Tenjō-sagari is watching you
July 30, 2010 5:27 AM   Subscribe

Weirdly wonderful illustrations from 70s Japanese children's books by Gōjin Ishihara, including much nightmare fuel from the Illustrated Book of Japanese Monsters
posted by fearfulsymmetry (24 comments total) 44 users marked this as a favorite
I remember looking at the Illustrated Book of Japanese Monsters sometime in the last time years.

The certain do have a wide variety of critters in Japanese mythology. Thanks for the trip down nightmare lane.
posted by KaizenSoze at 5:42 AM on July 30, 2010

Ripping entire skins off humans was in a kid's book? Wow.
posted by DU at 5:43 AM on July 30, 2010 [1 favorite]

The Japanese proletariat posters from the 30s were pretty interesting, too.
posted by Lverner at 5:45 AM on July 30, 2010

AAAAAAH the turtlemen foot-grabbers! Nice to see that foot-grabby terror spans both generations and cultures.

When I was little, I spent a year or so utterly convinced that Batman & Robin (the Adam West/Burt Ward versions) were hiding at the bottom of my bed plotting to eat my toes as soon as I fell asleep. To this day, I can't sleep with the sheets/blankets tucked under the mattress, they both must be securely tucked under my feets.
posted by elizardbits at 5:46 AM on July 30, 2010 [1 favorite]

That was awesome!
posted by Fizz at 6:06 AM on July 30, 2010

Totally unrealistic. The Mona Lisa is way smaller than that.
posted by HeroZero at 6:28 AM on July 30, 2010

Thank you for posting this in the a.m. I can only hope that by the time I go to bed tonight, I will have forgotten about the ceiling dweller.
posted by Adridne at 6:30 AM on July 30, 2010

Ceiling dweller is watching you never masturbate again.
posted by pracowity at 6:38 AM on July 30, 2010 [4 favorites]

What a great collection of nightmarish illustrations. Trying to figure out why ceiling dweller's bottom is on show... but yes, agreed, ceiling dweller is by far the most frightening!
posted by tokidoki at 6:47 AM on July 30, 2010

Ceiling dweller is watching you never masturbate sleep again.
posted by Adridne at 6:58 AM on July 30, 2010

posted by Durn Bronzefist at 7:00 AM on July 30, 2010

I'm glad Hellboy and the BPRD are looking out for us.
posted by Scoo at 7:08 AM on July 30, 2010 [3 favorites]

So cool. We have a D&D 3.5e "Oriental Adventures" book laying around and now I really, really want to do a campaign in it.
posted by griphus at 7:17 AM on July 30, 2010

Hell of Repetition

So it's not just the Chinese who have many hells?
posted by Joe Beese at 7:23 AM on July 30, 2010 [2 favorites]

WTF with all the dismembered bodies and limbs falling from the sky in the Nostradamus picture? When is THAT supposed to happen?

Also, Prehistoric Men as baseball players is the best thing on the internet (today).
posted by KingEdRa at 8:00 AM on July 30, 2010

Unfrozen Caveman Lawyer Wrestler was kind of brilliant, but you can't really go wrong with luchadores.

And the snake woman encounter looks kind of...uh, flirty?
posted by kittyprecious at 8:13 AM on July 30, 2010

PMMD I: Prehistoric Man as Modern-Day Baseball Player was released in fall 2011 to rave reviews. Directed by Guillermo del Toro and starring Jack Black as the titular Prehistoric Man, critics were thrilled by the gruff yet endearing qualities of the cave-ryman, PM. Roger Ebert wrote, "PMMDBP is an astonishing epic, an intense investigation of the most primordial ambitions and desires of the human condition. It's the first ten minutes of 2001: A Space Odyssey meets MVP: Most Valuable Primate. It's as if more than two million years of human evolution was for the sole purpose of the existence of this masterpiece."

PMMD II: Prehistoric Man as Modern-Day Wrestler was one of summer 2013's hottest blockbusters, with Javier Bardem taking up PM's trademarked wide-eyed sneer. Wrote one critic, "The studio's insistence that Clint Eastwood direct this film was a masterstroke. With del Toro producing, the unstoppable tag-team has produced the best sequel in cinematic history." PMMDW follows our hairy hero as he journeys to the Mexican desert for an apocalyptic showdown that some reviewers are calling "The Mad Max 3 that never was."

PMMD III: Prehistoric Man as Modern-Day Security Guard, directed by Christopher Nolan, coming summer 2015! Tagline: They called it gruntwork. He called it... personal.
posted by oulipian at 8:20 AM on July 30, 2010 [1 favorite]

These are awesome-thanks.
posted by PHINC at 8:27 AM on July 30, 2010

Nice catch. Pink tentacle is awesome. They had a post about this 19th century doll I was looking for a way to fit into an FPP:
In the 18th and 19th centuries, sideshow carnivals known as misemono were a popular form of entertainment for the sophisticated residents of Edo (present-day Tokyo). The sideshows featured a myriad of educational and entertaining attractions designed to evoke a sense of wonder and satisfy a deep curiosity for the mysteries of life. One popular attraction was the pregnant doll.
so gross/fascinating...
posted by ServSci at 8:44 AM on July 30, 2010 [1 favorite]

Is the concept of hell something that exists in traditional Japanese religions or folklore, or was that borrowed from Christianity or one of the other world religions?
posted by willnot at 10:04 AM on July 30, 2010

OMG. I think I have a nekomata at home.
posted by Tarumba at 11:20 AM on July 30, 2010

Is the concept of hell something that exists in traditional Japanese religions or folklore

There's a Buddhist and Shinto hell.
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 12:04 PM on July 30, 2010

You go to hell no matter what you do in life? That's some hardcore Shinto, right there.
posted by codacorolla at 12:11 PM on July 30, 2010

Love these. I appreciate the kitsune illustration particularly, because it's been a long time since I saw the word "kitsune" other than as the screen name of a soft, damp type of individual who is about as tricksy and wild-spirited as a Webelos.

"World's Biggest Glutton" might be the scariest, though.
posted by Countess Elena at 6:17 PM on July 30, 2010

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