Celebrating Japan’s unique print culture of monsters and ghouls
During the Pax Tokugawa―Japan’s 300-year period of prosperity and peace from 1600 to 1900―epic tales about the wars of the past circulated and were adapted into spine-tingling games. One Hundred Candles, in which a group of friends swap scary stories on the eve of a full moon in the summer, is perhaps the most famous of the genre; legend dictates that the storytelling culminates in the appearance of a spirit. Yokai follows the spirit of this macabre game, sharing 200 works of Japanese mythological imagery from the 18th and 19th centuries. The book’s collation of prints, books, clothes, weapons, swords, samurai armor, 77 precious netsuke and a 33-foot scroll coalesce into a portrait of Japan’s storied―and sometimes spooky―past.
Artists include: Yoshu Chikanobu, Katsushika Hokusai, Eisen Keisai, Utagawa Kunisada, Kawanabe Kyosai, Tsukioka Settei, Kitagawa Utamaro, Utagawa Yoshitora and Utagawa Yoshitoshi.