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Yurei Attack!: The Japanese Ghost Survival Guide Paperback – July 10, 2012
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From School Library Journal
"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." —JapanBackPacker.com 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
Top Customer Reviews
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!
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.
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.
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.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
My daughter loves this series. She is using them for research and enjoys the myths.Published 7 days ago by Andrea Castillo-McAleer
My daughter loves this book. Lots of interesting Yurei to read about.Published 1 month ago by Kelley Jordan
definitely a unique read! in a good way of course. Historic information with some awesome illustrations. Same for the other two books in the series they are all entertaining.Published 10 months ago by Miss Sakura
A great read filled with lots of stories and some historical info that is very interesting.Published 10 months ago by Lina
Christmas gift for my little brother. I'm pretty sure he has it memorized. I know that the characters in here have made guest appearances in his drawings, so not bad on the... Read morePublished 15 months ago by J. Dawson
This books was awesome and fun to read and I'm excited to continue reading the other two books written by these two authors.Published 16 months ago by Andy Loosli
Love Japanese culture so, I had to know about their witches too. I also bought one for my mother in law.Published 17 months ago by patrick j pascual