Okayama girl, 5, honored for knowledge of 'yokai' monsters

Feb 15, 2016

Okayama girl, 5, honored for knowledge of 'yokai' monsters

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Five-year-old Mana Umemoto has become the youngest person ever to receive the title Doctor of Yokai Monsters. Umemoto, from Bizen, Okayama Prefecture, has passed the beginners’ level exam that tests knowledge of the yokai creatures of Japanese folklore. These are spiritual beings that inhabit ...

From Paris to Seoul, death of manga artist Mizuki is mourned

Dec 1, 2015

From Paris to Seoul, death of manga artist Mizuki is mourned

Manga artist Shigeru Mizuki’s global following has been making itself felt since his death Monday. Mizuki, whose real name was Shigeru Mura, was best known in Japan for his “GeGeGe no Kitaro” series depicting yokai, the spirits and monsters of traditional folklore. In an ...

Renowned 'GeGeGe no Kitaro' manga artist Shigeru Mizuki dies at 93

Nov 30, 2015

Renowned 'GeGeGe no Kitaro' manga artist Shigeru Mizuki dies at 93

Cartoonist Shigeru Mizuki, known for his “GeGeGe no Kitaro” series depicting yokai, the spirits and monsters of Japanese folklore, died Monday of multiple organ failure at a Tokyo hospital, his office said. He was 93. Mizuki, whose real name was Shigeru Mura, was hospitalized ...

'Bakemono'

Jul 28, 2015

'Bakemono'

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Aug. 1-Sept. 13 “Bakemono” is a Japanese term to describe imaginary monsters, which in Japan have a long history in religion and culture. Traditional festivals, for example, feature creatures such as namahage demons, as well as rituals, including shishi-mai lion dancing, and the love ...

Cataloging the creatures of the unknown

Jan 10, 2015

Cataloging the creatures of the unknown

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“Yokai dwell in the contact zone between fact and fiction, between belief and doubt … Yokai begin where language ends,” says Michael Dylan Foster in the introduction to “The Book of Yokai,” summing up what words often fail to conjure. His book takes readers ...

'Specters, Ghosts and Sorcerers in Ukiyo-e'

Jun 25, 2014

'Specters, Ghosts and Sorcerers in Ukiyo-e'

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Ghouls, monsters, specters, ghosts — all manner of the supernatural have long fascinated and frightened in all cultures, but the Japanese have historically enjoyed a particularly entertaining, and pictorial, relationship with the eerie and uncanny. Through a selection of around 250 yōkai (ghouls and ...