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 monsters) ukiyo-e prints, the Ukiyo-e Ota Memorial Museum of Art introduces visitors to folkloric demons, long-nosed goblins, spirit spiders, ghoulish apparitions and more.
Divided into three themed showings — “Specters” (July 1-27), “Ghosts” (Aug. 1-26), and “Sorcerers” (Aug. 30-Sept.25) — these creatures haunt, frighten and perform magical deeds. Not all are evil — some are benign and others simply mischievous— but they are all rather bizarre.
Featured works of particular note include those by Katsushika Hokusai, Utagawa Kuniyoshi, Hishikawa Moronobu and Tsukioka Yoshitoshi; July 1-Sept. 25.
Ukiyo-e Ota Memorial Museum of Art; 1-10-10 Jingumae Shibuya-ku, Tokyo. Harajuku Stn. 10:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m. ¥900. Closed Mon. 03-5777-8600; www.ukiyoe-ota-muse.jp