From Eery to Endearing: Yokai in the Arts of Japan

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重要文化財 伝土佐光信「百鬼夜行絵巻」(部分)室町時代(16世紀)京都・真珠庵蔵 ※後期(8月2日〜8月28日)展示
駒井源琦「釣灯籠を持つ骸骨」 江戸時代(18世紀)福島・金性寺蔵
「稲生物怪録絵巻」(部分)万延元年(1860年) 個人蔵 三次市教育委員会提供

Yokai, the scary, quirky and often lovable supernatural creatures appearing all over Japanese folklore, have well and truly made a comeback to the spotlight: riding the coattails of the 'Yokai Watch' franchise, the ragtag monsters are currently popping up in product form, in movies and at exhibitions, including this very informative-looking one at the Edo-Tokyo Museum. Divvied up into four parts, 'From Eery to Endearing' explores yokai in art from ancient dogu (clay figurines) all the way up to the manga and anime of the 21st century, touching on the folk legend of the 'Night Parade of One Hundred Demons' (hyakki yagyo) and Heian-era depictions of hell before arriving at 'Yokai Watch' and its modernised version of the spirit world.


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