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Art History Meets Gegegeno Kitaro

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Chapter Summary

The Gegegeno Kitaro animation series (1968-present time) consists of more than three hundred episodes, most of which introduce a new yōkai being. This chapter identifies the main visual sources that impacted on the Mizuki characters, the effect of their reappearance in twentieth and twenty-first century visual media, the evolution of the characters and the underlying trends in their transmutation when introduced to celluloid animation and computer graphics. The Umi Zatō or Blind Sea Monk is a visual derivative of the Biwa Hōshi or Zatō, the order of blind vagabond Buddhist monks, known to be active from the Kamakura to early Meiji periods, who played the biwa lute narrating sutras and popular tales. The Miage Nyudō is mentioned in Yanagita Kunio's Yōkai Meii. According to his recordings, the Miage Nyudō is seen mostly by children, first appearing in a very tiny form, then growing in size.

Keywords: Blind Sea Monk; Gegegeno Kitaro; Meiji periods; Miage Nyudō; Mizuki characters; Umi Zatō; visual media; yokai



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