Tricky Spirit

One of the things that I like about Japanese culture are the different spirits and demons that can be interwoven in everyday settings. They can be big or small, and it's fun having been to Japan to see that there are shrines all over dedicated to them. For example, when visiting a garden in Tokyo that used to be the shogun's private residence, my wife and I found a preserved duck-hunting pond (hunted using falcons by the way). Tucked away in a small clearing and still well looked-after, there was a small shrine honoring the spirits of all of the ducks that were slain in the ponds. Basically there are spirits for everything. This one is a spirit that lives in thatched roofs and hay fields. It is prone to starting fires when people are being lazy. It can only be seen by those who have not slept in 24 hours, who consume a sweet pickle and stare one-eyed by the light of a candle held in the left hand. You can appease it by offering a plate of fried liver, burning incense, and whistling a tune while blindfolded.

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