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Monsters March On

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Chapter Summary

The material cultural display of the Japanese Galleries of the British Museum incorporates manga display within its Modern Japan section. Yōkai and mononoke are supernatural entities that grew out of folk beliefs related to phenomena that induced fear, including sudden misfortunes, famines, diseases, social outcasts or unexplainable events. During the Edo to Meiji periods, ukiyo-e woodblock print representations of the monsters increased, displaying a wide range of artistic expression. The extent of influence of Edo and Meiji period visual sources on the character design of the animated series seems to support Murakami's view regarding the fluidity between visual genres in Japanese art history, while positioning the Gegegeno Kitaro animated series within the framework of Japanese art history from the perspective of Murakami's Superflat theory. Besides visual media, taking a look at the contemporary yōkai landscape also produces interesting findings.

Keywords: Edo period; Gegegeno Kitaro; Japan; manga display; Meiji period; monsters; Murakami; Superflat theory; Yōkai



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