It’s Sho-Time: Introducing the legendary Shōjō

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It's Sho-Time: Introducing the legendary Shōjō


As quite a few of us patiently approach the finish of “Dry January”, we assumed it would be a nice plan to introduce just one of our favourite characters from Japanese legend, The Shōjō.

(As usually with our shorter-tales, you can click on on any of the images under to get a closer glance at the product shown.)

The Shōjō is a mythological Japanese Spirit, identifiable by their vivid pink hair and their appreciate of alcoholic beverages. Irrespective of typically depicted as female in look, Shōjō are actually genderless and are for that reason referred to as “they.” Legend has it that Shōjō reside around to the sea and as this kind of, they are usually related with Sailors.


A lacquered wood depiction of Shojo sitting atop a large Sake jar.


Shōjō are normally jovial, helpful figures who get pleasure from dancing. They can understand human language and even communicate on their own applying a handful of words. They are usually tranquil spirits who revel in foolish drunken conduct, singing and commonly enjoying daily life. Regardless of their jolly conduct, it is imagined that they are quite clever and often display kindness to human beings.

As with several Japanese figures, creatures, Spirits and Deities, The Shōjō have their origins in Chinese legend. The Chinese title is Xing-Xing or Sheng Sheng.


A dancing Shōjō portrayed on the panel of a wonderful Japanese, Meiji-period Shodana 



In Japan, the term “Shōjō” has designed several various meanings above time. Shōjō can necessarily mean “School girl” with “Shōjō Managa” becoming a common genre of intimate comedian guide aimed at teenage girls. With the diacritics taken off, “Shojo” is also the word utilized for a female virgin. The well-known pink Acer trees often depicted in Japanese artwork are recognised as “Shojo Namuma”


Noble females standing underneath the boughs of a vivid Acer tree


“Shojo” and the Chinese equal “Xing-Xing” is also applied to describe the Orangutan in both Chinese and Japanese language. Probably influenced by the dazzling red hair and typically comical appearance.

In Japanes mythology, Shōjō take many unique kinds. They are sometimes depicted as a female character with extensive purple hair and classy robes. Generally this depiction is witnessed hiding among Sake bottles or is asleep after possibly partaking in one particular way too quite a few libations.


A box-wooden Netuske of a sleepy Shōjō


In ancient Japan, legend says that red dye was made from the hair of a Shōjō. It is said that a bottle of Sake was employed to lure the helpful spirit and then at the time they ended up intoxicated and sleepy, their hair would be stolen to develop the dye.

It is claimed that Shōjō are outstanding brewers of alcoholic beverages and that they distil a pretty fantastic “Brine Wine” created from the seawater uncovered close to their coastal property. The wine is considered to have magical attributes. If a great, variety, respectable individual drinks it, it will be delectable but if a poor man or woman beverages the wine, then they will style poison and they may even perish.

A different usually depicted kind of Shōjō is that of a bushy, apelike creature with very long messy pink fur and a pink complexion. This is extremely probably the place the Orangutan title arrived from, or perhaps a sighting of an Orangutan was the begin of the Shōjō fantasy.


A lacquered-wood Okimono of a Shōjō. Detect the double gourd vessel on their back again, whole to the brim with wine no doubt.


A single of our favorite Shōjō tales is a Noh enjoy that tells of a humble man who bought his dwelling-brewed Sake at the area market place.

A Shōjō disguised as a human took a liking to the wine and ordered a big quantity to consume there and then. They someway drank it all devoid of ever turning out to be red-faced. The Shōjō returned on a quantity of occasions, usually making the most of the mans wine.

Just after a though, the two turned friends and the Shōjō at last uncovered its true id to the humble service provider. The variety spirit invited the male to its seaside residence and the two partied and drank alongside one another enjoying the most marvellous time.

Last but not least the after-very poor Sake vendor returned residence to obtain that his wine vat would often magically fill itself. A present from his drinking buddy, the Shōjō.


A different appear at this included jar exhibiting a Shōjō guarding a coated jar of Sake.


We hope you have enjoyed reading through this story. For much more articles influenced by our assortment of Chinese and Japanese Fantastic Artwork and Antiques, check out our News and Blog site website page by clicking right here.