Shaping Darkness in hyakki yagyō emaki

  • Raluca NICOLAE Bucharest University of Economic Studies
Keywords: yōkai, night, parade, painted scrolls, fear

Abstract

In Japanese culture, the yōkai, the numinous creatures inhabiting the other world and, sometimes, the boundary between our world and the other, are obvious manifestations of the feeling of fear, “translated” into text and image. Among the numerous emaki in which the yōkai appear, there is a specific type, called hyakki yagyō (the night parade of one hundred demons), where all sorts and sizes of monsters flock together to enjoy themselves at night, but, in the end, are scattered away by the first beams of light or by the mysterious darani no hi, the fire produced by a powerful magical invocation, used in the Buddhist sect Shingon. The nexus of this emakimono is their great number, hyakki, (one hundred demons being a generic term which encompasses a large variety of yōkai and oni) as well as the night––the very time when darkness becomes flesh and blood and starts marching on the streets.

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Author Biography

Raluca NICOLAE, Bucharest University of Economic Studies
Associate professor, Department of Modern Languages and Business Communication

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Published
2015-07-24
How to Cite
NICOLAE, R. (2015). Shaping Darkness in hyakki yagyō emaki. Asian Studies, 3(1), 9-27. https://doi.org/10.4312/as.2015.3.1.9-27
Section
Researches in Arts and Popular Culture