Home Podcasts Japan Station Japan Station 20: Talking About Yokai & More w/ Author Charles Kowalski

Japan Station 20: Talking About Yokai & More w/ Author Charles Kowalski

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On this extra bonus episode of the Japan Station podcast, we explore the world of yōkai with author and Japan Station listener, Charles Kowalski.

Originally from the U.S. Charles Kowalski is a teacher and author living in Japan. His latest book–Simon Grey and the March of a Hundred Ghosts–delves into the world of the Japanese supernatural creatures known as yōkai through the lens of a young 17th century English boy who gets stranded in Tokugawa-era Japan and has to rely on the yōkai in order get back home. Smon Grey and the March of a Hundred Ghosts is the first book in what Charles is planning to be a trilogy. Charles is also the author of two full-length novels: Mind Virus and The Devil’s Son.

In this episode we discuss:

  • What a yōkai is
  • The origin of Charles’ interest in yōkai
  • The plot of Simon Grey and the March of a Hundred Ghosts
  • The research process Charles underwent when working on Simon Grey and the March of a Hundred Ghosts
  • The fascinating life of the English sailor-turned-samurai, William Adams (1564-1620)
  • What the Hyakki Yagyō  (English:”Night Parade of One Hundred Demons”) is
  • Teaching in Japan
  • How the Japanese folktale Urashima Tarō does not follow conventional storytelling norms
  • Charles’ future plans for the Simon Grey series
  • And much more!

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Extra Stuff

You can get your copy of Simon Grey and the March of a Hundred Ghosts via the link below.

For more Simon Grey-related content visit the official Simon Grey website and/or follow on social media.

Simon Grey Website

Simon Grey Website

Simon Grey on Facebook

For more information on Charles Kowalski, visit his website or follow him on social media.

Charles Kowalski Website

Charles Kowalski on Twitter

Charles Kowalski on Facebook

If you’d like to learn more about the sailor-turned-samurai William Adams, check out the book Samurai William: The Englishman Who Opened Japan.

To visit Matthew Meyer’s Yokai.com, check out the link below.

Yokai.com

To check out Yokai Attack!:The Japanese Monster Survival Guide by Hiroko Yoda and Matt Alt, check out the link below.

To get your hands on Yurei Attack!: The Japanese Ghost Survival Guide, which is also by Hiroko Yoda and Matt Alt, check out the link below.

Here is the Gaijin Goombah video on the history of yōkai that was mentioned during the discussion of the Hyakki Yagyō.

For more information on the Hyakki Yagyō, you can check out the Wikipedia link below.

More about the Hyakki Yagyō

For more information on Charles Kowalski’s favorite yōkai, Futakuchi Onna (Woman with Two Mouths), check outits yokai.com entry via the link below.

About Futakuchi Onna

For information on the Akaname (another yōkai mentioned by Charles during the interview), check out the link below.

About Akaname

Learn more about the yōkai parade that was mentioned by Charles via the link below. The parade is held in the fall at “Yokai Stree” in Kyoto.

About Kyoto’s Yokai Street and Yōkai Parade

Special Thanks

Opening/Closing song: Oedo Controller (大江戸コントローラー) by Yunomi featuring Toriena (Used with permission from Yunomi)
To listen to more of Yunomi’s music, check out his Soundcloud page or YouTube channel.

Japan Station cover art: Provided by Erik R.

Featured image: Courtesy of Charles Kowalski

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