Thursday, June 17, 2010

Yokai offical database?

Those who love Japanese horror and mythological stories will be delighted with today's news. Apparently the International Research Center for Japanese Studies has scanned in drawings and ink-tings from scrolls and old literature with Yokai depictions, creating an online visual database.
Yokai make for interesting characters and are widely used in manga and anime these days (GeGeGe no Kitaro anyone?). I always wondered what the original depictions looked like , and what horrors must have been imagined by the original artist. Now we can have a first hand look without having to visit archives or museums.
These drawings most have been the cause of a few nightmares don't you think?

Edit: Sorry, I should have explained how to use the page. The site is in Japanese, and the search page here takes only Japanese characters (Kanji, hiragana and katakana). If you enter かっぱ (kappa) for instance, you will find original depictions of this widely used and popular character in anime and manga.

A small comparison:Modern day Kappa...makes you want to feed it cucumbers (it's favorite food), doesn't it.

Old school Kappa...makes you hope you will never meet one.


  1. Ik snap niks van de site helaas ;) Maar de afbeeldingen zien er nice uit! (ps: story's = stories)

  2. Thanks Fer. I just added a small explanation about how to use the website. Het zijn hele oude illustraties, en dat maakt het juist heel vet ;).

  3. If I remember it right, Some すしや named "Kappa Sushi",,,,I've been wondering what's the relation. ~@@~

  4. Haha, now you know. It's the Kappa catching and making the sushi!