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Thursday, 11 August 2016

Japanese Yokai?

I am currently trying to build up a nice data base of illustrations of Chinese supernatural beings.  However,I have a small stash of Yokai.  "What's a Yokai?"


Yōkai (妖怪?ghostphantomstrange apparition) are a class of supernatural monsters and spirits inJapanese folklore. The word yōkai is made up of the kanji for "bewitching; attractive; calamity" and "apparition; mystery; suspicious".[1] They can also be called ayakashi (?), mononoke (物の怪?), ormamono (魔物?). Yōkai range eclectically from the malevolent to the mischievous, or occasionally bring good fortune to those who encounter them.

Got it? Good.

Yōkai Jiten ("Yōkai Encyclopedia"), is a rather informative (I am told) guide to 100 of Japan's traditional monsters, written and illustrated by manga artist Shigeru Mizuki in 1981. Some of these come from that source though getting a copy of the book has been impossible.

Below: Mizuki's Mujyara

 AboveL Mizuki's depection of a Ayakashi
Below: Hashihime – The Bridge Guess!
 Below: A Kappa having a snooze by Katsushika Hokusai.

Below: How the Kappa go about their business!

 Above: a Kappa.
 Above: Kappa drawings from mid-19th century Suiko juni-hin no zu 水虎十二品之図 (Illustrated Guide to 12 Types of Kappa).
 Source: National Diet Library (Tokyo). Based on the earlier (1820 & 1839) Suikokōryaku 水虎考略 (Concerning Kappa),
 attributed to Koga Tōan 古賀侗庵 (1788-1847) and illustrated by artist Kurimoto Tanshu 栗本丹洲 (1756-1834).

 Above: umibozu illustration from Shigeru Mizuki's yokai jiten
Below: Bakekujira illustration by Mizuki
 Below: Mizuki's illustration of a Kappa

There's also Ben R. Dilworth's Japanese Yokai

Black & White
32 Pages
Price: £5.00 (excl. VAT)
Ships in 3–5 business days

The follow-up to the hugely successful Dilworth's Western Yokai is here! 

 Text accompanied by some superb illustrations by Ben Dilworth of supernatural beings interwoven in Japanese culture such as "Kappa" the Water Monster; "Azuki Arai";"Kuchi Saki Onna" (the Big Mouth Woman) and others. 

Into ghost stories or ghost comics then this will suit you to a "T" (for Terror!)

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