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First museum dedicated to Japanese folklore monsters opens near Hiroshima

Kyodo

Japan’s first museum of supernatural monsters opened Friday in Hiroshima Prefecture, allowing visitors to get immersed in a strange world of yokai through historical artifacts and interactive digital installations.

The Miyoshi Mononoke Museum, or formally the Yumoto Koichi Memorial Japan Yokai Museum, opened in the city of Miyoshi after Koichi Yumoto, a 68-year-old ethnologist and yokai researcher in Tokyo, donated some 5,000 items from his collection in 2016.

The city is known as the setting for “Ino Mononoke Roku,” a famous folktale from the Edo Period (1603-1868). The story tells of a 16-year-old boy’s 30 days of confronting yokai monsters.

The museum displays about 160 items from Yumoto’s collection, which includes a scroll painting of the famous folktale and crafts.

Visitors can also learn the histories of monsters through an interactive digital picture book of yokai, and take photos with the monsters using a special camera set up at the site.

“I’m glad (that the museum opened) as I don’t have many chances to see those items. I hope this place will become a holy site for yokai fans,” said Akimitsu Okaba, a 39-year-old from the city of Hiroshima.