Yokai are those supernatural beings who inhabit shady corners, forgotten places or the attics of houses. These ghosts, benevolent or hostile, appear
on rare occasions to stick to people's backs, bring good luck or even scare them by throwing red beans on the ground. Few are those who see them, even fewer are those who know them.
Utagawa Hiroshige is undoubtedly, along with Hokusai, one of the most recognized Japanese artists in the art of printmaking. Born in 1797, he never stopped drawing the nature and landscapes of Japan before its transformation under the Meiji era.
In 1832, after having made his first trip on the Tôkaidô road (illustrious road linking the capital of the shogun, Edo, and the imperial capital, Kyoto) he produced his most famous series of prints, the 53 Stations of the Tôkaidô (1833-1834). He represents the landscapes and the major places crossed on the way there by integrating scenes of daily lifeInspired by this undisputed master of printmaking, Shigeru Mizuki decided to pay homage to Hiroshige by creating his own series of illustrations, The Fifty-three relays of Yôkaidô. The mangaka took two years (2001-2003) to redraw Hiroshige's original landscapes. He mischievously integrates his personal universe, populated by youkai and his own characters, including Kitaro pushing him away.
A true fusion of the classical tradition of ukiyo-e (artistic movement of printmaking in the Edo period) and Japanese folklore, this book offers the illustrations of the two masters facing each other and offers the reader an unprecedented fantastic journey.
This book lists incredible drawings that Shigeru Mizuki has dedicated to yokai and presents, in black and white or in color, each of the monsters by name. A preface restores the historical and cultural dimension of the yokai, and details the major contribution of Shigeru Mizuki to the knowledge of these invisible beings.