Okay, so, first off? Not all youkai necessarily eat people! We all can if we want to, and a few types of youkai need at least a bit of human flesh or blood every so often, but youkai are all different in what they need to nourish themselves!
Kogasa is a type of youkai who doesn’t need to eat physical stuff at all! Every youkai is dependent on human fear to exist, but Kogasa lives only from the surprise she causes! I don’t really understand it myself, but I think it’s a little like youkai have a sort of shared supply of fear, but Kogasa’s more like a god because she needs a certain kind of more personal acknowledgement? I think that’s because she’s a tsukumogami! The reason she’s alive is because of the little gods that live in everything after all!
Actually, I’m pretty similar to that myself! As a yamabiko, I was never a type of youkai people really feared! I was there to make the echoes, like how Miss Aki makes the leaves go red. Pretty god-like, too, right? So I don’t really have to eat humans at all! All I need to live is sound and the emotion carried through it. A happily shouted greeting, a child crying… Or music! Nothing is better than some good music! Nothing! Not even the screams of humans in the morning! (Although that does hold a special place in my heart! Guess I’m a youkai after all, oops!) (haha!)
Aaah, this is another big one…
I actually just remembered this recently after some meditation. I think it might be my first memory. I don’t know if I was born that moment or if I’d always been there and just gained consciousness then, but all I can remember is what I first heard, and then saw.
A scream went through the mountains I found myself in. I took it in, and the voice was so full of anguish… It’s like I was shaken awake from the slumber of my non-existence. The pain coursed through me and filled up my being, a pain that I wasn’t old enough yet to understand or to bear, and I spit it out again, letting the wail echo through the valley.
My eyes opened for the first time as I looked around me to see the source of the scream.
An old human was leaning against a tree. He was breathing heavily and covered in sweat. I didn’t realize until then that it was a very hot day. Some of it might have been tears.
I tried listening to him, but that scream was the last burst of emotion he had in him. It looked like he had been struggling for a while.
All I could make out at first was mumbling. His head kept lazily moving about like it was torn by strings as he muttered to himself, about his leg, his wife and daughter, the village, how far away it is, the pain in his leg again, his wife, his daughter, how he has to keep going, how he… can’t.
At that point, he noticed me standing by him. His eyes didn’t focus and he didn’t look up, but he noticed me.
“Yuiko”, he said. “Yuiko, is that you?”
“I’m so glad”, he said, coughing quietly, “to see you.”
“Go to your mother, love…”
“Tell her I… won’t be long…”
That was the last thing he uttered as his face went limp with every word until it became silent forever.
It was long ago and I had barely gained sapience by that point, so it was hard to remember… but now that I did, I don’t think I’ll ever forget. I wonder what became of Yuiko and her mother… …
But yeah, he died!
So I figured I might as well eat him.
Wasn’t all that great.
Well first of all the whole language thing is pretty important! Remember what I said about how all youkai have different strengths and weaknesses? Learning a language is all about listening and repeating, and I’m all about listening and repeating!!! That’s how I picked up a bunch of languages pretty quickly once I got the hang of this whole internet business so now I’m able to have versions of this blog in Chinese and German and French and all sorts of other languages!
But okaaay I have to admit… It’s kinda about PR and stuff, too? I mean! Like it or not, us youkai are still bound to how humans see us! At least a little! So part of my important duties in this temple is to fight a holy war against bad youkai rep! Which - which I guess means I’m supposed to be cute! Being cute is cool, too! Don’t disrespect, y’all!
We actually considered Murasa-san for local representation because she’s actually more good with words than I am but that kinda went down the drain because I guess people usually don’t seem to be super-pleased to meet her?
(One time Mamizou suggested that we could do wonders for our public image if we used our powers of Buddhism to turn the temple into a cafe. Byakuren-sama almost had a heart-attack!)
(Hey, you! Yeah, you! I reopened the ask box! There’s still a couple of things I plan to get out of the way first, but if any questions have come up already, feel free to shoot them my way! Perhaps your question will change the course of destiny.)
