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Life Changing Smiles gI understand Pokemon and other of Japanese cultural heritage yada a whole lot better now Aood books "of Japanese cultural heritage yada yada a whole lot better now A ood books Japanese cultural heritage yada yada a whole lot better now A ood books academics who want to study about Yokai Pandemonium and Parade is an interesting blend of intellectual history and folklore scholarship Foster uses major periods of Japanese history to frame his discussion demonstrating how authors of different eras approached the yokai supernatural creatures that Foster maintains are uniuely Japanese in character The study focuses on a limited set of yokai writers spanning three centuries The neo Confucian Edo period for example is represented by the bestiaries of Toriyama Sekien whose collections of supernatural creatures parallel the encyclopedic zeitgeist of the time Examining the early Meiji period and its mania for Western style rationalization Foster focuses on the work of Inoue Enryo whose detailed studies seek to debunk and explain traditional supernaturalism often through the prism of Freudian psychology Moving into the twentieth century Pandemonium and Parade shows how yokai were increasingly used by fiction writers as expressions of nostalgia this sentiment is typified by a poignant anecdote about a tanuki a shape shifting raccoon dog with a traditional love for tunnels who is run over by a train By the end of the book we see yokai being used inventively with manga artists like Mizuki Shigeru creating new characters and the encyclopedic tradition experiencing a marked rebirthFoster s study is not itself a compilation of yokai stories Rather it is a detailed examination of trends in Japanese thought and how they are reflected in yokai folklore and creative work including nods to international sensations that have their roots in yokai tradition such as Godzilla and the Pok mon mythos Somewhat unexpectedly Foster draws on nationalist theorists like Benedict Anderson to argue that the yokai are a self consciously Japanese mode of expression and celebration of national character Though the yokai do have their appeal abroad Foster points out that most internationally successful adaptations of yokai motifs are extensively stylized and that traditional characterizations even in modern works set in the present day have very limited appeal outside of Japan Pandemonium and Parade is an intellectually disciplined examination of change in one aspect of Japanese thought over time integrated with broader changes in society and will be a rewarding read for those with an interest in intellectual history and folkloristics The book still bears the structural hallmarks of a doctoral dissertation however lacking some of the rhetorical niceties that similar works use to Only a Whisper guide readers through their topics As such though an excellent study this book may not be as approachable as it could be This book was very long and dense since I was very unfamiliar with the subject matter I took notes and freuently retread sections but I enjoyed it very much I now ha. Water sprites mountainoblins shape shifting animals and the monsters known as yôkai have long haunted the Japanese cultural landscape This history of the strange and mysterious in Japan seeks out these creatures in folklore encyclopedias literature art science ames manga magazines and movie. Pandemonium and Parade Japanese Monsters and the Culture of YokaiOs illuminates how their depiction various art forms as comical rotesue and bizarre transformed the fear they inspired into something that can be known and laughed at and explores how their presence today provides a feeling of nostalgia and a living link to a longed for past that is meaningful and relevant Perhaps the most interesting aspect of the subject is the role of y kai in expressing the wonder and curiosity that humankind has felt worldwide through almost every period of its history Y kai are both weird provoking us to ask Why is that the way it is and mysterious evoking in us a sense of something transcendent and otherworldly As monsters and hosts they remind us that we are not as knowledgeable or as strong as we think we are and that there is much in the world that we do not presently and perhaps never can understand pandemonium and parade addresses never can understand Pandemonium and Parade addresses themes thoroughly and insightfully exploring not only the phenomenon of y kai but also the various other ways in which the Japanese have experienced the mysterious and the weird Foster also discusses how y kai have woven their way in and out of belief becoming at times mere cultural artifacts or evidence of superstition to be eradicated in the face of progress But far from evaporating in the harsh electric lights of modernity the hosts and apparitions of Japan have become symbols of a cultural heritage used as corporate logos symbols of local tourism and emblems of rural revitalization As mentioned above Foster s book is part of a burgeoning collection of materials on Japanese folklore published in the past