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If you thought Lafcadio Hearn’s books “In Ghostly Japan” and “Kwaidan” were creepy, this guide to the dark, supernatural forces that ooze from folk tales, superstition and local hearsay will produce an icy fissure through your spine.

The yōkai of the title refer to Japan’s crowded pantheon of supernatural monsters, ghouls and malign ethereal beings. Typical of the type are vicious karasu-tengu, a shape-shifting bird; odokuro, a giant, stalking skeleton; and akaname, a feral, red-skinned consumer of mildew and dead skin.

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