First we’ve gotta clarify what Buddhism even is! It’s an old and widespread belief system, so of course it became crazy complex over time, with a whole bunch of different branches forming everywhere! At its core, Buddhism is about gaining an true understanding of the world, about how all life is connected and everything is one. This understanding helps you let go of your craving, which is the source of all suffering, and thus allows you to leave the eternal cycle of rebirth when you die and enter a state of carefree nothingness that’s known as “Nirvana”.
That’s pretty much the case for Youkai Buddhism as well! We’re just one of many branches in the end! Like I said, a lot of those have formed over time with some pretty different ideas about stuff! For instance:
“Tariki” means relying on someone else’s strength to gain enlightenment. Believers in this idea think that you can only gain enlightenment by worshipping those who got there, chanting koans and all that! “Jiriki” means using your own strength, like using meditation to calm your mind and broaden your perspective! But that doesn’t even mean that the two are mutually exclusive!
You guys probably don’t want to hear all the details (you probably have, like, human things to attend to), but to get the basics of what’s special about Youkai Buddhism, you’ve also gotta understand what a youkai is! You probably know that youkai were inadvertently created by humans to fill a void in their understanding of the world, right? Since we’re the result of humans asking questions, you could say that we’re essentially their answers. So a youkai is put into the world with a purpose at their core.
According to Byakuren-sama, youkai are a lot like gods! The main difference is in the way humans perceive us and in what we take from them, I think. Kanako-san also claimed that gods are different because they can willfully change their own identities. But the youkai of Gensokyo have already been taking on a life of their own and becoming more independent of humans! So there you have it!
The main purpose of Youkai Buddhism is to help people change so they can find a new place in the world that’s easier to reconcile with the Buddhist ideals and makes it possible to gain enlightenment! Byakuren says that us youkai are more pure-hearted… or rather, more simple and straight-forward, than humans. That means we are closer to enlightenment because we have fewer carnal cravings and we’re less two-faced about it than humans, but it also makes it harder to get there because that craving kinda is what we are! And some of our purposes are a little easier to deal with than others.
Every youkai is different from the next in the way they think, so while we all follow Byakuren-sama and do prayer and chant sutras(!), the actual bulk of our work as disciples leans heavily towards jiriki! We have to meditate a lot and study up on different Buddhist teachings to find what works best for us! It’s pretty rough though! Because we all live so long and our identity is still bound to the way people see us, changing is really hard and we constantly have to repeat everything so that it actually sticks (and repeating stuff is so boriiiing the books don’t even make sounds I mean come on)!
Some of us are better at learning some things and others are better with others depending on their strengths, of course. It’s hard work, but at least we’re appreciated! Sanae dropped by to visit recently and she said we reminded her of the class for special kids they had at her school. I thought that was pretty nice of her!
So this blog is back and the best part of it is Kyouko comically puffing up her chest
what is this? ask blog fanart?
The secret to puffing up your chest is to do it with GUSTO!! !!
Like a GUST O’ WIND! Ahahahaha!!
Writing haikus is pretty fun, but greeting a new day with a good shout is where it’s at y’all!! !!
[OOC: What’s up, everyone! This is the administration speaking!
It’s been a while, hasn’t it? The winter has been long and the desire for spring to arrive is great.
With a new year come many new changes. I hope to be able to let Kyouko speak to all of you again in the months to come.
Consistent updates to this blog will be a great change already, but it won’t be the only one. To lay the groundwork for the future of Kyouko on this blog, I’ll be focusing on a select few old asks first, so for that reason, I’ll close the ask box again tonight. After that, any old asks that I didn’t respond to will probably have to remain unanswered as I focus on new impulses. I apologize for all my wonderful followers whose questions will go unanswered due to my tardiness!
Let this be the last apology. Rise and shine and meet the coming of a new spring with no regrets!
- Fawriel ]