Kobayashi's first independent production (after years of working under contract to a major studio) drew extensively on his own training as a student of Japanese painting and fine arts. It is a compendium of four ghost stories adapted from Lafcadio Hearn, so determinedly aesthetic in their design and style that horror frissons hardly get a look in. Very beautiful, though. One episode was removed when the film was released in Britain, reducing the running time to 125 minutes.
Cast and crew