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 Japanese Folklore Connection 
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Hi, I'm new so if this has already been made or something please lock this and direct me to that. But if you haven't already noticed many Pokemon have connections to Japanese Folklore. Misdreavus is a Nukekubi (A ghost that at night becomes a disembodied head that "Screams and bites"), Ninetales is well, a Nine Tailed Fox. Froslass is based on the Yuki-Onna (Snow woman), if you look its body is shaped like a Kimono. My question is: Can you guys help me find the others? I'd like to know them all because thats how I give my nicknames.

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Sun Mar 21, 2010 8:03 pm
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Here's a few off the top of my head:

-Arcanine: shishi, which explains Arcanine's tiger stripes, lion's mane, dog-like features and ability to learn Dragon-type moves.
-Drowzee and Hypno: baku, a tapir-like entity that eats dreams, which explains Drowzee and Hypno's appearances and abilities.
-Espeon: bakeneko, a demonic cat that has a forked tail, much like Espeon's.
-Lotad, Lombre, Ludicolo: kappa, and despite what the in-game Pokedex says, Golduck has VERY LITTLE in common with the kappa.
-Shiftry: tengu, a long-nosed Japanese spirit; it is sometimes demonic and forest-inhabiting, which explains Shiftry's types.
-Baltoy and Claydol: dogu, which are ancient Japanese figurines.
-Dusclops: chochinobake, a Japanese lantern ghost.
-Castform: teru teru bozu, a white doll that is a good luck charm in regards to weather.

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Sun Mar 21, 2010 8:15 pm
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Frost wrote:
Here's a few off the top of my head:

-Arcanine: shishi, which explains Arcanine's tiger stripes, lion's mane, dog-like features and ability to learn Dragon-type moves.
-Espeon: bakeneko, a demonic cat that has a forked tail.
-Lotad, Lombre, Ludicolo: kappa, and despite what the in-game Pokedex says, Golduck has VERY LITTLE in common with the kappa.
-Shiftry: tengu, a long-nosed Japanese spirit (sometimes demonic and forest-inhabiting, which explains Shiftry's types).
-Baltoy and Claydol: dogu, which are ancient Japanese figurines.
-Dusclops: chochinobake, a Japanese lantern ghost.
-Castform: teru teru bozu, a white doll that is a good luck charm in regards to weather.


Wow! Thanks! I never thought of Arcanine being Komainu (Shishi) or Espeon being Bakeneko! I haven't played Emerald in a while so I totally forgot about Shiftry but after reading the name I remembered him and yeah, he really does look like Tengu.
Huh, I had never heard of Teru Teru Bozu until now.
I knew Dusclops was a Chochinobake! Ludicolo doesn't REALLY remind of Kappa, but, maybe Lombre. Golduck never has...
Cool thank you for this. If anybody has anymore please post them! I'd love to figure them out and learn some more Japanese mythology while I'm at it!

I also heard that Raikou or Jolteon could be based off the Raijuu (Electrical beast that follows Raijin the god of Lightning) because it supposed to have a "Roar like thunder" which Raikou does and is commonly shown as a Wolf with lightning surrounding it which pertains to Jolteon. Some also say that it could be Raichu but to me thats unlikely, just because the names are similar...

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Sun Mar 21, 2010 8:26 pm
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More specifically, Espeon is a Nekomata, which is a different kind of Bakeneko. The Bakeneko is the "ghost cat", while the Nekomata is the "forked cat". The Nekomata is a transformation of the Bakeneko, when its tail splits in two.

Let's not forget Zoroark, who is based on the folkloric fox Kitsune, which is a shapeshifter. Not to mention Zoroark's Kabuki makeup, which is a reference to the traditional japanese drama.

Magikarp and Gyarados are a reference to the japanese myth of how dragons are born. When a carp is able to jump up a waterfall, it becomes a dragon and is allowed through the gates of heaven. I'm pretty sure there is an episode where a bunch of Magikarp evolve into Gyarados like that.

Ho-Oh is a phoenix, a creature that also belongs to the japanese folklore.

And Spiritomb is based on a buddhist tradition in japan, if I'm not mistaken. I don't know exactly what it is, though, but it involves 108 spirits. In fact, I've seen this being referenced in other anime (the 108 Specters from Saint Seiya, for instance).

These are all I can remember now, but I'm pretty sure there's more, besides the ones you've mentioned.

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Mon Mar 22, 2010 2:53 pm
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Galar wrote:
More specifically, Espeon is a Nekomata, which is a different kind of Bakeneko. The Bakeneko is the "ghost cat", while the Nekomata is the "forked cat". The Nekomata is a transformation of the Bakeneko, when its tail splits in two.


