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The “Yōkai” Art of the Master

Toriyama Sekien was an influential Edo-period artist who taught some of the giants of the ukiyo-e world. Today he is best known for his collections of yōkai illustrations, which he released in four books in 1776–84 as a form of mass-produced popular literature. We spoke with the translators who have made his work available to Spanish and English readers about the artist and the impact he continues to have to this day.

The Manga City Where Japan’s Spirits DwellNippon.com Staff

Mizuki Shigeru, who passed away in November 2015, is known for the many yōkai (natural spirits) that appear in his manga works. Statues of these characters and other themed attractions now draw tourists to Mizuki’s hometown of Sakaiminato in Tottori Prefecture.

Five Ghosts and GoblinsNippon.com Staff

From yōkai (paranormal beings) to yūrei (ghosts), Japan’s folktales, kabuki, yūrei-ga ghost art, and modern-day horror manga and movies are jam-packed with a monstrous myriad of spooks, sprites, and spirits—some benign, and some so eerie as to chill the blood. Although it is this potential of ghost stories as a (super-) natural coolant that makes them such popular entertainment in the sticky summe…

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