|The proposed cover for The Shrine War|
Tragically, when I sat down to begin outlining my story, I suddenly realized I knew nothing about Japanese mythology, Shintoism, or the least bit of information on kitsune or Inugami.
So, I did what I do best: I started doing some very intensive and extensive research. Eventually, I learned enough to write a story that Fred accepted, but I am now expanding the story as well as another that takes place in the same timeline. I hope to release the novelette with its accompanying short story later this year.
I have always enjoyed researching topics that I have a true interest in and the list of resources I cobbled together has enabled me to craft a story that dances close enough to Japanese mythology so as not to offend anybody with a passing familiarity with the topic of yōkai.
Admittedly, I am writing about a Japan that exists more in my imagination than reality and I have taken great poetic license with the kitsune and Inugami, but my hope is that people will enjoy the work enough to forgive my literary shortcomings.
So for your reading pleasure, what follows is a list of the resources I used. If you would like to delve into the world of Shinto mythology and Japanese culture, I hope you find these resources as enjoyable as I have:
- The Book of Tea, by Okakura Kakuzō
- Come and Sleep: The Folklore of the Japanese Fox, by Christopher Kincaid
- Shinto: The Ancient Religion of Japan, by W. G. Aston
- In Ghostly Japan, by Lafcadio Hearn
- Behind the Japanese Mask, by Jonathan Rice
- Far Eastern Fox Lore, by T. W. Johnson (4/6/2017) (journal article: Asian Folklore Studies Vol. 33, No. 1 (1974), pp. 35-68)
- "My Own Inari": Personalization of the Deity in Inari Worship , by Karen A. Smyers (Japanese Journal of Religious Studies, Vol. 23, No. 1/2 (Spring, 1996), pp. 85-116)
- The Goblin Fox and Badger and Other Witch Animals of Japan, by U. A. Casal (Folklore Studies Vol. 18 (1959), pp. 1-93)
- The Fox's Craft in Japanese Religion and Culture: Shapeshifters, Transformations, and Duplicities (Religion in History, Society and Culture), by Michael Bathgate
- Kitsune: Japan's Fox of Mystery, Romance & Humor, by Kiyosho Nozaki
I hope you enjoy exploring Japan and its mysterious creatures as much as I have.