Yokai. You've probably heard the name in a certain Watch-related anime, not to mention InuYasha and the classic GeGeGe No Kitaro. Heck, if you're a fan of Japanese stories at all, you've definitely heard of yokai, whether that specific term met your ears or not.
Yōkai 妖怪 is Japan's catch-all term for supernatural beings and folktalk creatures. Ghosts, goblins, fairies, and whatever else you can think of fall into this category. And the broadness of this category is what makes it so much fun. Yokai can be anything from long-nosed demigods with the power to destroy entire villages to aquatic lizard men with a thing for buttholes and cucumbers.
That's what this series is all about: diving deep into the history and lore of yokai, uncovering the stories that made the creatures we know today. Our in-depth articles make learning about yokai easy.
Here are a few things you'll learn in this series:
- Why people believe tanuki testicles have magical stretching abilities.
- How to tell if someone is kitsune (demon fox) in disguise.
- The origin of the wacky kappa (hint: it's either dead babies or drowning monkeys).
- The 8 most powerful tengu in Japan, and where to find them.
- Why hot, hot summer is Japan's ghost season, not October.
- The difference between Japanese and American ghosts.
- The absolute best books for studying yokai ever.
- And much, much more…
So get reading. Your first steps to yokai expertise are sitting right in front of you. Or maybe…THEY'RE BEHIND YOU!
Articles in Series
Tanuki: The Canine Yokai with Gigantic Balls Not a badger, not a raccoon, and keep your eye on that teapot...
Kitsune: The Divine/Evil Fox Yokai A 50/50 chance you'll live
Kappa: Japan's Aquatic, Cucumber-Loving, Booty-Obsessed Yokai If you swim in a Japanese river, be as polite as possible
Tengu: The Japanese Demon That's Basically a Mini-God Full of Pride, Full of Power
Interview with Japanese Ghost Expert Zack Davisson Everything you wanna know about obake and yokai
Choosing the Best Yokai Books for You So many monsters, so many books... but we've got your back
Who’s that Pokémon? Yōkai Edition! No Silph Scope Required
Better Than Pokémon!? How Yo-Kai Watch Is Marketing Itself To Japanese Children
Spiders in Japan: The Tiniest Kaiju The Natural Predators of Mothra
Nurikabe: Hitting the Wall in Japan When you take that shortcut home at night...
Summer: Japan’s Ghost Season Humid and Spooky
Ghosts, Ghouls, and Goblins, Oh My! An Interview with AltJapan A Q&A with the team behind the Attack! series of Japanese folklore books