Why is it important to know about Japanese mythologies?
Well, during your trip in Japan, you might actually notice a few symbols on temples, shrines and even souvenirs that you won’t understand unless you read this article.
Fujin and Raijin, as shown on the picture above, are the most famous creatures, you can’t miss them!! They are respectively God of winds and God of thunders. In the Japanese art, it is common to see Raijin and Fujin together as they were known to challenge each other.
Fujin, or sometimes called Futen, is a wizard-like demon-looking God who carries a bag of winds. Based on the myth, he is responsible and in charge of the wind.
Raijin, or called Raiden sometimes, is a demon-looking God. According to the myth, he beats drums to create thunders and he was created by two divinities after the creation of Japan.
In the Japanese culture, parents often tell their children to hide their belly button when there is a thunderstorm. It is because there was a folk belief that Raijin is eager to eat the children’s abdomen, therefore to not see their children taken away, parents ask them to hide their belly button.
Now you know more about these two Gods, you should try to look around you when you come in Japan, it is pretty sure you will see them! On postcards, pens, or even or the gate to a temple. Actually in Asakusa, one of the most visited places in Tokyo, there are two massive statues of the Gods. These statues are displayed inside the ‘Kaminarimon’ (Thunder Gate). If you go through this gate you will arrive right in front of the Senso-Ji (Buddhist Temple).
Moreover, these Gods have inspired many people therefore you can also notice them in video games such as Warcraft III, Final Fantasy VIII or even in animations like Naruto!