The Book of Yokai: Mysterious Creatures of Japanese Folklore

The Book of Yokai: Mysterious Creatures of Japanese Folklore Author Michæl Dylan Foster
ISBN-10 0520271025
ISBN-13 9780520271029
Year 2015-01-14
Pages 336
Language English
Publisher University of California Press
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Monsters ghosts fantastic beings and supernatural phenomena of all sorts haunt the folklore and popular culture of Japan Broadly labeled yokai these creatures come in infinite shapes and sizes from tengu mountain goblins and kappa water spirits to shape shifting foxes and long tongued ceiling lickers Currently popular in anime manga film and computer games many yokai originated in local legends folktales and regional ghost stories Drawing on years of research in Japan Michael Dylan Foster unpacks the history and cultural context of yokai tracing their roots interpreting their meanings and introducing people who have hunted them through the ages In this delightful and accessible narrative readers will explore the roles played by these mysterious beings within Japanese culture and will also learn of their abundance and variety through detailed entries some with original illustrations on more than fifty individual creatures The Book of Yokai provides a lively excursion into Japanese folklore and its ever expanding influence on global popular culture It also invites readers to examine how people create transmit and collect folklore and how they make sense of the mysteries in the world around them By exploring yokai as a concept we can better understand broader processes of tradition innovation storytelling and individual and communal creativity

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