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Haunting and beautiful Middle-Earth-like elves by artist

Icelanders Believed in Elves, But it is Probably Not What You Think

Icelanders believe in elves. They refuse to begin major construction projects unless they consult with elves first. They lobby their politicians on behalf of elf colonies. They run “elf schools” and...
East Meets West: Little Red Riding Hood Versus Japan’s Okuri-Inu

East Meets West: Little Red Riding Hood Versus Japan’s Okuri-Inu

Throughout history the dark of the night has always brought fear. The quiet forests, roads or paths were a place where imagination would run wild as to what goes bump in the night. In the West,...
From the same 1429 Persian manuscript. Sañjīvaka/Schanzabeh.

What Pearls of Wisdom are Held in the Animal Tales of the Panchatantra?

The Panchatantra (which means the ‘Five Principles’ in Sanskrit) is a collection of interwoven short stories from India. The tales in the Panchatantra are told in both prose and poetry, and consist...
Why Ghosts Haunt England at Christmas but Steer Clear of America

Why Ghosts Haunt England at Christmas but Steer Clear of America

A few years ago, the Downton Abbey Christmas special featured a ouija board which communicated a message from a dead character. American reviewers were extremely puzzled by this incursion of the...
The Kusanagi: Unseen Legendary Japanese Sword

The Kusanagi: Unseen Legendary Japanese Sword

The Kusanagi-no-Tsurugi (translated as Grass-cutting Sword or Herb-quelling Sword ) is a legendary Japanese sword. This weapon, commonly referred to simply as The Kusanagi , is one of the three...