Kaze no Kami

In Japanese folklore kaze no kami are invisible, evil spirits believed to cause sickness and suffering by travelling on, and controlling, the wind. Particularly active during spring weather, they move from place to place and home to home. When they encounter humans, they exhale toxic clouds of yellow breath, causing all who breathe it in to become ill. 

'Kaze-no-kami' - Takehara Shunsen, 1841.

Weather conditions in Japan during spring (humid air, dust, wind and temperature changes) were said to be the work of the malefic kaze no kami. Despite this, these spirits were sometimes enshrined as gods by those whose livelihoods depended upon favourable winds. The legacy of kaze no kami today is that in the Japanese language, a common cold is called 'kaze' which translates as 'evil wind.'

'Late Autumn Blast' - Nishijima Katsuyuki.

Below is a small selection of windy ukiyo-e prints.

'Windy Night' - Utagawa Kuniyoshi.

'Two Girls Walking on a Windy Day' - Suzuki Harunobu, 1769.

'Flowers in the Wind' - Utagawa Toyokuni I, 1795.

'Gust of Wind' - Toyohara Kunichika, 1863.

'Windy Day at Kamatsugawa in Tokyo' - Shotei Takahashi.