Vlad the Impaler
Vlad III, Prince of Wallachia (1431–1476/77), was a member of the House of Drăculești, a branch of the House of Basarab, also referred to nowadays as Dracula. He was posthumously dubbed Vlad the Impaler (Romanian: Vlad Țepeș), and was a three-time Voivode of Wallachia, ruling mainly from 1456 to 1462, the period of the incipient Ottoman conquest of the Balkans. His father, Vlad II Dracul, was a member of the Order of the Dragon, which was founded to protect Christianity in Eastern Europe. Vlad III is revered as a folk hero in Romania as well as other parts of Europe for his protection of the Romanian population both south and north of the Danube. A significant number of Romanian and Bulgarian common folk and remaining boyars (nobles) moved north of the Danube to Wallachia, recognized his leadership and settled there following his raids on the Ottomans. As the cognomen ‘The Impaler’ suggests, his practice of impaling his enemies is part of his historical reputation. During his lifetime, his reputation for excessive cruelty spread abroad, to Germany and elsewhere in Europe. The name of the vampire Count Dracula in Bram Stoker’s 1897 novel Dracula was inspired by Vlad’s patronymic. || My edit
5 Most Important Japanese Design Concepts
(Wabi-Sabi, Iki, Kanketsu, Ma, Mono-no-Aware ) xx
Outside Saint Patrick’s Cathedral, Easter morning, New York, 1903
The Book Thief (2013)
Edit by me || Transparent
“You cannot be afraid, Read the book. Smile at it. It’s a great book-the greatest book you’ve ever read.” ― Markus Zusak, The Book Thief
There is no doubting that dolls are creepy. Those big bug-like eyes are enough to turn the stomach. But what about a doll possessed by a girl’s ghost? Introducing the Okiku doll, named after the doll’s first owner. The doll is quite big—40 centimeters (1’3″) in height—wears a kimono, and has hair that grows. Yes. Hair that grows.The Okiku doll can be found at the Mannenji temple in Iwamizawa, in Hokkaido prefecture. When the doll first appeared in the temple it had cropped hair, but over the years the hair has grown like a hippie’s—to a whopping 25 centimeters (10 in). According to some, the hair is annually trimmed.The legend goes that a teenage boy bought the doll for his two-year-old sister, Okiku. Okiku loved the doll; she played with it every day, dressed it up, spoke to it. Tragically, their friendship was short-lived: The girl died. Her family refused to get rid of the doll. After some time, they noticed its hair was growing, so they concluded that the spirit of their daughter resided within the doll. In 1938, they made the executive decision to hand the doll over to the temple, where it remains to this very day.
Gilles de Rais
Gilles de Montmorency-Laval (prob. c. September 1405 – 26 October 1440), Baron de Rais, was a lord from Brittany, Anjou and Poitou, a leader in the French army, and a companion-in-arms of Joan of Arc. He is best known for his (disputed) reputation and later conviction as a presumed serial killer of children. A member of the House of Montmorency-Laval, Gilles de Rais grew up under the tutelage of his maternal grandfather and increased his fortune by marriage. He earned the favour of the Duke of Brittany and was admitted to the French court. From 1427 to 1435, Gilles served as a commander in the Royal Army, and fought alongside Joan of Arc against the English and their Burgundian allies during the Hundred Years’ War, for which he was appointed Marshal of France. In 1434/1435, he retired from military life, depleted his wealth by staging an extravagant theatrical spectacle of his own composition, and was accused of dabbling in the occult. After 1432 Gilles was accused of engaging in a series of child murders, with victims possibly numbering in the hundreds. The killings came to an end in 1440, when a violent dispute with a clergyman led to an ecclesiastical investigation which brought the crimes to light, and attributed them to Gilles. At his trial the parents of missing children in the surrounding area and Gilles’ own confederates in crime testified against him. Gilles was condemned to death and hanged at Nantes on 26 October 1440. Gilles de Rais is believed to be the inspiration for the 1697 fairy tale “Bluebeard” (“Barbebleu”) by Charles Perrault. His life is the subject of several modern novels, and referenced in a number of rock bands’ albums and songs.
The Teke Teke (also known as Tek-Tek) is a Japanese urban legend about the ghost of a young woman, or school girl, who fell on a rail way line and was cut in half by the oncoming train. Now a vengeful spirit (Onryō), she carries a scythe or a saw and travels on either her hand or elbows, her dragging upper torso making a scratching or ‘teke teke’ sound. If she encounters anyone at night and the victim is not fast enough, she will slice them in half at the torso, mimicking her own disfigurement. x
(original Greek Μαρία ἡ Μαγδαληνή), or Mary of Magdala and sometimes The Magdalene, is a religious figure in Christianity. She is usually thought of as the second-most important woman in the New Testament after Mary, the mother of Jesus. Mary Magdalene travelled with Jesus as one of his followers. She was present at Jesus’ two most important moments: the crucifixion and the resurrection. Within the four Gospels, the oldest historical record mentioning her name, she is named at least 12 times, more than most of the apostles. The Gospel references describe her as courageous, brave enough to stand by Jesus in his hours of suffering, death and beyond.
