Rotating Corpse - A collaborative collection of images often inspiring, occasionally inane
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19th century woodblock prints by Utagawa Kunuyoshi illustrating the story of Yotsuya Kaidan, supposedly the most famous and influential Japanese ghost story of all time. It was first written as a Kabuki play by Tsuruya Nanboku IV. The tradition of the female “onryo” ghost continues in Japanese literature and filmmaking today, including the impossibly long and ragged hair and white face that indicates a ghost in kabuki theater. Modern popular films like The Ring and The Grudge borrow heavily from the tradition.

I first read this story on Christmas Day, 1986 when I received a series of books called The Enchanted World by Time Life Books. (The books became one of my all-time favorite childhood belongings.) I was particularly taken with the volume about ghosts. This story and the illustrations scared the tar out of me and I could only look at them while watching the Disney animated version of Robin Hood for protection.




Posted by: on May 24th, 2009 | Tagged with: , | Comments (0)
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