Do Yokai Exist
or don’t they?
Over 800 Yokai have gathered from around the world here in Shodoshima’s Yokai Art Museum.
By listening to this guide which introduces everything from the origin of the Yokai, or Japanese monsters, to modern day Yokai, you will be left with a completely different image of what Yokai are.
Yokai originated in the end of the Heian period, and are derived from the ancient Japanese concept of Animism.
But just what are Yokai?
Yokai are a source of fear, of comfort, of culture, of entertainment. Those kinds of discoveries lie waiting for you here.
The Origin of Yokai
Why were the Yokai born in Japan?
The people of ancient Japan believed that spirits and demons lived in all things.
All of the mysterious things that happened around them was said to be caused by spirits.
We introduce Yokai as art through sculptures of Yokai which convey the spirit of animalism in Japan that existed in the middle ages, to Yokai being used in entertainment in the Edo period.
Would you remember if you were eaten by a Yōkai?
Here we will introduce a Yokai which has recently come to live on the island. It is said to appear on cold evenings.
Falling asleep under the Kotatsu is especially dangerous.
If you take a step into the warehouse of this former soy sauce factory, and are sucked into the giant cave before you, there is a chance you have actually already been eaten by the Yokai.
Heisei Yōkai Illustrated Guide
What are modern Yokai?
The cities are overflowing with neon signs. Convenience stores are open 24/7 and at any point you can open your smartphone and connect to someone. Science has continued to develop.
However, the brighter the world becomes, the deeper the darkness inside of people. New Yokai are born everyday. We are shocked by the daily trivialities and irrational occurrences in our day to day life.
This is the crucible of the Yokai which are born in the Heisei Era.
In the darkness, you can see it.
Where there is light, there is shadow. There is darkness. But in this darkness, you feel the presence of something. This is the Mononoke.
If you lie on the Tatami in the middle of this darkness, you may feel like you can see something moving. We want you to take a silent moment of mediation as you lay here staring at the painting on the ceiling stretching out in front of you.
The Mononoke Mandara offers you a chance to come face to face with yourself and be “reborn again.”
Special Exhibition[Free Admission]
An abandoned cafeteria in “the maze town” which had been left to darkness is brought back to life by foreign artists.
These artists are from Taiwan, a country with a long-standing relationship with Japan. After wandering through the thin and winding roads, when you arrive here you are sure to come across a brand new feeling you have never happened across before.
- No holidays
(Open during the Setouchi International Arts Festival and other holidays)
- 405 Ko, Tonosho, Shōzo-gun, Kagawa-ken 761-4106