Media of the Weird

Mizuki Shigeru and Kuchi-sake-onna

in Pandemonium and Parade

Published by University of California Press

Published in print November 2008 | ISBN: 9780520253612
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520942677 | DOI:
Media of the Weird

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  • Social and Cultural Anthropology


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This chapter discusses yôkai in the 1970s and 1980s, after Japan's period of fast economic growth. It notes that the trope for this period was the media, and looks at the role yôkai played within various forms of mass media. It studies the manga artist, Mizuki Shigeru, whose popular illustrations renewed the image of the yôkai in the cultural imagination. This chapter also introduces a new yôkai, the Kuchi-sake-onna, the main character of a popular 1979 urban legend about a female yôkai with a horribly slit mouth. It shows that she became a popular media icon, and expressed very real modern concerns about the roles of women in a patriarchal society.

Keywords: media; yôkai; mass media; Mizuki Shigeru; Kuchi-sake-onna; urban legend; female yôkai; media icon; roles of women; patriarchal society

Chapter.  17509 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Social and Cultural Anthropology

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