Halloween in Japan Picture

"Halloween in Japan"

Pencil and digital, 2008

This was my cover for the October '08 "Hyogo Times."

Halloween is only the best night of the whole year, and I was excited to have an excuse to draw lots of monsters and learn about new (to me) Japanese ones.

Japan has a whole mess of its own weird mythical creatures, and putting them into an awkward social situation with the monsters I grew up with sounded like a lot of fun. I’m not sure, but maybe they are showing up for a party in the same place, something like that. You may know the Western monsters, but here’s a quick rundown of the Japanese Yokai that you can wikipedia at your leisure:
— Rokurokubi: a long-necked woman
— Oni: a general horned demon, usually red or blue, closest thing to a devil the Japanese have
— Kappa: a kind of turtle-ish water monster with a plate-like depression in its head
— Kitsune: the Japanese word for fox, often seen as magical creatures indicated by growing more than one extra tail
— And my favorite, the Karakasa: an umbrella-monster-thing. A type of "tsukuogami" which is an object that has reached its 100th year of existence and developed a spirit. Good thing we don't take so long... Also happens with old sandals, apparently.
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