Yeah, I just got my Espeon today in HeartGold and I named it Nekomata (Name Rater :P)

Galar wrote:
Let's not forget Zoroark, who is based on the folkloric fox Kitsune, which is a shapeshifter. Not to mention Zoroark's Kabuki makeup, which is a reference to the traditional japanese drama.


Thats the new Pokemon right? The one from Gen V? I'm not 100% sure on that, but if we could read what the Pokedex says about it... Though, that is a good assumption, and could very well be right.

Galar wrote:
Magikarp and Gyarados are a reference to the japanese myth of how dragons are born. When a carp is able to jump up a waterfall, it becomes a dragon and is allowed through the gates of heaven. I'm pretty sure there is an episode where a bunch of Magikarp evolve into Gyarados like that.


Yeah, I've heard of that, and if I remember correctly... Didn't the Magikarp that James kicked into the flowing water in the SS Anne turn into a Gyarados? Maybe it swam up... I dunno...

Galar wrote:
Ho-Oh is a phoenix, a creature that also belongs to the japanese folklore..


Its also Chinese folklore... But a lot of this stuff is....... :)

Galar wrote:
And Spiritomb is based on a buddhist tradition in japan, if I'm not mistaken. I don't know exactly what it is, though, but it involves 108 spirits. In fact, I've seen this being referenced in other anime (the 108 Specters from Saint Seiya, for instance)

These are all I can remember now, but I'm pretty sure there's more, besides the ones you've mentioned.


It comes from the Chinese Story Water Margin or Shu?h? Zhuàn. Where 108 Outlaws were sealed into a Steele Bearing Tortoise and were let free (for a reason probably specified in the story... But not by the internet...) and then 108 heroes go to stop them or something along those lines... In Japansese this story is called "Suikoden ."

EDIT: SOme other connections that don't have to do with Japan: Hitmonlee and Hitmonchan are named after Bruce Lee and Jackie Chan, and Kangaskhan is named after Genghis Khan.

Also Drowzee is based on the "Baku" Monster that eats the dreams of children. Dream Eater could also be based on this beast.

EDIT: Uhm, can I put a link here? If I can please let me know because I'd really love to show this drawing (not by me) of the first 251 Pokemon drawn in an ancient Japanese Caligraphy style. Its very cool, please let me know because I think it sort of kind of fits... It looks folkloric... :P

EDIT: I found a site that has a few! I'm going to put them down.

Jynx is apparently based on the Yama-Uba an old lady that lived in the mountains who wore a kimono that was red and had haird that was Golden-White.

Mawile is based on the Futakuchi-Onna, the two-mouthed Woman that has a mouth on the back of her head underneath her hair. It will eat pretty much everything.

Electebuzz can be connected to Oni because many Oni wear Tiger-skin cloths and his fur looks sort of tigery and many Oni have relations to Thunder.

Dunsparce is apparently based on the Tsuchinoko who's a snake who's body is bigger that its tail or head and can roll into a ball by biting its tail (explanation of why it can do rollout).

Bronzor and Bronzong are based on an old story when a Temple was making a Bell in a time when mirrors were made of metal, so they asked women to donate their mirrors. Mirrors were thought to be the souls of women however, and so when one woman donated her mirror she donated knowing it wouldn't melt because it was her grandmother's mirror. Why this made it so it wouldn't melt, i don't know... But she sent it and then felt guilty. So she killed herself and the mirror was melted and the bell was made. The townsfolk thought that if they could break the bell then the dead lady would bestow upon them riches and gifts. So all the townsfolk tried to ring the bell and break it. But all failed and the monks were tired of everybody ringing the bell, so they dumped it into a swamp. (and in the Pokemon world this bell was to later be found in a construction site!)

Sneasle is loosely based on Kamaitachi because Kamaitachi are Weasels who are as fast as the wind and wrok in 3's usually (Though Sneeasle seems more like a lone wolf) . One will knock a person down, another will cut them and then the third will heal the wounds made by his brothers leaving the person confused as to what just happened. This relates to Sneasel in a few ways, the name (Weasle, Sneasle), the hands (they Kamaitachi used Sickles) and the speed.

Snorunt is looks-wise, based on Ame furi-kozo. Ame furi Kozo is a kid who wheres an umbrella on his head (if you look at Snorunts head and you look at an old Japanese umbrella they look similar) and runs around and plays in the rain. Snorunt runs around in the snow. Thats really the only similarity though...

