Hey dude thanks for the message! glad you are digging the blog! Have you considered doing any other water creatures? such as kingyo/goldfish, fugu/puffer fish, heikegani/heike crab, namazu/catfish, you could even do a dragon or koi turning into a dragon if there is enough room, there is also ningyo which i haven’t yet made a post about which are japanese mermaids, tako/octopus… you could even do some takara zakushi elements. I guess the range is pretty broad, the main thing to keep in mind would be not to put land or sky under where you have water, obviously this wouldn’t make too much sense (sorry I don’t have much for you right now, I am half asleep lol) Hopefully some of this will trigger off some ideas for you, also remember the stories of tamatori hime and tomomori
In Japanese mythology, the Namazu (鯰) or Ōnamazu (大鯰) is a giant catfish who causes earthquakes. He lives in the mud under the islands of Japan, and is guarded by the god Kashima who restrains the catfish with a stone. When Kashima lets his guard fall, Namazu thrashes about, causing violent earthquakes. Following an earthquake near Edo (modern day Tokyo) in 1855 (one of the Ansei Great Quakes), the Namazu became worshiped as a yonaoshi daimyojin (god of world rectification).
Namazu-e (catfish prints) are a minor genre of ukiyo-e. They are usually unsigned and encompass a large variety of scenes such as a namazu forcing the wealthy to excrete coins for the poor, and a namazu atoning for the earthquake he caused.
It is believed by some that the origin of the story is the fact that catfish can sense the small tremors which happen before an earthquake, and are shown to be more active at such times. Supposedly, the sudden activity was observed in ancient times and believed the quakes to be the result of a giant catfish.
more here, with a ton of images
Monju was a disciple of the Historical Buddha, and represents wisdom, intelligence and willpower. In Mahayana traditions throughout Asia, Monju is the personification of the Buddha’s teachings, and hence Monju symbolizes wisdom and the enlightened mind. Monju is considered the wisest of the Bodhisattva, and thus acts as the Voice (Expounder) of Buddhist Law. Monju enjoyed vast popularity in Asia for many centuries. But today in China and Japan, Monju’s popularity has diminished somewhat among the common folk. Nonetheless, Monju is still counted as one of the most popular of all Mahayana divinities. In Japan, students pay homage to Monju in the hopes of passing school examinations and becoming gifted calligraphers.
Monju comes in many forms throughout Asia. In Japan, Monju is often portrayed with the Sutra of Wisdom in the left hand, a sword in the right hand to cut through illusion (to shed light on the unenlightened mind, to disperse the clouds of ignorance), and sitting atop a roaring lion, which symbolizes the voice of Buddhist Law and the power of Buddhism to overcome all obstacles. This riding-lion form is also known as the Kishi Monju Bosatsu 騎獅文殊 in Japan. Monju is frequently represented with five curls or knots (chignons) of hair, indicating the five-terraced mountain (Ch. = Wutaishan, Jp. = Godaisan) in China where Monju is venerated, or the Fivefold Wisdom of Dainichi Buddha, which corresponds to the five kinds of wisdom important to the Shingon sect, which in turn relates to the five elements of earth, water, fire, air (wind), and space (ether). Indeed, in Japan’s Esoteric sects, Monju appears in both the Womb World Mandala (Jp. = Taizōkai) and the Diamond World Mandala (Jp. = Kongōkai).
Fugen is known as the “Great Conduct” Bodhisattva, for Fugen teaches that action and conduct (behavior) are equally important as thought and meditation. Fugen encourages people to diligently practice the Buddhist precepts of charity, moral conduct, patience, and devotion. Fugen made ten vows for practicing Buddhism, and is the protector of all those who teach the Dharma (Buddhist Law).
Fugen is often depicted on an elephant (traditionally a white elephant with six tusks). The six tusks represent overcoming attachment to the six senses, while the elephant symbolizes the power of Buddhism to overcome all obstacles. In artwork ofMahayana traditions, Fugen is often shown holding the wish-fulfilling jewel or a lotus bud, but in artwork of the esoteric sects, Fugen is commonly seated on a lotus petal rather than atop an elephant.
The lotus is a symbol of purity, and in Buddhist art, Shaka Buddha (the Historical Buddha) and other Buddhist deities are often pictured sitting or standing on a lotus or holding a lotus. Although a beautiful flower, the lotus grows out of the mud at the bottom of a pond. Buddhist deities are enlightened beings who “grew” out of the “mud” of the material world. Like the lotus, they are beautiful and pure even though they grew up in the material world. Fugen, moreover, is the patron of devotees of the Lotus Sutra, and the lotus is thus fittingly one of Fugen’s main symbols.