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Oh Hai, We Haz Punkins!

I spent far too much time on these last night. The smaller pumpkin was more like a gourd: hard as wood. I had to add a Phillips-head screwdriver to my pumpkin-carving tools, to drill pilot holes for the little pumpkin saw-blade tool we got in a kit a couple years back.

No flash, hand-held camera (hence the blurring). The big pumpkin was designed by the Young Lady, who drew it on with a Sharpie marker. I carved it - that's far more like my usual pumpkin-carving technique. The little one is far simpler because the shell was so tough.

By flash ... you can see the aluminum foil I use inside behind the candles as a reflector, to make the jacks shine more brightly.

In related news, the Washington Post had an article on youkai this morning

Godzilla's Older, Creepier Cousins: Beings Such as Filth Licker Haunt Japanese Culture

With an added video feature: 'Yokai' Make for a Scary Halloween in Japan

(telophase, is the book they mention in the article the one that you were ordering?)


( 12 comments — Leave a comment )
(Deleted comment)
Oct. 31st, 2008 10:45 pm (UTC)

Indeed! Even with my current issues, I certainly haven't got quite that large a contrast in sizes ... !

Oct. 31st, 2008 01:32 pm (UTC)
Yokai Attack! is the one I reviewed a couple of weeks back. The one Amazon dumped at my doorstep this week that I'm only a chapter into and which is more scholarly is Pandemonium and Parade: Japanese Monsters and the Culture of Yokai by Michael Dylan Foster. :)
Oct. 31st, 2008 10:47 pm (UTC)

Aha! Thanks for the clarification!

I love it when the different parts of my world come together ... youkai in the Post!

Oct. 31st, 2008 07:33 pm (UTC)
Those pumpkins are lovely! Happy Halloween :)
Oct. 31st, 2008 10:48 pm (UTC)

Awww, thanks! Happy Halloween!

Oct. 31st, 2008 11:00 pm (UTC)
Cute! Do you get a decent batch of trick-or-treaters? That's one thing I've missed a lot in recent years, not doing anything fun for Halloween, either the costume-party circuit or just handing out candy. I'm not even sure how you could signal 'em in a building like this with no porch lights, and even a jack-o-lantern at the door wouldn't be visible from the sidewalk...

The video was cute, but I'm a little sad the clips they showed from Japan were mostly just store displays and what looked like kids at a school party -- I was really hoping for more of an all-ages costume explosion like the big Halloween parades... (Love the vampire husky in the video!) And I've seen some amazing traditional youkai costumes in both the Japanese parades and a few creative Western cosplayers, which really, really is not helping with my urge to do that Mononoke-based noppera-bo cosplay...
Nov. 1st, 2008 01:06 am (UTC)

LOL - I was so tickled to get youkai in the Post at all that I wasn't going to be choosy about the multimedia.

We're getting a fair number of trick-or-treaters. I think some of them are only doing houses their parents know, though - I hear more noise outside than knocks on the door. But our big candy basket (the Mr.'s biggest split-oak market basket) is a little more than half down. He gave out a lot of it before I got home, and then vanished down to the comparative peace of the idiot box almost as soon as I showed up.

I'm surprising myself by being really talkative with the kids this year. And I had a pair of teenaged sisters, one of whom was dressed as the female lead from Sweeney Todd (complete with a pie) sing for me in exchange for extra candy.

Some of those costumes were really great, on those links!

(So did you read my big Eleanor story? And did you see she's doing flashfics as Halloween trick-or-treat? I got one!)

Nov. 1st, 2008 02:32 am (UTC)
Oh, if you want great costumes, have you seen this youkai group from a parade? (I think telophase might have posted a link last year...) The lady kappa in kimono is ASTONISHING, and there's a child noppera-bo who's pretty damn chilling even though her no-face mask isn't quite skin-textured. That one's part of why I'm so buzzed at the thought of the Mononoke cosplay, even though you only see O-chou without her face for a few seconds it's marvelously unsettling. (Well, it creeps me out, but maybe that's just me being raised on mujina stories...noppera-bo followed the Japanese immigrants to Hawai'i.)

And yes, eeee, what a treat! I need to reread that a few more times before I'm coherent enough to comment on it...
Nov. 7th, 2008 03:24 pm (UTC)
(Japanese youkai costumes)

Those were indeed some fine costumes. Quite frankly, the little noppera-bo girl was unnerving enough that the problem with the face mask doesn't matter - you simply don't see it in the first horrified seconds.

It's the same effect we exploited when we did Guys and Dolls in high school. The stripper girls were wearing flesh-colored spaghetti-strap leotards under their evening gowns, and we had stitched double spirals of sequins over their busts and 4-inch fringe along the hips, contoured to dip lower in the front. It was good enough to make the audience gasp, shriek, and squeal for the first seconds after the dresses came off, even though they realized what was really going on by the 5-second mark.

Nov. 8th, 2008 04:58 am (UTC)
Re: (Japanese youkai costumes)
Oh, good, so the creepy effect even works without childhood conditioning to spooky obake tales? Excellent. ;) *rubs hands and plots*

The Mononoke arc is only two episodes -- here and here; I was just re-watching it recently and oh, how I love this series, it's just so *dense* with imagery and symbolism that it really just gets richer with repeat viewing, so you can pay more attention to the details. This time I was really struck by how consistently the imagery of plum blossom, butterflies and clouds are laced throughout the entire thing -- reviewers have noted the recurring elements of masks, and the ume thing in particular because it's so heavily used here and has an obvious link to her mother's family name, but the other elements are subtly woven throughout it all as well -- right from the beginning, as in Ochou's very first appearance where the narrator is recounting her crimes, her kimono is patterned with butterflies and ume, while her obi is printed with clouds.
Nov. 1st, 2008 08:47 am (UTC)
Oh, look what I just stumbled across randomly link surfing -- the authors of Yokai Attack! visit the shrine in Kappa-boshi!

Searching For Kappa In Tokyo
Nov. 7th, 2008 03:24 pm (UTC)
(authors at Kappa-boshi)


( 12 comments — Leave a comment )


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