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The Illustrated Book of Japanese Monsters by Gojin Ishihara

Art, Comics, Anime & Manga, Design, Inspiration, Japan, Traditional Japan

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Kyūbi no kitsune (nine-tailed fox)

Gojin Ishihara’s Illustrated Book of Japanese Monsters (1972), is filled with the spirits and monsters, ogres and imps of traditional Japanese folklore. Of course the more familiar you are with Japanese popular culture, the more you’ll have been exposed to these folk tales indirectly. From fantasy monsters in anime like Naruto and Inuyasha, to contemporary horror like The Ring, this rich cultural heritage can be seen in almost countless examples. I’ve also featured the Kitsune, or fox spirit, in my own work, so images like these are a great source of inspiration. Enjoy.

Images via Pink Tentacle.


Kappa (river imp)

Jorōgumo (lit. "whore spider")

Kubire-oni (strangler demon)

Rokurokubi (long-necked woman)

Onmoraki (bird demon)

Nekomata (cat monster)

Tengu (bird-like demon)

Tenjō-sagari (ceiling dweller)

Enma Dai-Ō (King of Hell)

Baku (dream-eating chimera)

Yūrei (ghost)

Yamasei (mountain sprite)

Rashōmon no oni (ogre of Rashōmon Gate)

Waira (mountain-dwelling chimera)

Nure-onna (snake woman

One Response to this post
  1. Posted on November 27, 2012 by sugarhime

    finally a site that compile the Japanese folklore artwork or illustration .. gahh had so much time looking for one KUDUS TO THE SITE MAKER AND The illustrationist

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