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Pandemonium and Parade: Japanese Monsters and the Culture of Yokai

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Pages: 290

Language: English

Book format: An electronic version of a printed book that can be read on a computer or handheld device designed specifically for this purpose.

Publisher: University of California Press (4 Nov. 2008)

By: Michael Dylan Foster (Author)

Water sprites, mountain goblins, shape-shifting animals, and the monsters known as yokai have long haunted the Japanese cultural landscape. This history of the strange and mysterious in Japan seeks out these creatures in folklore, encyclopedias, literature, art, science, games, manga, magazines, and movies, exploring their meanings in the Japanese cultural imagination and offering an abundance of valuable and, until now, understudied material. Michael Dylan Foster tracks yokai over three centuries, from their appearance in seventeenth-century natural histories to their starring role in twentieth-century popular media. Focusing on the intertwining of belief and commodification, fear and pleasure, horror and humor, he illuminates different conceptions of the 'natural' and the 'ordinary' and sheds light on broader social and historical paradigms - and ultimately on the construction of Japan as a nation.


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