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Are Pokemon based on mythological creatures?

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Jules Cordry eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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In many cases, yes! While a lot of Pokémon are based on animals from the real world, and all are at least the partial product of the creators’ vivid imaginations, many Pokémon are drawn from world mythology. Japan, where the Pokémon franchise originates, has a particularly rich tradition of myths and legends of kami—gods, deities, or spirits—and the spookier yokai—demons and ghosts. Worship of kami and tales of yokai and other supernatural beings have their origins in Japan’s native religion of Shinto, which predates the arrival of Buddhism in the islands. Shinto is an animist tradition, which means it teaches that trees, rivers, rocks, animals, and even inanimate objects are alive with spiritual energy. Much like the gods and spirits of Shinto belief, Pokémon inhabit the natural world, and can be won over with incense, food (or candy), and other offerings.

There are thousands of kami and yokai described in Shinto teachings and Japanese folklore , and they have served as a...

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