October is here and Halloween won’t be far behind. While western style Halloween celebrations are relatively new and small in Japan, there are a number of traditional stories of the eerie variety. The most common stories are of yokai – creatures ranging from cute to terrifying that stem from local folklore. Yokai traditions abound across Japan and have gained popular notoriety with the anime Yokai Watch.
In Philadelphia, yokai have gained more attention thanks to local artist, Matthew Meyer. An avid fan turned leading expert, Meyer has written and illustrated two books on the traditional monsters. Each volume contains over 100 creatures which he has meticulously researched. Meyer is currently hard at work on his third volume, The Book of the Hakutaku which is being funded via Kickstarter and releasing a yokai a day all month on his facebook page.
After an initial collaboration with Meyer in 2016, Shofuso will be hosting our 2nd Annual Yokai Weekend October 28-29. The weekend’s festivities will include a lot of spooky family fun including games, crafts, kamishibai, and a scavenger hunt. All these activities are included in regular admission. For true enthusiasts, there are two can’t miss evening events. On Friday, October 27, Dr. Frank Chance will give a Yokai lecture. And on Saturday, October 28, the Ghost Stories program will heavily feature the traditional monsters.
It’s a great time to be a fan of Japanese monsters. Get excited for a fall full of them.