The Book of Yokai by Michael Dylan Foster


Yokai are artifacts of an energetic expression of empathy–the discovery of intention and subjectivity in events of the outside world…”

“..interpretations suggest that these human-like supernatural beings may reflect fear of historically marginalized populations, such as shugendo practitioners, ‘outsiders’ living in the mountains and engaging in mysterious practices.”

Oni Island, where Momotaro goes to defeat oni, was Hawaii in a 1942 Japanese film.

Tsuchigumo, or earth spiders, were “used as a derogatory term and demonizing term for indigenous inhabitants of Japan.”

Sun shining while it’s raining = fox’s wedding, kitsune no yomeiri

tasogare/kawatare — means twilight, but originally meant “who are you?” or “who is that face”; it was uttered at dusk when you couldn’t see people coming.

Kunio Yanagita’s three general theoretical directions: (1) an acceptance of ambiguity, (2) collection and categorization, (3) a theory of degradation.

yurei vs. bakemono distinction: yurei haunt a person, bakemono haunt a place

“…playful uses of yokai: they appeared in board games (sugoroku), shooting galleries, spectable shows (misemono), and even a popular card games, yokai karuta.”

“Folklorist-anthropologist Komatsu Kazuhiko has suggested that yokai are ‘unworshipped’ kami and kami are ‘worshipped’ yokai.”

information and quotes that I found thought-provoking from The Book of Yokai: Mysterious Creatures of Japanese Folklore by Michael Dylan Foster

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