Yōkai 101: Exploring the Thrill of Japanese Folklore

 In Culture Exchange

On August 16th, the Japan Society of Northern California hosted Yōkai 101, an online lecture dedicated to the intriguing monsters and myths of Japanese folklore. We were excited to be joined by two amazing guests, Professor Michael Dylan Foster and Illustrator Matthew Meyers, who traced the history and origin of Yōkai stories in Japan, and their enduring influence on modern and pop culture today.

Our program began with Michael Dylan Foster, Chair of the East Asian Languages and Cultures Department at the University of California Davis and author of two books on Yōkai, who outlined the history and development of Yōkai folklore in Japan. Matthew Meyers, perhaps best known for his online encyclopedia of Japanese monsters at yokai.com, was then kind enough to share with us his original illustrations and translation from the tale of Ino Mononoke Roku. Both guests then took time to answers questions directly from our audience participants in a Q&A session.

We were thrilled to have hosted our largest online lecture yet, with over 800 participants registered for this event from all around the world. We had audience members from Brazil, Argentina, the UK, Japan, and all across the United States. We’d like to extend a special thanks to our guests for their time and assistance in making this program a success, and to our sponsors whose supports allows us to continue hosting events such as this. We hope to see you at more Japan Society of Northern California events in the future!

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