Ushi Oni is a Japanese mythological creature featuring the head of a bull

Ushi Oni is a Japanese mythological creature featuring the head of a bull

On a day in September when the market dropped on Wall Street, and its Journal published the icon of the BULL on its front page, the image magically inspired a return of confidence for investors worldwide and the market on the following day rallied. The native Japanese beef (in Chinese NIU, in Yamato USHI) is represented in the United States of America by a population of four--or, by the genetic legacy of the four original NIHON USHI bull's frozen semen now running out as a scarcity commodity while the breeding of 63/64ths pure stock continues in Texas and at Washington State University by a veterinarian who wants to cross with black angus--purer than in Japan where 15/16ths is all that is necessary to define the breed--a double octaroon of genus bovis.

Pity there isn't any of the original aurochs line left over from the late pleistocene herds as represented in the cavern at Lascaux. Matthews' Chinese English dictionary lists, under the radical for NIU, the constellation of the Celestial Herdsman, the Cowboy, as in the "Space Cowboy" of Steve Miller's Blues Band's best album (betcha weren't ready for that!). Boots in the almanacs of the West. But he was known as Arktos, the BEAR WARDEN, or Pappa Bear of the three, the other two being feminine: URSA MAJOR and MINOR, the latter who becomes transformed into GOLDILOCKS, feminine solar diety, like Amaterasu of Nihon. Papa Bear becomes the Werebear, or MAN/BEAR, famed in song and lore perhaps since the days of Drachenloch in the caves of the Swiss Paleolithic, with its bear skull shrine and the skull of the cave bear with its own femur shoved through the eye socket (as shown in Joseph Campbell, World Atlas of Mythology, Volume 1, Part 1, p. 55-4. The "good" half of the Werebear in the fairy story is the human hunter/rescuer with the gun.

It is, then, in the constellations that we see the transference from bull-orientation (Cowboy, Cowherd) to bear-orientation, which is northern (arctic). In Japan this would be the native Ainu bear cult. Bull and bear in the pit at Monterey: the odds depend upon how many links of chain are allowed to the 'fixed bear'. The bull is always free to a certain extent--that is, unchained; but the constraint for the bull is the courtyard, the walls. Greater space, more advantage to the bull; the more constricted space--or, correspondingly, the longer chain--advantage bear. The bears bet the market will tumble. Japanese banks have taken a beating, and will moreso as the inflated value of real estate in Tokyo tumbles. Now US government regulators are saying you have to figure value on market price today--not what it used to be worth back when the market was strong. In Switzerland they are saying the Japanese banks have to come up with at least 3% as security, but that is hard for them even so. Bear growling.

Meanwhile the "National Treasure" of BULL semen is being used to breed finer stock of ugly, fat, lazy, beer-drunken cattle that walk with mincing steps like a male-impersonator out of the Noh Theater's female-impersonator- tradition.

Kurt von Meier
Circa 1980