Gligar could also be loosely based on the Hannya masks of the old Ninja. The Hannya mask had horns, and big smile from ear to ear and sharp curved fangs that curved outward instead of inward.

Thats all I could fin though...

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Mon Mar 22, 2010 6:54 pm
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Uhm, I don't want this topic to die. So I'm gonna keep it alive with the fact that Chimecho looks like a Shinto shrine bell. Where people of the Shinto religion would go, ring the bell, and then clap their hand three times to offer a prayer.

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Mon Mar 29, 2010 4:33 pm
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This is actually some interesting stuff. :o

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Wed Apr 14, 2010 10:52 pm
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Well, it's not folklore, but I think this goes here. :3

Mew was created as a glitch in the original games by a programmer at the last minute as sort of a joke. At first only the company knew and could glitch the game to get it. Latter on, the company released a very select few to increase the ratings of the games, witch worked phenomenally.

Mew has been said to be a childish little cat-like creature and has been associated with a fetus when it surrounds itself in its aura sphere. Its tail has made some people say that it looks like a jeroba.

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Thu Apr 15, 2010 6:52 pm
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Thanks for the replies! And remember anyone reading this thread, if you know of anything relating Pokemon to ANY type of folklore actually, I'd be glad to know. Also, Dan, that fetus thing creeped me out...

I found out Rayquaza, Groudon, and Kyogre are possibly based on Ziz, Behemoth, and the Leviathan (in that order) of Jewish folklore. Ziz is a great bird in the sky that is said to protect all other birds, though I'm nont really sure how that connects to Ray. Groudon is based on the behemoth, a gigantic... Animal. There aren't really any true specifics on behemoth, just that its a large fat creature with a tail. And the Leviathan is the demon of the sea, although the description of the Leviathan reminds me more of Rayquaza than Kyogre. Leviathan means coiled anyways...

Lickitung may be based off (this is probably wrong) Akaname a red hideous creature that has a long tongue and cleans dirty houses, its said to have a kind of acidic spit that helps it clean things, however, they're incredibley . Lickitung is a pink (a lighter shade of red) creature with a huge tongue that can clean itself that has gooey tingley saliva. So you know... Maybe.

Thats all I have so far. I'll add even more, so always check back, drop some ideas. And keep this alive. Learning is fun.

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Sat Apr 17, 2010 12:31 am
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Savage Hunter wrote:
Also, Dan, that fetus thing creeped me out...

lol, but it's actually really symbolic. It also shows how delicate and sweet he is. :3
Plus, I think most animals grow tails while still a fetus. Humans just out-grow theirs.

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Sat Apr 17, 2010 3:41 pm
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Ho-Oh is a phoenix, a creature that also belongs to the japanese folklore.


Ho-oh is not a pheonix.

He is based off Quetzalquatl, the Mayan sun god.

Moltres is supposd to be the pheonix, a creature which shows up in the mythology of most cultures not just japan or china.


Sat May 01, 2010 10:34 pm
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cheesehead wrote:
Ho-Oh is a phoenix, a creature that also belongs to the japanese folklore.


Ho-oh is not a pheonix.

He is based off Quetzalquatl, the Mayan sun god.

Moltres is supposd to be the pheonix, a creature which shows up in the mythology of most cultures not just japan or china.


Acutally, Ho-oh IS a phoenix. A specific Phoenix to be exact. FengHuang is his Chinese name. Ho-oh is the Japanese reading of Fenghuang. Moltres is just a phoenix, whether Mayan, asain, or European, Moltres is just a fire bird.

But, heres some more fun facts. Arbok and its pre-Evolution Ekans are possibly based on a basilisk, because they are the only snake pokemon to ever learn Glare, which is what the Basilisk is (in)famous for.

Also, Evee is possibly based off of a Tanuki, a creature known in english as a Racoon-dog. Its has the ability to shapeshift and is mischievous. Evee is similar partially in looks and that he can change into different types when evolving from stones (and then in later versions weird reasons... Seriously, Umbreon and Espeon could have EASILY been gottne with a Moon Stone and a Sun Stone, seriously).

Every grass starter so far has had some connection to dinosaurs.

Noctowl is based off Japanese Eagle Owls, which were seen as the messengers of the gods.

Umbreon is apparently based on a Moon Hare, but I have no evidence to back this up seeing as I have no clue what Moon Hare do.

Wobuffet is based off a Japanese comedian named Sanpei Hayashiya who would constantly slapped his hand to his forehead and say "Sounansu, okusan!" meaning, "thats how it is ma'am" Sounansu happens to be Wobuffets name in Japanese.

