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Monday, 6 August 2012

Wildmen And Yokai Again

T[wo] Bigfoot busts from my collection in the UK. A model maker in Washington state made him for me back in 2007. He wanted to give [the one on the right] a more horrific appearance but I told him to make it as life like as possible.
Robert W. Morgan description of Forest Person he has researched.[left] This custom bust was made for me in 2005 by a NYC film effects artist. It was going to be part if a series of busts to be followed by a "Skunk Ape", "Yeren", "Yeti" and "Almasty". [Dale D has blown up the eyes to match the indicated size of the eye sockets and to match reports by other witnesses]

Two sculpted Bigfoot busts owned by Thomas Finlay, who resides in the UK

Homo (sapiens) heidelbergensis/neanderthalensis skull above
Orangutan skull shown below, compare to the head structure shown in the two busts

I believe the two busts correspond to two different types of creatures both named "Skunk Ape" and "Eastern Bigfoot" by different researchers-one being more of a human and the other being more like an ape (Specifically most like an orangutan). And what is more, they are the same as two kinds of "Wildmen" commonly spoken of in Tibet and South and East Asia (or the Oriental realm generally)

Big Yeti, Yak Stealer or Yak Bear, Greater Migo, Nyalmo, etc

In a separate instance, I have suggested that the "One-eyed" appearance of the Mapinguari is due to having the alarm-flash eyelids that orangtans have (along with many other kinds of apes and monkeys), together with the darker space in between, the whole of the area looking like one huge eye in the middle of the face at a distance. Orangutanlike creatures are rumored also in the Philippines and Mainland South Asia, and they are sometimes described as cyclopses
Glaugco's representation of a Mapinguari compared to an orangutan

Recently, Dr Jeff Meldrum posted on his facebook [page asking about a Japanese Yokai creature called the Yama-chichi and asked if it could be considered to be the equivalent of the Bigfoot. I immediately referred him to the following link, which was the first thing that came up on a search:

Yamajijii(やまじじい)also known as Yama-chichi(there is also an entirely different Yokai with the name Yama-chichi as well),is a Yokai from Shikoku Island(the tales are very wide spread throughout the island)that is said to live in the mountains there.Most stories agree that he has a large rock-like head with one huge eye in the center of his head with a mouth full of small razor sharp teeth and a body covered in gray short-haired fur and that he can read minds(much like the Satori)and that he has a very loud voice capable of killing(with which he usually likes to challenge people to a loudness contest).There are also many stories where a Yama-jijii is kept as a pet like a hunting dog by hunters.Some stories say he is Child sized other stories say he is the size of a rather large man.Some stories say in addition to his large eye,he has another very small eye,other stories say he has only one eye,one arm,and one leg.Some stories say he is a peace-full nature loving creature,other stories say he will take away animals and small children to eat.
Here's my Yama-jijii action figure.I sculpted his rock-like head from clay over a CTVT Cochise head.His body is a Castaway tan (original flesh) colored body which I sculpted on fur with the clay.I painted all sculpted parts with acrylic paints and sealed with Modpodge.

And it just so happens that this one-eyed creature is listed as one of the traditional creatures equated to the Hibagon or Yeti-like creature that is being reported more recently in Japan. Dr Meldrum's original posting was a smaller copy of this book being highlighted on one of the internet sites:

Yama-chichi kills man in sleep

  • Creator(s): Takehara, Shunsensai, fl. 1789-1817, artist
  • Related Names:
    Tōkaen, Michimaro, fl. 1808-1841 , author
  • Date Created/Published: [1841]
  • Medium: 1 print (2 pages) : woodcut, color.
  • Summary: Ukiyo-e print illustration showing scene from traditional tale in which a Yeti-like creature inhales the life force from sleeping travelers; opposite page contains text; covers from other volumes also shown.

