Yokai Wonderland - Supernatural Beings in Japanese Art

Yumoto Koichi’s Yokai Wonderland is a fully illustrated book that showcases yokai (supernatural monsters in Japanese folklore) in all its forms. There’s three chapters filled with art and descriptions in both Japanese and English.

Yokai Wonderland - Supernatural Beings in Japanese Art

The Yumoto Koichi collection includes the largest personal collection of Yokai art in Japan (around 3,000 works from the Edo period to present).

Yokai Wonderland - Supernatural Beings in Japanese Art
[Taira no Koremochi, Defeat of an Ogress Sword Guard (Tsuba), Edo period]

During the Edo period, yokai art consisted of woodblock prints, helping to spread Yokai culture. Its popularity also spread to board games (sugoroku) and “toy pictures” (omocha-e).

Yokai Wonderland - Supernatural Beings in Japanese Art
[Kudan statues, Edo period]

Fans of Japanese art – as well as illustrators and designers – will discover a whole new genre of art through this book’s pages. Many works have not yet been seen by the public.

From paintings, wooden sculptures and magazines to children’s toys and ceramics, this vast collection will soon be housed in Miyoshi (Hiroshima Prefecture), Japan in the Yokai Museum (tentative title) set to open by April 2019.

Yokai Wonderland - Supernatural Beings in Japanese Art
[Monster Silhouette Obi sash, Post-Meiji period]

I feel the book is best appreciated simply by leafing through it rather than going from cover to cover. Yokai art is difficult to pin down as there’s so many detailed, surreal figures, forms and shapes to discover.

Scrolls, kimonos, wooden sculptures and children’s toys also make up Koichi’s vast collection.

Yokai Wonderland - Supernatural Beings in Japanese Art

This is Koichi’s second book, in many ways a big departure from the first due to the amount of experimental works in this newer volume, available in North America via PIE International online and at bookstores.

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