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Japanese Demon Lore: Oni from Ancient Times to the Present Hardcover – September 30, 2010

ISBN-13: 978-0874217933 ISBN-10: 0874217938 Edition: 1st Edition

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Editorial Reviews


As Noriko Reider eloquently shows in this volume, oni let us have a glimpse at how the Japanese imagine their world in its relation with the outside, continually reinterpreted according to the change of times. They help people to come to terms with the other.
—Peter Knecht, editor of Asian Folklore Studies

"Well researched and written, this book would work well in the classroom for looking at Japanese folk religion and contemporary pop culture."
—Mark MacWilliams, Religious Studies Review

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Utah State University Press; 1st Edition edition (September 30, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0874217938
  • ISBN-13: 978-0874217933
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,534,736 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Zack Davisson HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on May 21, 2011
Format: Hardcover
One of the oni's supernatural powers is shape-changing, and that is entirely appropriate for a creature that has transformed so completely across the centuries. From a powerful, invisible entity worshiped as a god, to one of many of Japan's assortment of monsters known as yokai, to the sexy and frivolous Lum from the popular series Urusei Yatsura, and to an emotional children's book character in "The Red Oni who Cried;" the oni has played many roles in Japanese society.

Noriko Reider (Tales of the Supernatural in Early Modern Japan) takes us on a tour of the various masks the oni has worn over the story of Shuten Doji, and an exploration of female oni and the morphable mountain oni called yamauba, to oni in modern manga and anime. A few stories are looked into in detail, like the aforementioned Shuten Doji (of which Reider supplies a full translation as an appendix), and the legend of Sakata no Kintoki, also known as Kintaro the golden boy, who was raised by a yamauba. Reider looks at modern anime like Spirited Away and Inuyasha for a modern take on oni.

I have read several of these essays before, from the "Journal of Asian Folklore Studies." Noriko Reider is a prolific and interesting writer on Japanese folklore, and her works were a main resource when I did my own MA in Japanese folklore.
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