Burning Gaze on Troubled Water ~ Lines

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Art and Haiku by StarTwo

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Cherry Tree Petals make way to a fated encounter.

Japan is known for the beautiful blooming cherry trees and the subsequent viewings of such an event.
A long time ago, going under the cherry trees while the beautiful petals were falling was considered dangerous, as one could risk insanity and the laws of physics could bend as the physical form could dissolve and somehow create an open way to the unexplained and the impossible to convey by common sense.

Cherry blossom petals become witnesses as they dance in the wind to the moment where a burning gaze troubles the most serene surface of water.

“Cherry Trees blossom
Petals swirl perilously
Befallen folly”

In our own haiku and illustration we represent the moment the cherry petals have done their deed and sealed the encounter of two people – the viewer, carrying a burning gaze and the girl, whose surface has been disturbed- we are left with the freedom to wonder what will happen next.

★stay safe and stay inspired★

Illustration Details – Snow and Goat’s feet

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Art by StarTwo

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Yuki Onna: Full Illustration and Lines

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The Goat-Footed Lady: Full Illustration and Lines

Today we bring back two details of the illustrations we’ve done for the very different folktales of two dangerous ladies, wouldn’t wish you to meet any of them…

★Stay safe and stay inspired★

A Japanese Folk Tale: Okiku ~ Lines

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Lines for Okiku, the wronged maiden of the ten plates

Hair and more hair, that’s what can be summarized from the illustration of Okiku, twists and turns made quite the therapy to carefully ink and “sculpt”.

In case you missed it, the coloured finished version and her ghostly story is waiting for you at a previous post: A Japanese Folk Tale: Okiku.

★Have a great week and stay inspired!★

A Japanese Folk Tale: Okiku

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The relief of the word “ten”

Okiku or “Banchou Sarayashiki” (The Dish Mansion at Banchou) is one of the most popular ghost stories in Japan and as expected, has several versions. Within all of them we settled for its folk version.

The story tells us of a beautiful girl serving a samurai called Aoyama Tessan, who constantly made advances towards her and every time was met with refusal.
Tired of her resistance, he plotted to make her accept him through a cruel plan where he accused her of losing one of the family treasures, a Delftware plate from a set of ten.
Haunted by the terrifying fate of such an offence -none other than death itself- Okiku desperately counted the plates time after time but to no avail as there was no tenth plate, no matter how many times she recounted them.
Under the guilt she confessed to Aoyama, in tears, and was received with an offer of him disregarding her wrongdoing if she gave in and became his lover. Okiku once again refused him, and this infuriated him to the point of throwing her down a well as punishment and killed her.

The story says that due to that unfair death, Okiku turned into a ghost who haunted her murderer. Counting up to nine, then shrieking loudly, agonizing, unable to find the missing plate.
It is told that her haunting was broken by an exorcist who shouted “ten”, just before her shriek after her usual count. Finally finishing the set and releasing her from the fixation on the missing plate.

Other versions involve the anger of a jealous wife, another one where she finds out a plot from her master against his lord and contributing to dismantling it, unfortunately all the versions have her die and return as a ghost.

The most romantic version is where Okiku is actually guilty of breaking the plate, hoping that her lover proves his devotion for her, but instead she is killed when confessing that it was intentional. When appearing as a ghost, the beauty and calm displayed on her face instead of ugly and vengeful feelings reaches out and touches his heart, leading him to commit suicide (seppuku) to join her in death.
Romantic?… Yes.
Right-minded?… Well, Love and Passion are complicated matters. We’ll just leave it at that.

★Stay inspired★

A Japanese Folk Tale: Dodomeki ~ Lines

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We previously shared a teaser and then the finished illustration of our original vision of the youkai Dodomeki , and today we want to share with you the lines under the colours.

Lines have been done traditionally in ink with a mix of pens and a brush pen. The slight colour has been done digitally.

★Stay inspired!★

Japan Day Fan Girl

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Hello everyone,
Here’s an illustration that we did back in the day, specifically for celebrating Japan’s Day here in Portugal.
This one alludes to Japanese Fan Dancing, which has always been something quite beautiful to watch. The patterns and colours that invite your eyes to dance along with such graceful and calculated motions that the dancer and the fan start confusing your notion where one ends and the other begins. It’s truly fascinating when done by those who master it!

★Have a great weekend and stay inspired!★

A Japanese Folk Tale: Yuki Onna Wip

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In fear of the Yuki Onna’s wrath from knowing we have two Japanese Yuki Onna themed movies lined up but haven’t come around to watch them, we thought it would be a good idea to share with you the sketch stage of the Yuki Onna illustration as an appeasing resource (inking and light colouring was done digitally).

The weather is also getting better over here, which makes us wonder: do Yuki Onna yokai hibernate during spring?…

★Have a great weekend and stay inspired!★