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Discover the supernatural creatures of Japanese folklore that continue to inspire artists like Takashi Murakami.
Whether creepy or comical, the supernatural creatures known as yokai have haunted Japanese folklore for centuries and remain highly visible in contemporary Japanese art and media. Drawing on years of research in Japan, professor Michael Dylan Foster will examine the history and cultural context of yokai in conversation with Laura Allen, curator of Takashi Murakami: Unfamiliar People - Swelling of Monsterized Human Ego. Their dialogue will trace the roots of yokai in Japanese culture, interpreting their meanings and exploring their influence throughout the ages on artists including Murakami.
Oct 19, 2023
About the Speaker
Michael Dylan Foster is a Professor of East Asian Languages and Cultures at the University of California, Davis, where he teaches about Japanese folklore, heritage, tourism, and popular culture. He is the author of The Book of Yōkai: Mysterious Creatures of Japanese Folklore (2015), Pandemonium and Parade: Japanese Monsters and the Culture of Yōkai (2009), and numerous articles on folklore and media. His coedited volumes include The Folkloresque: Reframing Folklore in a Popular Culture World (2016) and Matsuri and Religion: Complexity, Continuity, and Creativity in Japanese Festivals (2021).
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Thursday, 19 October, 2023
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