marycatelli (marycatelli) wrote,

The Book of Yokai

The Book of Yokai: Mysterious Creatures of Japanese Folklore by Michael Dylan Foster

An intriguing discussion of the multitude of yokai in Japanese folklore -- and pop culture.

Covering such things as their liminal natures, myths and legends of heroes (even gods) fighting them, folklorists who collected and theorized abou them, spooky tales, the various terms that have been used to describe the basic concept, and a lengthy discussion of some types. Includes the big ones -- kitsune, oni,etc -- and some odd and lesser known ones.  I found it particularly fun that two of the tales were "The Wolf and the Seven Young Kids" -- recognizable despite the variations -- and "Hop O'My Thumb" -- the summary of the Japanese tale would serve for the French one, too.
Tags: history reviews: across eras, non-fiction: folklore

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