In the New Testament, Jesus cleansed her of “seven demons”,[Lk. 8:2] [Mk. 16:9] sometimes interpreted as referring to complex illnesses. Mary was most prominent during Jesus’ last days. When Jesus was crucified by the Romans, Mary Magdalene was there supporting him in his final moments and mourning his death. She stayed with him at the cross after the other disciples (except John the Beloved) had fled. She was at his burial, and she is the only person that all four Gospels say was first to realize that Jesus had risen and to testify to that central teaching of faith. John 20 and Mark 16:9 specifically name her as the first person to see Jesus after his resurrection. She was there at the "beginning of a movement that was going to transform the West". She was the "Apostle to the Apostles", an honorific that fourth-century orthodox theologian Augustine gave her and that others earlier had possibly conferred on her. Throughout the centuries there have been many extra-biblical speculations about her role before and after she met Jesus. These have included theories presenting her as a harlot, the secret lover or wife of Jesus and/or the mother of their child, and leader among the women following Jesus, similar to the role of Simon Peter among the men. Mary Magdalene is considered to be a saint by the Catholic, Orthodox, Anglican and Lutheran churches—with a feast day of July 22. Other Protestant churches honor her as a heroine in the faith. The Eastern Orthodox churches also commemorate her on the Sunday of the Myrrhbearers, the Orthodox equivalent of one of the Western Three Marys traditions.
Great Wall of China
The Great Wall of China is a series of fortifications made of stone, brick, tamped earth, wood, and other materials, generally built along an east-to-west line across the historical northern borders of China in part to protect the Chinese Empire or its prototypical states against intrusions by various nomadic groups or military incursions by various warlike peoples or forces. Several walls were being built as early as the 7th century BC; these, later joined together and made bigger and stronger, are now collectively referred to as the Great Wall. Especially famous is the wall built between 220–206 BC by the first Emperor of China, Qin Shi Huang. Little of that wall remains. Since then, the Great Wall has on and off been rebuilt, maintained, and enhanced; the majority of the existing wall is from the Ming Dynasty. Other purposes of the Great Wall have included border controls, allowing the imposition of duties on goods transported along the Silk Road, regulation or encouragement of trade and the control of immigration and emigration. Furthermore, the defensive characteristics of the Great Wall were enhanced by the construction of watch towers, troop barracks, garrison stations, signaling capabilities through the means of smoke or fire, and the fact that the path of the Great Wall also served as a transportation corridor. The main Great Wall line stretches from Shanhaiguan in the east, to Lop Lake in the west, along an arc that roughly delineates the southern edge of Inner Mongolia. A comprehensive archaeological survey, using advanced technologies, has concluded that the Ming walls measure 8,850 km (5,500 mi). This is made up of 6,259 km (3,889 mi) sections of actual wall, 359 km (223 mi) of trenches and 2,232 km (1,387 mi) of natural defensive barriers such as hills and rivers. Another archaeological survey found that the entire wall with all of its branches measure out to be 21,196 km (13,171 mi).
Eugenics (from Greek eu, meaning “good/well”, and -genēs, meaning “born”) is the belief and practice of improving the genetic quality of the human population. It is a social philosophy advocating the improvement of human genetic traits through the promotion of higher reproduction of people with desired traits (positive eugenics), and reduced reproduction of people with less-desired or undesired traits (negative eugenics).
Matsuo Kouzan in northern Japan used to be the biggest sulfur mine in the Far East, but it closed in 1972. Today, the only things that remain of it are the abandoned apartment complexes that were used by the mine’s workers, cut off from the rest of the world high in the mountains. Those abandoned buildings, however, are not what make the Matsuo mine truly creepy — it’s the fact that you can’t even see them through the ghostly mist that envelops the place like an ethereal death shroud.Legends say that if you wander into the mist, you’ll stub your toe something wicked. At one time 15,000 people lived here. Now it’s deserted. It seems that despite having been closed down, the Matsuo mine is still pretty operational, though instead of sulfur it now produces a tingling feeling of dread clawing out from deep within your immortal soul.
The town by the name of Matsuo is located in northern Japan. Once this area was prosperous and the town housed a population of around 15,000 people. For the last 40 years, however, not a soul has lived here, leaving the abandoned remains of several apartment buildings. The original town was built up to support a sulfur mine that opened up way back in 1914. This was, in fact, the largest sulfur mine in all of East Asia. The operation lasted in 1969, at which point the mine was closed and the workers, along with their families, moved on to other places. During its time, more than 4000 workers lived in Matsuo, along with their families. Now, the remains of 11 apartment blocks sit atop this mountain region, shrouded in mist so thick that people often have a hard time finding the place. Devoid of life, these abandoned shells of another time provide a reflection of the lives that were once lived here. Each building is four stories tall and designed in a very systematic and functional way. There are rooms for every purpose that an industrial population might need - single workers, married workers and workers with families.