Celebi is probably based on the Kodama.

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Tue May 04, 2010 11:14 pm
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onix and steelix are based on the Wurm.

Wurms are from european mythology and were primitive forms of dragons that had the appearnce of giant serpents hundreds of metres long. They burrowed underground(just like onix and steelix) and their scales were said to be as hard as diamond (just like steelix)


Sun May 09, 2010 3:29 am
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No offence, but all I really care about are the Pokemon' types, movesets, abilities, and base stat totals.

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Sun May 09, 2010 1:26 pm
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if you don't have any interest in this thread then why did you even bother commenting?


Tue May 11, 2010 11:38 pm
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Quote:
Umbreon is apparently based on a Moon Hare, but I have no evidence to back this up seeing as I have no clue what Moon Hare do.


Makes mochi. :)

Banette is a type of Tsukumogami, a spirit inhabiting an ordinary object (sometimes they're good, like a sake jug that never empties!)

I think Ghastly and Haunter might be Akashita (red tongued ghosts.)

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Thu May 13, 2010 10:53 pm
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PokeBaby wrote:
Quote:
Umbreon is apparently based on a Moon Hare, but I have no evidence to back this up seeing as I have no clue what Moon Hare do.


Makes mochi. :)

Banette is a type of Tsukumogami, a spirit inhabiting an ordinary object (sometimes they're good, like a sake jug that never empties!)

I think Ghastly and Haunter might be Akashita (red tongued ghosts.)


Wow... I had a whole list of things that I said, thanks Real player! Damn. *Sigh* I'll rewrite it all later when I'm not depressed.

Just one, Infernape is based on Songoku, a Chinese monkey who traveled to the west in a novel. He used kung fu and used a staff called the Nyoi-bo. Son Goku should be a familiar name to most.

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Sat May 15, 2010 9:18 pm
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"Infernape, use Kamehameha"

it's a critical hit.


Fri May 28, 2010 2:25 am
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If I'm wrong on any of this, please correct me. My mythology and folklore are a bit rusty.

If I'm not mistaken, the Regis are based off of golems in Jewish folklore. Golems were designed to work on the Sabbath and exactly followed directions given to them. Most myths explain how golems can cause destruction if not watched carefully.

Savage Hunter wrote:

Also, Eevee is possibly based off of a Tanuki, a creature known in english as a Racoon-dog.


Actually, I belive Zigzagoon was based of the Tanuki...

Savage Hunter wrote:

But, heres some more fun facts. Arbok and its pre-Evolution Ekans are possibly based on a basilisk, because they are the only snake pokemon to ever learn Glare, which is what the Basilisk is (in)famous for.


Seviper learns Glare, too.

Savage Hunter wrote:
Seriously, Umbreon and Espeon could have EASILY been gottne with a Moon Stone and a Sun Stone, seriously.


THIS

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Mon May 31, 2010 8:24 pm
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Everlasting Sapphire wrote:
If I'm wrong on any of this, please correct me. My mythology and folklore are a bit rusty.

If I'm not mistaken, the Regis are based off of golems in Jewish folklore. Golems were designed to work on the Sabbath and exactly followed directions given to them. Most myths explain how golems can cause destruction if not watched carefully.

Savage Hunter wrote:

Also, Eevee is possibly based off of a Tanuki, a creature known in english as a Racoon-dog.


Actually, I belive Zigzagoon was based of the Tanuki...

Savage Hunter wrote:

But, heres some more fun facts. Arbok and its pre-Evolution Ekans are possibly based on a basilisk, because they are the only snake pokemon to ever learn Glare, which is what the Basilisk is (in)famous for.


Seviper learns Glare, too.

Savage Hunter wrote:
Seriously, Umbreon and Espeon could have EASILY been gottne with a Moon Stone and a Sun Stone, seriously.


THIS


Haha. Anyways, Your correct about the Regis. But Zigzagoon has less relation to the Tanuki than Eevee, but Zigzagoon does have a connection to Tanuki.

lol, I gotta get my freaking facts straight. Sorry, the fact is they were originally the only Pokemon to learn Glare. However, now they aren't the only ones. But they are based on Basilisk.

Anyways, new stuff. Lucario is based off of Egyptian Boxers. Egypt is said to be one of the first places to invent boxing. Lucario also has the face of a Jackal, the same face as Anubis.

Medicham is possibly based on Genies. Because of his pants and hat, as well as the fact that its psychic.

