Bonus Near Year’s Yokai: Byakko

Here’s a special holiday treat for you: a bonus yokai!

This is Byakko, the white tiger. It’s got a lot of cultural significance in Chinese astrology (which was imported to Japan from China, like many things). I’m not familiar with any particular stories or myths about Byakko, other than that it represents the west in Chinese astrology.

This picture will be our New Year’s card, or nengajo. It seemed a sin, being an artist, to just buy ordinary New Year’s card, particularly because nengajo are kind of the equivalent of the “Christmas letter” which many families in the US send. They’re not as long, being a postcard rather than many sheets of printed out paper on corny stationery, but they often have photos of the kids or the family, updates, and things like that. So ours will be entirely void of valuable information and instead just be a giant white tiger. Oh yeah, and 2010 is the Year of the Tiger, which is why I picked Byakko. So there you go.


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