What is the link between vampires and religion?

Different cultures have different interpretation of vampires. Here we will look at the Taoist and Christian vampire. Although they are very different, some of the traits of vampires are the same. First, they are blood sucking creature. They need human blood to keep themselves alive. Another thing is that they are afraid of sunlight.

In Taoist beliefs, vampires are human who are dead. They are turned into vampire because their corpses are exposed to sunlight before buried. Moonlight is the one of the sources of energy besides blood. Chinese vampires stiff limps and hop around. They cannot walk like normal human do. This is because the muscles on the corpses are hardened. Their intelligence is very low. It is very similar to zombie. To illustrate what they look like, Hsien–Ko from “Vampire Hunter” is a very good example. But Hsien-Ko is different from the original Taoist vampire as it has intelligence and can move quickly. To subdue them, talismans are often used. It is pasted on their forehead to make them immobile.

On the other hand, Christian vampires are much cleverer. They are very similar to human except that they need blood and are afraid of sunlight. They can move quickly or can transform into bats. There is a legend saying that the first vampire is Cain. Cain is one of the sons of Adam and Eve in the bible. He has a brother Abel and both of them are the first human born in the world. Due to an incident, Cain is jealous of Abel and this jealousy turned into anger and he killed Abel. For this sin, God punish Cain to live and suffer eternally. Thus he became the first vampire on Earth. There is also a legend saying that Lilith, Adam first wife was the first vampire. When a vampire bit a human, that human will also become a vampire. That is how vampires are spread to the different part of the world. Anime which have Christian vampires are Hellsing and Trinity blood. Vampires portrayed in these two anime are those cool looking ones. It is very different from the stiff ugly looking vampire in Taoist beliefs. Christian vampires are afraid of cross, which is a holy item. Another way of killing vampire which can be seen very often in anime is the used of silver bullets. It is believed that they are afraid of silver bullets and in anime they would portray it in a fanciful manner adored by some anime fans.

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From here, one can see that different cultures portray them differently. There is no right and wrong since no one can verify the existence of them. We can see that they are very popular from the number of anime that uses them. Compared to Taoist vampire, Christian vampire are much more popular. This can be due to the fact that Christian vampire are better looking and can move faster. The look of a character is very often one of the key points to attract anime viewers. Most would prefer a character that is better looking. Another reason would also be that many Japanese are pro western. They would prefer western ideas compared to Asian ones. Since Christian vampires belong to the Western, they would choose it over the latter. Therefore we would see many fantasy anime with vampire in it.

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About the author

Nadia Petrova

I'm running this blog because I love Japanese culture, especially the art of geisha. When I was a little girl, I used to dream of becoming a geisha myself. In my spare time, I enjoy watching good anime and reading some manga.

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