  • -The "Stealing of Breath" I take to be an allusion to sleep apnea. Here is a fuller account from a site specialising in Japanese Folklore:

    What the Yama-chichi Observed

    Mukashi mukashi, there was a cooper in a certain place. While he was working outside one morning after it had snowed, a frightful monster with only one eye and one leg appeared from the mountain and stood in front of the cooper. Seeing him, the cooper began to tremble and thought, "This must be the thing called a yama-chichi, which I have heard about in stories for a long time." The apparition then said, "Say, Cooper, you're thinking I must be the thing called a yama-chichi, aren't you?" The cooper thought, "How awful. He observes right away what I think." Then the monster said, "Say, cooper, you think it is awful because I observe right away what you think, don't you?" After that whatever the cooper thought was observed until he was quite confounded. With nothing he could do about it, the man kept at his work, trembling violently all the time. Suddenly his numb hands slipped accidentally. The bamboo hoop sprang out in front of him and slapped the yama-chichi in the face. The yama-chichi was taken by surprise. "These human beings are dangerous because they sometimes do things they are not thinking about," he declared. "There is no telling what will happen if I stay here." He went stumping pell-mell back to the mountains.
    --From the Kyōdo Kenkyū, Vol. II. Collected in Tottori.

    There is actually another bakemono [Folktale] called yama-chichi, which does not have the same description as this mind-reading monster. The alternate yama-chichi is a monster that appears when people are sleeping, and sucks the life out of their mouths. It is also said that if one awakens while the yama-chichi is draining another of his energy, then the energy drained before that point is transfered to the person who awakens.
    [This is thus a form of Night Hag or Nightmare. To confuse things further, "Chichi" is Japanese slang for a women's breasts-DD]

    The appearance of the Night-Hag Yamachichi would appear to be based on an orangutan like ape though, the resemblance is quite striking. And if a one-eyed Wildman is meant to describe a sort of an orangutan, then the two Yamachichis could be variant traditions describing the ure seemt the same as the lesser Yeti or the more apeklike Skunk Ape.

    But the "Mindreading" capabilities are borroed from stories of a more standard wildman, the Satori
    Satori also means "Enlightenment", but the theory has been advanced that in the case of the Wildmen, the name is a transcription of the name used by European missionaries, "Satyrus"and it could be that its supposed mental powers arose from a pun (parallel instances could be cited). At this point I do not need to argue whether Bigfoots are or are not psychic, all I am interested in is what are the creatures supposed to lok like.
    Below are a couple of recent toys said to represent tradional Wildmen, the one on the left is called a Satori and the one on the right is said to be a "Bearman" (The traditional name in Tibet and China)

    The Satori is more of a transplanted Central-Asiatic Almas in that it is more of a hairy human. Depictions of it run from little different from an ordinary monkey (Richard Freeman shows such a print in his Yokai dictionary) up to very nearly human (possibly meaning to depict human-halfbreeds) such as in the case of the "Satori" depicted below:

    Sekien Satori, From Wikipedia

    Sekien Oni in cave, eating some furry varmint, from Wikipedia
    "Cannibal Giants" fall into a different category; in Japan they are known as Onis. Since they seem to be to some low degree as cultural animals, the real creatures the legends are based on are more probably like the Siberian Chuchuunas

    Oni (?) are creatures from Japanese folklore, variously translated as demons, devils, ogres or trolls. They are popular characters in Japanese art, literature and theatre.[1]
    Depictions of oni vary widely but usually portray them as hideous, gigantic creatures with sharp claws, wild hair, and two horns growing from their heads.[2] They are humanoid for the most part, but occasionally, they are shown with unnatural features such as odd numbers of eyes or extra fingers and toes.[3] Their skin may be any number of colors, but red and blue are particularly common.4][5]


    In sum, I would suggest that in addition to the standard Sasquatch (?Gigantopithecus) type familiar enough in both Eastern Asia and Western North America, we have two other forms whose range overlaps the larger Hominid: one a type of orangutan which likes on the ground and so has very different feet (known in fossil form as "Fossil Pongo" although probably it needs a new genus  and species name) and the other a more familiar type of relic hominid like the Almas, which also has a more specialised larger form, the Chuchuuna. Both the more apelike and the more humanlike forms occur in North America and would seem to be related to creatures reported in South America. the South American apelike Mapinguariints that are different again, and once again show a specialization for arboreal life much as in the known orangutans of Indonesia.

    Best Wishes, Dale D.

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