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Yurei Attack!: The Japanese Ghost Survival Guide Paperback – July 10, 2012

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Gr 8 Up-For anyone who's ever wondered how they would fare against a kappa, kitsune, or the dreaded kuchisake onna, these lively volumes are structured as handbooks for surviving encounters with Japan's legendary monsters, spirits, assassins, and spies. Ninja Attack! dispels stereotypes while filling in the real history of these infamous spies and assassins. Yokai Attack! catalogs demons and monsters, and Yurei Attack! focuses on gruesome ghost stories. Action-packed tales of vengeful spirits and shape-shifting badgers are accompanied by historical background, regional origins, and related trivia, while profiles of well-known ninja are interspersed with details of their daily lives, such as housing and food. Each book includes appendixes with recommended books, movies, and websites for further research. Gleefully gory manga-style illustrations in full color add to the creep-out factor of the texts, and eye-catching layouts with photographs and reproductions of woodblock prints make for a visually appealing reading experience. Japanese names and words are seamlessly integrated into the texts, with Japanese characters appearing alongside English translations and pronunciation guides. An engaging blend of information and entertainment, this trilogy is a fantastic reference for budding manga artists who want to incorporate Japanese legends into their own stories, or anyone who simply enjoys a good scare.-Allison Tran, Mission Viejo Library, CAα(c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


"Matt and Hiroko have once again created an intriguing and spirited telling of a piece of Japanese mythology and cult history. Following on the back of their wonderfully successful books Yokai Attack and Ninja Attack, Yurei Attack is a fantastic read and beautifully illustrated by Shinkichi. This book will become a must for anyone that loves the unusual and wonderfully bizarre aspects of Japanese ghost stories." —Richard Taylor, founder, WETA Workshop

"Yurei Attack! The Japanese Ghost Survival Guide is the latest book by husband-and-wife author duo Hiroko Yoda and Matt Alt. Following Yokai Attack! (about monsters), and Ninja Attack!, their latest effort is an informative compendium of yurei (or ghost) stories from Japanese history, for adults and children alike. With a chatty, readable style backed up by serious scholarship and brought to life by Shinkichi's grisly illustrations, Yurei Attack! is a window into this rich vein of Japanese culture." — blog

"Hunting ghosts is the perfect activity especially this Halloween season! If you do not have the courage to do it but you really want to try, Yokai Attack! is here to guide you in overcoming your fear of ghosts. So what are you waiting for, start your ghost hunting adventures!" —Otaku Asia Magazine

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Product Details

  • Series: Attack!
  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Tuttle Publishing; 1 edition (July 10, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 4805312149
  • ISBN-13: 978-4805312148
  • Product Dimensions: 5 x 0.4 x 7.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (47 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #201,581 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By alexander o. smith on November 15, 2012
Format: Paperback
Way back in 2011, writer Neil Gaiman proposed a new reading holiday: All Hallow's Read. The concept is simple: give a scary book to a friend on Halloween, and I can't imagine a better candidate than Yurei Attack, especially if you have a friend/relative with an interest in things Japanese.

Some comments have talked about the framing of the book as a "survival guide," as a potential put-off, but I found the standard format introduction for each ghost story in the book made it very accessible. Quite a feat, considering the depth and breadth of the research. There is much here that, to my knowledge, has never appeared in English before, making Yurei Attack a unique opportunity for the general folklorist who wants to include Japanese ghost stories in their repertoire. (On that note, I'd also recommend the authors' other books in the "Attack" series: Yokai Attack and Ninja Attack, both deeply researched surveys of different aspects of Japanese folklore.)

Yokai Attack!: The Japanese Monster Survival Guide
Ninja Attack!: True Tales of Assassins, Samurai, and Outlaws

Good for picking off the bookshelf for a quick browse, or in-depth reading. The inclusion of the real-world places where the ghost stories took place (with access information, too) also suggests using this book to inform an off-the-beaten-path tour of Japan. I highly recommend this book!
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Matt Schley on September 24, 2012
Format: Paperback
Chock-full of information, with great illustrations and an easy-to-read, fun style: Yurei Attack is well-worth picking up if you're interested in the world of Japanese ghosts.

Yurei Attack is the third in a series of books by authors Hiroko Yoda and Matt Alt about Japanese history, folklore and strange mythical beasts. This time around they've tackled yurei, the kind of Japanese ghosts that populate recent J-horror films like The Ring and The Grudge.

The book is written in a survival guide-style format, with full-color pages detailing the ghosts' origins, methods of attack, and, most importantly, tips on how to avoid their wrath. Each yurei is profiled separately, with illustrations by Shinkichi, a Japanese manga artist who doesn't hold back, portraying the often pretty terrifying stories in all their bloody detail.

For a book written in this format and full of illustrations, it's easy to get the impression Yurei Attack is for kids, but it's actually for mature readers, full of the aforementioned graphic images and comprised entirely of "real" information - that is, all the stuff in the book comes from real Japanese legends.

For that reason, the book is a really great resource for learning these horror stories, which are known universally throughout Japan. The spooky stories a culture tells around the campfire at night can reveal a lot about them, and if you're interested in Japanese folklore and culture, this is a great place to start.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Ryan M. Shepard on October 8, 2012
Format: Paperback
Accessible, engagingly written, detail-oriented, and packed with vintage prints, photos, and other illustrations, _Yurei Attack_ is probably the best introduction to Japanese ghost lore currently available to English readers.

The bilingual Alt and Yoda dived deep into their subject: visiting museums and archives, surveying a wide range of popular and academic literature on Japanese ghosts and their cultural context, traveling to sites associated with the spirits they profile - even undergoing a recommended Shinto exorcism after researching Oiwa, an especially cruel and wrathful specter. The result is a rich overview of an aspect of Japanese folklife that has rarely received much serious attention outside of Japan.

Some readers may find the "survival guide" framing of the book - part game cheat guide, part Pokemon card - off-putting, but it's easily overlooked in favor of the more substantive narrative at its core. Japan's ghosts are most active in summer, but _Yurei Attack_ still makes for smart, creepy Halloween reading.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Zack Davisson HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on October 23, 2012
Format: Paperback
Japanese ghosts are the subject of the latest "Attack!" book from Hiroko Yoda and Matt Alt. Like Yokai Attack! and Ninja Attack!, the book plays on the Survival Guide genre, offering up serious history and folklore in a fun and tongue-in-cheek fashion.

Japanese ghosts are somewhat my area of expertise--I wrote my MA thesis on yurei and run the Japanese ghost and monster hyakumonogatari blog. But even though most of the stories in "Yurei Attack!" aren't new to me (I did find a few things I hadn't heard of, which was cool) I enjoy Yoda and Alt's style. Unlike the dry, academic work you usually find on the subject, "Yurei Attack!" is a fun, quick read, with an irreverent writing style and sharp illustrations that make even familiar stories entertaining. I am constantly impressed by their level of research. I found a few inaccuracies here and there, and plenty of simplifications of complex subjects, but on the whole "Yurei Attack!" is a great introduction to the world of Japanese ghosts.

Like the other "Attack!" books, "Yurei Attack!" is wide but not deep. Yoda and Alt do an impressive job fitting centuries of tradition into 190 heavily illustrated pages. All of the famous ghosts are here; Oiwa, Okiku, and Otsuyu, of course, along with Lady Rokujo from The Tale of Genji and Miyagi from Tales of Moonlight and Rain.
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