Altaria's Dragon typing may reference hai-ryo, which is a kind of Japanese dragon with rather birdlike features

Whiscash is based on Namazu! : D Namazu is a catfich in Japan (mythological of course) that causes earthquakes. It was sealed by a god. Everytime the god loosens up is seal earthquakes happen. So I guess the God is getting lazy! Whiscash's name in Japan is Namazun.

Japanese one-eyed mountain-dwelling creature named the Yamawarawa may have been the inspiration for Dusknoir.

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Wed Jun 02, 2010 9:32 pm
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I have more stuff!

Torterra is based off of the Native American myth that the entire world rested on the back of a giant turtle/tortoise. If you look at Torterra's shell, this makes sense.

Houndoom is based off of the hellhound, or more specifically, England's "Black Shuck". It's a huge black dog with flaming red eyes that's said to haunt graveyards and the like. There have been some sightings of the Black Shuck; whenever one sees it, a close relative dies or falls extremely ill. Occasionally, there were instances where one would die or disappear mysteriously themselves after seeing the Black Shuck. There is a story that Black Shuck entered a church, killed a man and a boy, and left nothing behind except two strange, still-existing scorch marks (which is why Houndoom is Dark/Fire).

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I believe that {raikou} is based off of Raiju.
Raiju's supposed to be a blue and white wolf wrapped in lightning. It's roars sound like Thunder.

*Double Checks Wikipedia for something on this topic which he saw months ago*

Yeah.
{raikou}, and possibly {jolteon}, are supposedly based off of Raiju.

{houndoom} = Garmr of Norse myth. Or the Black Dog/Black Shuck, of English folklore.


{ho-oh} = Ho-O. A legendary Fenghuang bird of China.. or Suzaku. The Vermillion Bird of the South ( {moltres} also fits this description.)

{whiscash} = Jishin-namazu/Namazu. A giant catfish that causes Earthquakes.


{ninetales} = Kyubi-No-Kitsune

{espeon} = Bakeneko/Nekomata

{ursaring} = Onikuma. A Monster Bear.

{gyarados} = Seiryu. Azure Dragon of the East. (Although it's actually based off of an Oarfish.. I'm sure that the Seiryu can also be something it's based off of since it's a Blue Dragon.)

{totodile}, Croconaw, and Feraligatr = Wani. Water monster comparable to an alligator or a crocodile.

{froslass} = Yuki-onna.

I guess that
{electabuzz} = Zanki. A Lightning Oni. >_>


Mon Jun 07, 2010 11:13 pm
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AAAAAH!!!! How do you people know all this stuff???!!!! I mean like the folklore. I'm very confused. Do you just look it up or what cause i've heard about maybe 10 of these!

Uhh I dunno why but so this comment wasn't a complete waste...and since i haven't read all the replies...i'm gonna say this...
Isn't Misdreavus like also based on a banshee?
Also, it makes since they'd base some on folklore because how many of us could make up like 500 creatures, give them abilities and moves and such, without doing something like that?

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Wed Jun 09, 2010 2:23 pm
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Thanks for more replies! Now I'm gonna drop some knowledge!

Houndoom Guy, please try to at least skim through before you post, I appreciate posting, it keeps the thread alive, but almost all of the things (except Totodile adn Gyarados [technically]) that you put down have already been stated.

In response to AnimeFreak_98 I look some of it up, some of it is somewhat common knowledge, and some is simply speculation. If you know a lot of legends, and look at some Pokemon, your bound to find some similarities. Also, yes, technically Misdreavus is also based off of a Banshee.

Sorry I don't have anything new to add except that one of the new seven Pokemon, Hihidaruma, is based on a Daruma Doll, a doll that is in turn based off of a Buddhist Priest named Bodhidharma who meditated at a wall for nine years without sleeping once. However in some myths about him he fell asleep in the seventh year of meditation and in anger cut off his own eyelids so it wouldn't happen again, which is why Daruma dolls all have big round eyes, and another myth states that after not being used for nine years his legs atrophied (which is sort of...... look it up I cant describe it very well) which is why Daruma dolls have no legs. This pokemon has legs obviously, but Its face is clearly based on the Daruma doll.

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No, Groudon and Kyogre aren't behemoth and leviathon. Behemoth is supposed to look like Tropius (minus the wings), and leviathon: has "scales so thick not even a sword could pierce it" and "flames that go forth from it's mouth and smoke that goes from its notrils". So, behemoth would be like a dinosaur, leviathon would be like Dragonite or Salamence, except that it lives in water (Feraligatr?).

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Well, I have officially left Psypoke. Good bye everyone, God bless you.


Tue Jun 21, 2011 2:47 pm
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