Posts tagged demons

Monster Matsuri cover art….revealed!! What do you think?

Hi! I’m Cristy Burne, author of the Takeshita Demons books and Star Author for July.

This week has been an exciting one in the world of Takeshita Demons

Why? Because the cover for Book 3, Takeshita Demons – Monster Matsuri, has been revealed!!! Woo hoo! What do you think?

Takeshita Demons: Monster Matsuri coverMore demon stuff to do…

Read the first page of Monster Matsuri at my blog

– Read an interview about writing the Takeshita Demons books here on the My Favourite Books blog

– Try this quick quiz: IS YOUR PERSIMMON HAUNTED?

Check out some demon-themed activities for the holidays or the classroom (make a papier mache Daruma; try a hiragana word search; test your memory with a demonic game, and MORE!)

– And a Japanese language question: Does anyone know what “matsuri” means in Japanese? What do you think a monster matsuri might be?

– Enter the Make a Monster competition and win a copy of Takeshita Demons! We’ve had some awesome entries so far!

Happy writing and reading!

Cristy


Cristy Burne
Author of the Takeshita Demons series

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BEWARE: 8 spooky Japanese proverbs – Cristy Burne

A great place to find superstition is in proverbs. Here are a few you may recognise:

Step on a crack, marry a rat
An apple a day keeps the doctor away
Cross my heart and hope to die
Don’t judge a book by its cover
Red sky at night, shepherd’s delight

Let’s check out some awesome Japanese proverbs.
(and don’t forget to enter our Make-a-monster Competition: invent a demon and win a prize!)

1) If you give a boy’s name to a girl, or a girl’s name to a boy, they will grow up healthy and strong
You may wonder why your parents gave you such a weird name. Well, maybe this is the reason? Switching boys’ and girls’ names is a way to confuse (and hopefully avoid) the demons who bring disease and bad luck.

Lined sole fish

Do you want to look like this?

2) If you scowl at your parents, you will turn into a sole.
You know the old saying “If you make a face, the wind will change and you’ll be stuck that way”? Well, this is the Japanese equivalent. Basically, it’s a warning to be nice to your mum and dad. Because if you don’t, you’ll turn into a flat fish with both eyes on one side of your face. (Don’t worry: you will still taste good served with chips!)

3) When a weasel cuts across your path, he will bewitch you if you don’t throw a stone at him.
In Japanese culture, animals like weasels, foxes and badgers are known to have magical powers over humans, including the ability to shape-change, and they love to trick you out of your money. Throwing a stone is a quick, easy way to make sure you stay safe.

4) If you put spit in your eyebrows, the fox will not bewitch you.
Here’s another simple way to stay safe from demon foxes: simply spit into your own eyebrows and mix well. (This belief comes from the idea that saliva is powerful and can help your eyes to see the truth behind magical  spells)

5) If you kill a cat, it will haunt you and your family for seven generations.
Yikes! Better be nice to your cat! In Japan, cats who grow very fat and very old are also thought to turn into giant, man-eating cat demons. So your only hope for survival is to own a dog instead. 🙂

6) If your sandal strap breaks, evil is heading your way
This is a great reason to check your shoes and shoelaces before you head out on a dangerous mission. (If you’ve read The Filth Licker, you now know the secret double meaning behind Cait’s broken shoelace…)

7) If you pick up a comb, you will pick up suffering.
This superstition comes about because the Japanese word for comb is “kushi”, which is made up of two sounds: “ku” (the Japanese word for “suffering”), and “shi” (the Japanese word for “death”). So, instead of bending straight down to pick up your dropped comb, it’s better to stand on it first. Standing on the dropped comb drives out any evil spirits that are in it, making it safe to pick up. Phew!

8 ) A person who uses red things will only suffer a light case of smallpox

Takeshita Demons cover

Carry this lovely RED book at all times, if you want to stay safe!

This proverb was around before the smallpox disease was eradicated thanks to vaccination, but it shows clearly that red was a colour of protection in Japan. Why red? It’s the colour of flushed, healthy cheeks. It’s the colour of warmth and cheerfulness. And it’s also the colour that many sick people wore in old Japan, to protect themselves from disease. (Red is also the colour of the first Takeshita Demons book…no coincidence there! Miku needs all the help she can get!)

What do you think?
Do you know any spooky or strange proverbs or superstitions?
Would you walk under a ladder?
Go out on Friday 13?

What would you do with a 4-leaf clover?
Do you believe in superstitions?

Let me know in the comments (and watch out for shape-changing foxes and cats!)
And….don’t forget to enter our Make-a-monster Competition: invent a demon and win a prize!

Happy writing and reading!

Cristy


Cristy Burne
Author of the Takeshita Demons series

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Make-a-monster competition: invent a demon, win a prize!

cristy burne and headsHi! I’m Cristy Burne, author of the Takeshita Demons books and Star Author for July.

I love writing about spooky creatures from Japanese ghost stories and mythology , and all this month I’ll be sharing my favourite Japanese demons (called yokai) with you.

Here’s where the competition starts:
This month, all through July, I’m asking you to invent your own demon. Simply post your demon’s details as a comment and you could win your very own copy of Takeshita Demons.

The winner will be the person whose demon makes us laugh the most (or shiver with fear…)

What you have to do:

What YOU have to do is this: Invent your own favourite demon…then tell me about it!

You can go crazy… Make up any kind of demon you like, and then post about it in the comments.

I want to know:

your demon’s name and

– a couple of interesting things about it.

Just post these details as a comment below and you (and your demon) are in the running to win.

Demonic brain-starters

You don’t have to answer all these questions, but here are some ideas to get your imaginations going…

What does your demon like to eat? What does it look like?
Where does it live?

Is it an evil demon? A love-sick demon?
A demon who likes to eat cold toast and juggle glass eyeballs?

What secret powers does it have? What is its secret weakness?
Why does it always carry a dirty sock in its pocket?

…So…introduce us. I can’t wait to meet it!

Still stuck for ideas? Check out this memory game on my website: it features Japanese demons from 230 years ago and may inspire you to create your own wierd and wonderful demon inventions…

Happy writing and reading!

Cristy


Cristy Burne
Author of the Takeshita Demons series

Follow me on Twitter
Check out my blog
Like The Filth Licker on Facebook!

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