An Introduction to Yōkai Culture

An Introduction to Yōkai Culture

Monsters, Ghosts, and Outsiders in Japanese History

Komatsu Kazuhiko
Translated by Hiroko Yoda and Matt Alt

Published by JPIC | ISBN 978-4-916055-80-4 (Hardcover) | ISBN 978-4-86588-049-4 (Paperback) |196 pages | 210mm (h) x 148mm (w) | March 2017


小松 和彦 著



About the Book

Since ancient times, the Japanese have lived with superstitions of strange presences and phenomena known as "yōkai," creating a culture by turns infused with unease, fear, and divinity. Tsukimono spirit possessions. Fearsome kappa, oni, and tengu. Yamauba crones. Ghostly yūrei. Otherworldy ijin...Where did they come from? Why do they remain so popular? Written by Japan's premier scholar of yōkai and strange tales, this book is both an introduction to the rich imagination and spirituality of Japan's yōkai culture and a history of the authors and writings that have shaped yōkai studies as a field.

About the Author

KOMATSU Kazuhiko

Folklorist and cultural anthropologist. Born 1947 in Tokyo, he obtained his M.A. from the Tokyo Metropolitan University Graduate School in Social Sciences. Served as Associate Professor at Shinshu University, and then Associate Professor and Full Professor in the School of Letters at Osaka University. In 1997 he began teaching at the International Research Center for Japanese Studies. In April of 2012 he became the Center's Director-General after serving as Deputy Director-General since 2010. In 2013 he was awarded the Order of the Purple Ribbon for scholarly achievement by the government of Japan. In 2016, he was further recognized as a Person of Cultural Merit by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology.