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The Book of Hakutaku - Stories of Japanese Monsters


This book contains an incredible variety of monsters and ghosts, some native to Japan, others incorporated into Japanese folklore from foreign cultures.

According to legend, an ancient emperor received an extraordinary volume as a gift from a magical animal called Hakutaku, a sort of "monster bestiary" containing information on all the spirits, ghosts, gods and demons of Japan. Some fragments of this book, which was lost long ago, survived. Over the centuries, Japanese artists created illustrated encyclopedias dedicated to the world of spirits (yōkai) and the supernatural. Their main sources were local folklore tales and traditions, but also history and literature; and they did not fail to draw on the immense heritage of the ancient Chinese classics, reinterpreted through the filter of Japanese culture and sensitivity. They invented so many new yōkai! And even today the habit of collecting and telling similar stories is highly developed in Japan.

Everything you wanted to know about the mysterious yōkai!

Reasons of interest:

  • An authentic "encyclopedia of the supernatural" with over 100 entries dedicated to demons, ghosts and other monstrous creatures.
  • A magical compendium of tales and traditions from Japan's rich folklore, which will fascinate readers of all ages.
  • Accompanying the texts are splendid color illustrations inspired by ancient Japanese paintings and woodcuts, one for each entry.
  • For each monster, a detailed description with origin, habitat, diet and many other curious information.
  • A wonderful journey through the most famous legends of the Rising Sun, taken from literary texts and oral stories.
Size: 18.7 × 26.7 cm
228 pages
4 color printing
ISBN 9782889353453

    MATTHEW MEYER is an illustrator and folklorist living in Japan. His work focuses on Japanese folklore, particularly yōkai studies. For Nuinui he published Yōkai - The Night Parade of 100 Demons, Mononoke and Kitsune.

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