7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Fascinating, well-informed, folklore resource,
This review is from: Yokai Attack!: The Japanese Monster Survival Guide (Paperback)
Can't recommend this enough! It's got such a lot of information, but presented in a really easy to digest format. You can just dip in and out, as each yokai is summarised in 1 or 2 pages, and presented with illustrations (some are genuine Japanese woodblock prints or eighteenth century drawings etc., and some are cartoons by the illustrator!) and a fact file. Also, the name of each yokai is written in Japanese and Romaji, and has a pronunication guide as well.
I ended up really knowledgeable about yokai after reading this book, and also really enthusiastic about learning more. The authors give great tips for further reading, and are clearly very passionate about their subject. I also want to lend it to my friends, as there are so many amusing features. One of the yokai is the Tofu-kozo, a spectral little boy who goes around trying to kill his victims with.... a block of tofu. The authors' sense of humour is evident all the way through, making this book fun as well as fascinating.
On the more serious side, it also taught me a lot about a less well-known side of Japanese culture. I am currently reading the Tale of the Heike and I have already recognised several monsters that were featured in Yokai Attack! It just goes to show that the folklore of a culture will resonate throughout its literature, and so it really pays to understand some of it.
You can't go wrong with this book - it's a great price and it's fantastically entertaining. Even if you have absolutely no interest in Japanese culture you will still hugely enjoy this book, and learn a suprising amount about yokai.
(3 customer reviews)