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Yōkai Art from Prehistory to Modernity

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Chapter Summary

This chapter aims to document the development of yōkai- related visual art from the prehistoric period to the first half of the twentieth century in Japan. In the process, the main visual genres yōkai appear in are identified, while the role visual representation of yōkai plays within the context of popular visual culture of each art historical period is presented. In order to achieve this, the chapter first offers definitions of yōkai, an introduction to the different types of yōkai while also addressing the question of representation of change, the essence of yōkai entities, in essentially fixed visual forms. Mononoke is an expression of the primordial untamed energy, that is utmost feared and awed as being supernatural, that is dangerous in its powerfulness and mysteriousness.

Keywords:historical period; Japan; Mononoke; yōkai art



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