I believe that “Yokai” exists

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When I was a little kid, I was into picture books about “Yokai”.

Yokai is an unscientific existence that has mysterious power. Yokai is similar in meaning to a phantom, a spirit, a fairy, or a goblin.

Shigeru Mizuki (1922~2015) was a comic artist of Yokai.

The pictures of various types of Yokai that were drawn by him attracted my heart.

I had believed in the existence of Yokai, so I had thought that there was a chance I might see Yokai.

Although I was afraid of Yokai as other kids, my interest was stronger than that.

The existence of something mysterious (called Yokai) is often seen in Japanese folk beliefs from long ago.

Nature was more immeasurable for humanity in ancient times.

Natural phenomena that were beyond the bounds of human knowledge must have stimulated ancient people’s imaginations, and the creation of Yokai was based on the things they had imagined.

So they blamed the mysterious natural phenomena on Yokai for better or for worse.

Looking at it from a different angle, Yokai suggests ancient people’s feelings of awe towards nature.

Sigeru Mizuki had investigated folk beliefs all across Japan studiously, and he expressed such Yokai through his artwork.

Sigeru Mizuki said, “Modern cities in Japan became very bright thanks to electric power, but it’s too bright for Yokai, so modern Japan is a difficult world for Yokai”.

I think that this message has deep significance.

Today, due to progress in science and technology, everything has been elucidated. It is clear that Yokai doesn’t exist scientifically.

However, I believe that Yokai exists in our minds because Yokai was created by ancient people’s devout thoughts toward Japanese nature.

Since I’m an adult, I might be able to realize that Yokai is so profound.

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