few years as well as into the near future Others of note to name a small few are Stephen Addiss Japanese Ghosts and Demons Gerald Figal s Civilization and Monsters Kunio Yanagita s Legends of T no and the website The Obakemono Project obakemonocom These works illuminate not only cultural truths of a particular nation but aspects of universal human experience As contemporary folklorist Kazuhiko Komatsu has said the study of folklore is culture studies a human ology that seeks to study humans and human experience through the lens of tradition Foster s Pandemonium and Parade serves to clarify that lens for an American readership A wealth of information for those interested in the history of y kai Unfortunately this often reads like a PhD expanded into a book with rambley tangents that while often interesting in themselves aren t that fun to read as a whole Foster s at his best when the focus is clear An academic yet accessible study on the folklore history and anthropology of yokai Segues nicely into the modern influences of yokai and pop culture If you want a detailed and well researched treatment of yokai then this is it An excellent work however those with of a passing interest may find it a bit heavy Men Are Like Waffles--Women Are Like Spaghetti Devotional Study Guide going at times When Michael Dylan Fosterets tenure I hope he revisits this subjectwithout the really awful academic writin. Ntury popular media Focusing on the intertwining of belief and commodification fear and pleasure horror and humor he illuminates different conceptions of the natural and the ordinary and sheds light on broader social and historical paradigms and ultimately on the construction of Japan as a nati.

Michael Dylan Foster Ô 8 REVIEW

Ve a list of creatures to research books to find translations of and movies watch find translations of and movies to watch I could understand the subject matter than just cursorily This book was an amazing introduction into the Japanese world of supernatural beings and their history I was extremely Plain Jane The Hotshot glad to see that a book like this had finally been written This book looks at the history of youkai in Japanese pop culture Though it does reuire some knowledge of Japanese history it does a veryood job of educating the reader about the function of at least one aspect of the supernatural in Japanese culture I m very in the middle about this book it wasn t fantastic but it also wasn t bad It s an academic read so it can be uite dry in parts Overall I thought the information was presented uite nicely and it kept my interest enough to finish the book even though it took me uite a while I was a little disappointed as I thought it would be about specific monsters in Japanese folklore Instead it focused on the mysterious in Japan I was also very disappointed that the author used Freud uite heavily in his analysis The pace seemed to pick up a little once the author ot closer to the contemporary All in all ok but I don t think I ll be reading this author any time soon Though Japanese things have been a part of the American landscape for decades its culture and especially its traditional culture has been largely misrepresented reaching us through distorted filters such as samurai films anime and manga and horribly inaccurate novels such as James Clavell s Shogun There have however been a few encouraging trends aimed at dispelling these cultural myths one of them being the increasing number of books being published in the English language about Japan s extremely rich storehouse of folklore and folkways One of the most bizarre and fascinating aspects of this traditional folklore is y kai the horde Of Traditional Monsters And Ghosts That Haunt traditional monsters and hosts that haunt and legends woodblock prints and old picture scrolls These y kai are the subject of Pandemonium and Parade a new book by Indiana University professor Michael Dylan Foster Unlike the mostly Blackmailed Into the Italians Bed generic and amorphous Western concept of monster the y kai are many and varied usually numbered at above two hundred each of which have been illustrated and described in terms of their habitat behavior and origin Foster s book traces the history of belief and unbelief in these spooks from early depictions in story collections and picture scrolls from the twelfth century through their inclusion in Edo period 1603 1868 encyclopedias all the way to the present folklore studies movement and popularization in Japanese mass media Foster does an admirable job at describing a few typical y kai enabling the uninitiated reader toet a eneral feel for these legendary creatures and what was so appealing to them for the Japanese of historical and present ages He highlights how they play on cultural fears anxieties and tabo. S exploring their meanings in the Japanese cultural imagination and offering an abundance of valuable and until now understudied material Michael Dylan Foster tracks yôkai over three centuries from their appearance in seventeenth century natural histories to their starring role in twentieth ce. ,
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