Chasing Japan’s Youkai- From Hokusai, Kuniyoshi, Usen, and Mizuki Shigeru to Contemporary Art
This event has ended.
Japanese art is full of youkai, or supernatural folk creatures, ghosts, and demons. Youkai pictures from long ago attest to the fear and devotion that people of those times felt for nature. In the Edo period, urban development and the accompanying publishing culture brought about widely distributed youkai pictures that have shaped the image of youkai for generations since. Youkai also appear in modern artwork, but these are not necessarily the traditional creatures, often reflecting the individuality of the artists who created them. Now, Youkai are familiar characters who have become part of our daily lives through TV, magazines, and other mass media.
This exhibition examines the many faces of youkai, from those appearing in the ukiyoe of the Edo period to Nihonga and oil paintings in the modern era, to the youkai of contemporary art. This journey through youkai history reveals shifts in the changing worldview of Japanese people.
The artwork will be rotated and displayed in two sessions. Session 1 (7/13-8/4) will feature works by Kuniyoshi and his disciples Yoshitora and Yoshiiku, including “Takiyasha the Witch and the Skeleton Spectre.” Session 2 (8/5-9/1) will display five works from Hokusai’s “One Hundred Tales.”
[Image: Katsushika Hokusai “One Hundred Tales Sarayashiki” Shimane Art Museum collection]