Tokyo tourist map: An Introduction To Yōkai Culture: Monsters Ghosts Too Outsiders Inward Japanese History

past times Komatsu Kazuhiko (Author), Hiroko Yoda & Matt Alt (Translators)

Japan Publishing Industry Foundation for Culture (JPIC), 2017
ISBN: 978-4-916055-80-4
Hardback, 196 pp

This majority is an event of the growing tendency of translating academic Japanese texts into English. This is a tendency to last welcomed, because it adds to the richness of the intercultural cognition base, but this detail operate is non without its frustrations.
Komatsu has tried to write an accessible cultural-anthropological lead to yōkai civilization - the colourful folklore of Japan's monsters, ghosts in addition to goblins that he rightly sees equally embodying to a greater extent than full general Japanese cultural beliefs - withal his trend veers betwixt curious non sequiturs of overgeneralization in addition to an academic's fastidiousness that often results inwards him reeling off lists of academic articles probable unavailable inwards English.
The latter number tin last excused given the text's origins, but the onetime is a existent barrier to readability. Here is 1 example. Having clearly described the full general characteristics of 1 of the almost well-known types of yōkai creature, the kappa, equally "child-sized humanoids, amongst shells on their backs, in addition to dish-shaped indentations atop their heads, filled amongst water", Komatsu therefore unnecessarily states: "On the other hand, a foreign waterside presence without these characteristics would non convey been identified equally a kappa." But inside a few sentences, this apparent truism is contradicted past times some other sweeping statement: "Any foreign creatures that appeared inwards or merely about H2O were labeled kappa…."
Despite beingness accompanied past times a handsome collection of illustrations, such confused prose oftentimes dulls the indicate of Komatsu's research, sadly limiting the appeal of this majority to exclusively the almost persistent yōkai fans. Such an introduction needs to last extensively reworked to last palatable for the English linguistic communication lay-reader. Instead, the average punter amongst an involvement inwards Japan's eerie folk civilization would create ameliorate to start out amongst the before operate of Komatsu's translators Hiroko Yoda in addition to Matt Alt, who seat together the much to a greater extent than accessible lead Yōkai Attack!: The Japanese Monster Survival Guide.

Richard Donovan

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