Home Podcasts Japan Station Yūrei, Ghosts & Yōkai, A Chat w. Zack Davisson | Japan Station 50

Yūrei, Ghosts & Yōkai, A Chat w. Zack Davisson | Japan Station 50

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On This Episode of Japan Station

On this episode of the Japan Station podcast, we’re talking about creepy apartments and Japanese ghosts with Japanese folklore expert, writer, and translator Zack Davisson.

About Zack Davisson

Zack Davisson is an award-winning translator, writer, and lecturer whose work focuses primarily on Japanese folklore. Davisson has written extensively about yōkai and Japanese ghosts (yūrei), as well as translated the works of renowned Japanese writers and manga artists such as Shigeru Mizuki and Satoshi Kon.

Topics Discussed

  • Zack Davisson’s time living at Kishigami Bunka in an apartment that was thought to be haunted
  • The process you typically go through when trying to find an apartment in Japan
  • What reikin is
  • How Zack Davisson became interested in folklore and the supernatural
  • Japan’s relationship with the supernatural
  • What Obon is and its connection to ghosts/spirits
  • Zack Davisson’s advice for those studying Japanese
  • What reikan is
  • What a yurei is
  • Documenting yokai in early modern Japan
  • Differing views on whether yūrei are a type of yōkai
  • The English term “ghost” and how its meaning has changed
  • The Japanese drama Yōkai Sharehouse (Yōkai Sheahausu)
  • The characteristics that make yūrei distinct from other ghosts/sporits
  • The historical origins of the visual characteristics of yūrei
  • Maruyama Okyo’s influential depiction of yūrei
  • Kabuki’s connection to and influence over the popular conception of what a yūrei looks like
  • Unfulfilled desire as the fuel and reason for existence of a yurei
  • The peace and prosperity of the Edo Period
  • The boom in ghost stories during the Edo Period
  • Cursed productions
  • The updated edition of Yurei: The Japanese Ghost
  • Recent projects that Zack Davisson has been working on
  • Shigeru Mizuki’s adaptation of Tono Monogatari by Yangagida Kunio
  • The Amabie and its rise to prominence during the coronavirus pandemic
  • And much more!

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Support on Patreon

If you enjoy Japan Station and want to ensure that we’re able to produce more episodes, then please consider becoming a patron on Patreon.com. For a minimum pledge of $1 a month you’ll get early access to all JapanKyo podcasts, bonus content, and more. And for $3 a month, you’ll get access to Japanese Plus Alpha, a podcast produced by me (Tony Vega) that focuses on the Japanese language and all of its fascinating quirks. Also, all pledges get a shout-out on the show and my undying gratitude. Thank you in advance!

Links, Videos, Etc.

You can use the link below to purchase Yurei: The Japanese Ghost on Amazon. The link is an Amazon affiliate link so using it will support the show without costing you anything extra.

Follow Zack Davisson on Twitter.

Read Zack Davisson’s article about Shigeru Mizuki.

In case you’re curious, here is the opening theme to the 2018 anime of GeGeGe no Kitaō. This version of this iconic theme song is performed by the well-known enka singer (turned anime theme song singer) Kiyoshi Hikawa.

If you’d like to check out Kimito Designs, use the link below. Reminder: the 10% discount code is OPENING10 (valid until the end of 2020).

To listen to the latest episode of Ichimon Japan, use the link below.

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 Zack Davisson

Featured image: Courtesy of Zack Davisson

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Full Show Notes

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