Resource: The Obakemono Project

Happy Halloween, everyone! You’re probably working on a costume for some party this weekend, so we’ll keep today’s resource brief.

The Obakemono Project!

Okay, so this isn’t a traditional resource per se, but it’s a really fun site having to do with Japan’s bakemono 化け物, or monsters/preternatural creatures! Japan is known for its great love of the supernatural and its various ghost and monster stories, which have been wildly popular for centuries with children and adults alike.  Although The Obakemono Project does not appear to have been updated in a couple of years, it still has some really great info on bakemono. The site’s design is clean, the organization neat (simple alphabetical entries), and the blog’s owner, S. H. Morgan, has included really cute illustration designs with most of the entries.

Copyright S. H. Morgan

It looks like Morgan used to sell these via deviantart, but no longer does. Which is too bad! I think some of these would go great in my office for freaking students out:

Copyright S.H. Morgan

One of the reasons I marked this as a “resource” is because these entries all include a “works cited” section, so if you happen to find a bakemono you’re looking for and want to know where Morgan got the info, the information is right there at your fingertips! Morgan also often directly provides the Japanese descriptions borrowed from and includes a translation of the original author’s description.

Though the site isn’t updated anymore, their forum appears to still be up and running with some dedicated contributors (although their comments and questions are interspersed with spam, as it seems a moderator is not to be found…). It also looks like the obakekaki (a pun on oekaki お絵描き, or Japanese doodle bulletin boards on websites) is still running, if drawing monsters is your fancy. It’s a shame that The Obakemono Project  is now mostly defunct and doesn’t have a *huge* amount of information, as I think it’s a really awesome project that still has a lot of promise if continued. Regardless, it’s a neat site to drop by if you have some time and want to explore some of the truly bizarre monsters of Japanese tradition (or just see some neat art!). Who knows, maybe you’ll find a Halloween costume idea for next year? 🙂

About Paula

Paula lives in the vortex of academic life. She studies medieval Japanese history.
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1 Response to Resource: The Obakemono Project

  1. Pingback: Fun Link Friday: Monsters from the Kaibutsu Ehon | What can I do with a B.A. in Japanese Studies?

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