New Book Yokai Attack!: The Japanese Monster Survival Guide
Source: Kodansha International Ltd.
Special Thanks to Matt Alt and Gregory Starr
The legends of Japan are replete with tales of the strange creatures known as yokai. Not quite apparitions, monsters, or ghosts, the yokai are mystical beings that secretly live in the world of men. Mostly unseen, they come in a variety of bizarre forms— some hideous, some cute— and have incredible supernatural powers. They tend to be mischievous and playful, but they are sometimes dangerous towards humans because the yokai are not restrained by the laws of nature. Most avoid people and simply haunt the province where they were “born”, but others enjoy the company of men and travel all over Japan.
Following their prominent place in Japanese folklore, the yokai have been the subject of numerous films over the years. Notable examples include the classic trilogy produced by Daiei Motion Picture Company in the late 1960s; THE HUNDRED MONSTERS (Yokai Hyaku Monogatari, 1968), SPOOK WARFARE (Yokai Daisenso, 1968), and ALONG WITH GHOSTS (Tokaido Obake Dochu, 1969); plus Hayao Miyazaki’s Oscar winning blockbuster SPIRITED AWAY (Sen to Chihiro no Kamikakushi, 2001), director Tomoo Haraguchi’s SAKUYA (Sakuya Yokaiden, 2001) and KIBAKICHI (Kibakichi Bakko Yokaiden, 2004), Takashi Miike’s THE GREAT YOKAI WAR (Yokai Daisenso, 2005), and the recent box office hit KITARO (Gegege no Kitaro, 2007).
Now publisher Kodansha International is releasing the first English-language guide to yokai. Entitled Yokai Attack!: The Japanese Monster Survival Guide, the book is a fun and informative look at nearly 50 of these odd creatures by authors Hiroko Yoda and Matt Alt (Hello Please! Very Helpful Super Kawaii Characters from Japan) and manga artist Tatsuya Morino (Kibakichi).
The book was released in Japan this past June and is now on sale in North America and Europe. For more information, please see the following press release from Kodansha International…
Yokai Attack!: The Japanese Monster Survival Guide
Stunning color illustrations by one of Japan’s top manga artists!
Includes a total of 42 of Japan’s most famous creepy-crawlies!
Written by Hiroko Yoda and Matt Alt
Illustrations by Tatsuya Morino
How do you escape from the Human-faced tree?
Keep your home safe from the Bathtub Licker?
Make it through a date with a woman whose neck puts an anaconda to shame?
Forget Godzilla. Forget the giant beasties karate-chopped into oblivion by endless incarnations of Ultraman, Kamen Rider, and the Power Rangers. Forget the Pocket Monsters. Forget Sadako from THE RING and that creepy all-white kid from THE GRUDGE. Forget everything you know about Japanese ghost stories and tales of terror. The yokai are the spookiest Japanese creatures you’ve never heard of, and it’s high time they got their due.
Yokai Attack!: The Japanese Monster Survival Guide is a one-stop guide to Japan’s traditional creepy-crawlies. Yokai are ethereal sorts of beings, almost always encountered in the dark of night, and they were once feared throughout the land. But they’re more than just myth, more provocative than pop culture–references to yokai abound in Japanese idioms, and nearly every Japanese person has at least a passing knowledge of the most famous of these captivating creatures from times of old. Everyone has their own take on how they might look in real life and what sorts of specific characteristics and abilities they might have.
Now, after collecting data and descriptions from a variety of sources, including first-hand accounts and microfilms of 18th-century publications stored in the National Diet Library in Tokyo, authors Hiroko Yoda and Matt Alt have produced the first English-language guide to Japan’s yokai monsters.
Yokai Attack! brings readers detailed information on almost 50 of these amazing beings. The book’s format ensures surviving–and potentially even enjoying–encounters with these peculiar creatures. Original illustrations, created by the talented Tatsuya Morino, detail the potential visible appearance of each yokai. And alongside each and every one are data points allowing you to take in each yokai’s characteristics at a glance. Not a single one was created for the book. Their roots may extend back to days of yore, but Yokai Attack! will convince any reader that Japan’s bewitching tradition of yokai monsters is far from being history.
Authors Hiroko Yoda and Matt Alt are a husband and wife team who run AltJapan Co., Ltd., a Tokyo-based translation company specializing in producing the English versions of video games, comic books, and literature. Matt is the co-author of Super #1 Robot: Japanese Robot Toys, 1972-1982, a history of Japanese robot toys, and Matt and Hiroko are also the co-authors of Hello Please! Very Helpful Super Kawaii Characters from Japan, an on-the-street expose of Japanese cute character culture. They happen to have firsthand yokai experience, having served as yokai extras in Takashi Miike’s THE GREAT YOKAI WAR.
Illustrator Tatsuya Morino is one of Japan’s top specialists in yokai themes. became the assistant of Shigeru Mizuki, one of Japan’s most beloved manga artists, fresh out of high school. After going independent, he illustrated the graphic novel Kibakichi, which was turned into two live-action movies of the same name. He also works as a character designer, with credits including the Gainax video game YOKAI FAMILY and the web comic “Trip Trek.” His comic “Legentail Sennenta” is currently serialized in Kadokawa Shoten’s monthly comic collection Kero Kero Ace.
On Sale Now
192 pages (64 color pages)
51/4 x 71/2 inch