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Wednesday, 27 February 2008

The Monster Mash

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In the sophisticated popular culture of the Edo period (1603-1868), much attention was devoted to Japan’s rich pantheon of traditional monsters and apparitions, known as youkai. Sometimes frightening, sometimes humorous, these compelling Japanese folk creatures were the subject of numerous artistic and literary works. One such work was Hyakkai Zukkan, a collection of picture scrolls completed in 1737 by Sawaki Suushi, a relatively unknown artist who studied under master painter Hanabusa Itchou (1702-1772). Hyakkai Zukkan’s colorful depictions of Japan’s most notorious creatures inspired (and were copied by) youkai artists for generations. Here is a peek inside. Read the whole story at Pink Tentacle.