The Re-creation of Yōkai Character Images in the Context of Contemporary Japanese Popular Culture: An Example of the Yo-kai Watch Anime Series



How to Cite

Balgimbayeva, N. “The Re-Creation of Yōkai Character Images in the Context of Contemporary Japanese Popular Culture: An Example of the Yo-Kai Watch Anime Series”. Mutual Images Journal, Vol. 6, June 2019, pp. 21-51, doi:10.32926/2018.6.bal.recre.


Supernatural creatures have always been an irreplaceable element of Japanese culture. Starting from the oldest collection of myths such as Kojiki to modern manga, anime and video games – they have always attracted the attention of people of all ages. However, modern yōkai have changed dramatically in terms of both visual representation and their role in the context of the work they appear in. The images of yōkai used in modern popular culture are re-created in various ways in order to appeal to tastes of different kinds of audience. Undoubtedly, the yōkai of today are not what they used to look like before: the element of fear may still be there, but after watching a TV series about yōkai both children and adults would most likely to refer to them as kawaī not kowai. To explain these changes, the author will present the yōkai image re-creation process taking place in Japanese animation on the example of the Yo-kai Watch anime TV series (the original Japanese TV series), the influence of which can be seen in modern contemporary Japanese culture.

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