / more reference


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Worldwide use


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Things found on the way


. Ooji no kitsunebi 王子の狐火 (おうじのきつねび)
day of the fox deity at Oji Inari Shrine .

kigo for late winter
and more about
Ooji Inari Jinja 王子稲荷神社 Oji Inari Fox Shrine

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. Tosa no kechibi 土佐の鬼火
"Demon fire" from Tosa / Kochi .


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. Legends and Tales from Japan 伝説 - Introduction .

- reference : nichibun yokai database -
420 to explore / 火の玉 "ball of fire",


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HAIKU


狐火や髑髏(どくろ)に雨のたまる夜に
kitsunebi ya dokuro ni ame no tamaru yo ni

fox fire -
on the night when the skull
gathers rain


Buson 蕪村
Tr. Gabi Greve


ONIBI ... click for more !

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狐火や利休鼠の雨が降る

kitsunebi ya Rikyu ne no ame ga furu

fox fire -
the rain falls so gray,
Rikyu gray
(Tr. Gabi Greve)

Gendai Haiku Kyokai
http://www.gendaihaiku.gr.jp/haikukai/result/08_touku.htm

Grey, Gray (hai-iro, hyaku nezu) and haiku

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Related words

***** Fox (kitsune) Japan...
including Fox God Shrine Festival (Inari Matsuri)

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plant kigo for early summer



kitsune no choochin 狐の提燈 "fox lantern plant"
Chinese Fairy Bells
..... hoochakusoo 宝鐸草(ほうちゃくそう)"temple chime plant"
Disporum sessile




hoochaku 宝鐸 temple chime

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. onibi 鬼火 "demon fire", "devil's fire" .

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2 comments:

Anonymous said...

狐火を見し自転車のチェーンロック
kitsunebi o mishi jitensha no cheen rokku

I saw a fox lantern
a lock with a chain
on a bicycle

Tamamo Yamao 山尾玉藻

Tr. Fay Aoyagi
http://fayaoyagi.wordpress.com/2012/12/01/todays-haiku-december-1-2012/

Gabi Greve said...

Kobayashi Issa

狐火の行方見送るすずみ哉
kitsunebi no yukigata miokoru suzumi kana

escorted by
phosphorescent fires...
the cool air
(Tr. David Lanoue)
.
Kitsunebi is a phosphorescent fire (or ignis fatuus) believed to be vomited from the mouth of a fox.
.
the cut marker KANA is at the end of line 3.
.