Sunday, 16 October 2011

MonsterFest Posting Number Two: Yuki-onna

I'm posting early this week because on Friday I'll be off to Naama and much roistering shall be found there.  I've picked up a camera so incriminating photos will be eventually be posted.

Back in the day Foreigner sang about a girl who had a heart that was cold as ice (1).
While we all knew that they were talking to us about our current ex's we let it go because we could appreciate a decent metaphor and we'd already done the whole drunken pining thing and accepted that she wasn't coming back, really.

But what if you ran into someone with skin as cold as ice? Odds are good that you would be in the walk in freezer of the supermarket but there remains an outside chance that you would be in the mountains of Japan and the woman would be Yuki-onna, the snow maiden.
That's the cue for everyone to post things like, "Dur she doesn't look so tough"
Like others of her ilk she enjoys long walks out in the open and leading travellers astray. (2)She will frequently trick people into kissing her or, approach with a bundle that looks like a baby except when the unwary traveller takes it Kathwacco! Instant unwary travellercicle.

To win her love:
Her main story goes along these lines. The party, usually consisting of a servant and his master are toiling their way through the mountains of Japan.  They may or may not be lost when Yuki enters(3)
She kills the master but spares the servant warning him to never tell anyone about what happened today.  The servant agrees and is permitted to return home(4).

Time passes and the servant meets that someone special.things are arranged and many knowing looks are exchanged.  At some point there is the traditional Kung Fu showdown.

"You must defeat me to win her love"
But eventually they get married, have 10 children and there was much rejoicing (5)

However one fateful night when the pair are in bed together the husband looks over at his wifes pale skin that glows in the moonlight and remarks that she looks just like the snow woman he encountered those many years ago.

She gets up and turns towards him. Revealing a face quite different than the one she normally wore.
“I told you not to tell anyone!” she rages and warns him to take good care of the children or she'll make certain he pays before flying out the window. (6)
Usually it ends with a quick note that he was a good father and never saw her again  In a few versions she takes the children leaving him alone and miserable, in another she stays with him.
It all depends on the whim of the storyteller.

This one will probably give you a happy ending, but not the Disney ending.  It's important to know the difference.
How to hunt them:
Warning!  This is going to be very dangerous and I advise you not to attempt any of the following unless you are filled with righteous fury at being the continuing butt of the worst practical joke since Loki gave Hod some mistletoe.
  1. You'll need to establish that she is in the area by going out into the mountains and getting lost.
  2. When she appears be exceptionally polite, this will put her off her guard and make it more likely that you are the one she spares
  3. When you arrive home ignore the pretty woman who “just happens” to cross your path. Order that a packed lunch of various coldmeats be made ready.
  4. The next day head up into the mountains and purposely get lost. When the Snow Madain arrives have a nice picnic lunch with her.
  5. Continue this each day until you have won her trust and friendship.
  6. Finally it is time for the hidden sniper to prove his arrogant boasting and fire from his hidden blind.

And there you have it, Congratulations you've just managed to successfully hunt the snow maiden. But as you're putting the chains that you obtained, at great expense, from the Tengu smiths you are struck with a series of revelations.
  1. That you've betrayed her friendship and trust.
  2. That she's an elemental being with the power of Ice, Wind and Snow (7) who only wears human form in order to get close to people.
  3. That you never actually tested the chains in order to make certain that the Tengu smiths made them as strong as they said they had.
  4. That those Tengu have a strange sense of humour.
  5. That she's standing right behind me isn't she?
  6. ...Oh dear.
  1.  or more accurately coooold aaaaassss iiiiiccceee
  2. Because this is what passes for humour in supernatural circles.  If you ever hear of a comedy festival for supernatural entities then run, RUN, very far in the other direction.
  3. Trying to keep a straight face and resisting the urge to wave to the friends hiding behind that tree over there.
  4. The punchline being that when interested parties want to know they'll be asking with many sharp pointy things.
  5. "Yay"
  6. This is the delayed punchline.  Once she's pulled it off a few more times it becomes a running gag.  Oh how I hope someone up there is scoring these properly
  7. the Japanese equivalent of Earth Wind and Fire


  1. This begs for a Supernatural episode to be made from it.

  2. As long as they leave the Foreigner joke in it. I'm rather pleased with that one

  3. Why is it after reading this post I have a sudden urge to get myself a hot chocolate? ;)

  4. LOL! Just read both your MonsterFest entries and am snorting water through my nose! Best thing is, they were educational as well! Am now a new follower! :)


    Join me in the Trick or Treat Spooktacular! Could you help make the Grand Prize a brand new Kindle Touch?

  5. This post has so much awesome in it...Japanese lore, Bruce "Yeah, I'm a Bad Mofo" Lee, and the friggen Storyteller! (Not to mention wit!).

  6. Lynda: Mmm Hot chocolate, bringer of warmth and happy feelings.

    JC: Educational? I must remember to change my filters, this is supposed to be zany madcap humour.

    Varmit: I've just finished watching the Storyteller yet again. I want that coat of his so much!