This chapter studies how the earliest illustrated encyclopedias in Japan presented and classified mysterious creatures. It introduces artist Toriyama Sekien, who combined the seriousness of academic encyclopedias with the playfulness of popular comic verse and storytelling in order to document visually the creatures of the invisible world. It shows how Sekien's four yôkai catalogs influenced how people conceived of yôkai. It notes that Sekien's bestiaries contributed to the creation of a clear Japanese otherworldly landscape.
Keywords: illustrated encyclopedias; Toriyama Sekien; academic encyclopedias; comic verse; storytelling; invisible world; yôkai catalogs; otherworldly landscape
Chapter. 15794 words. Illustrated.
Subjects: Social and Cultural Anthropology
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