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Hi, I'm new round here. I just started watching Inuyasha about a month ago and got hooked on it.

Since getting into it I've become curious about Japanese folklore and how much of the stuff in the series is based on actual myth and legend. I've grown up entirely on Celtic mythology (Dad is Scottish), and I found the look at an entirely different culture fascinating.

From reading the Wikipedia entry I noticed that some things, like Inuyasha's robes, were carefully done to represent the actual clothing worn back then, and I wondered how much else in the series was based on actual beliefs of the era.

From what I've been able to find out I'm guessing that Youkai doesn't actually translate to the Christian idea of demons and Hell, correct me if I'm wrong, but are more almost fey creatures? But then again if a priest or priestess can "purify" them are they supposed to be real demons? Not that I know much about the Shinto religion either (I was brought up as a Christian), anything anyone knows about that I'd be interested to learn about as well. Is Japan actually predominantly Buddhist/Shinto?

Is the fact that Sesshoumaru looks more like an elf than a dog supposed to represent what Youkai were supposed to look like or is it entirely created for the series? I'm guessing stuff like Inuyasha's sword and the special attacks etc are just fantasy creations but I'm curious as to what power Youkai were supposed to have.

Does anyone have any links to information on Youkai in folklore or know anything about them? I couldn't find that much, probably because I was searching in English hehe. I'd be interested to see what people know.

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