If you are curious about Japan, its art forms, and its beliefs you ought to read about its mythology. Every mythological detailed character leaves a mark on the lives of the people of the land – it could religious, but it portrays the culture of the land massively. Here is a list of the 10 best books on Japanese mythology. Like Greek mythology has Zeus and many other gods, goddesses, and monsters that influenced the commencement of art and writing, Japanese mythology has Yokai or monsters which plays a huge role in Japanese mythology. Yokai are strange characters of Japanese mythology, they are spirits that can be malevolent and benevolent to humans. These spirits are described as creatures having supernatural powers and they often have animal features but they may look like humans in appearance as well.
10 Best Books on Japanese Mythology | Books on Mythology of Japan:
- The Night Parade of One Hundred Demons – Matthew Meyer
- Japanese Tales – Royall Tyler
- Tales of Old Japan – Algernon Freeman Mitford
- Kitsune Tsuki – Laura Van Arendonk Baugh
- The Great Yokai Encyclopedia – Richard Freeman
- Monotagari Tales of Japan – Elena N. Grand
- A Treasury of Japanese Folktales – Yuri Yasuda
- The Book of Yokai – Michael Dylan Foster
- The Japanese Fairy Book – Yei Theodora Ozaki
- Yokai Attacks! – Matt Alt and Hiroko Yoda
The Night Parade of One Hundred Demons – Matthew Meyer
A massive description and illustration of Japanese Yokai or monsters from the historic folklores of Japan, including their origin, food consumption and more have been captured by Matthew Meyer in this astonishing guide of Japanese mythology.
Japanese Tales – Royall Tyler
This book is a collection of 220 alluring tales from medieval Japan consisting of ghosts, saints, monsters, miracles, demons, and healers. This represents the Japanese cultivation through jokes, legends, ideas of hell, and more.
Tales of Old Japan – Algernon Freeman Mitford
This is again a compilation of short stories. These stories concentrate on several aspects of Japan and its life before the Meiji Restoration. The introduction of this book briefly talks about the literature and culture of Japan and it also includes some of the rituals witnessed by the author.
Kitsune Tsuki – Laura Van Arendonk Baugh
In feudal Japan, a warlord has occupied the Ryuji Tsurugu no Kiyomori, who is a practitioner of the spiritual arts to keep his new bride safe from the fox spirit reported to be close. Tsuru and Shishio Hitoshi, a shadow warrior, face a challenge in taking out the spiritual creature from the warlord’s house if there is any. There will be a lot of secrets and shadows going on in this book.
The Great Yokai Encyclopedia – Richard Freeman
Richard Freeman went all out and wrote about every monster – a dragon that impregnates women, blood-sucking trees, perverse water goblins, cats that animate corpses, giant corpses eating bunnies, pigs that steal human genitals zombie whales, and whatnot.
Monotagari Tales of Japan – Elena N. Grand
This book is a collection of Japanese folklore that includes jokes, miracles, legends, illustrations of the renowned Katsushika Hokusai. This book will present the Japanese civilization in the classical period.
A Treasury of Japanese Folktales – Yuri Yasuda
This book written by Yuri Yasuda includes 12 of the greatest Japanese legends and some astonishing illustrations and tales that have been told generation after generation to children.
The Book of Yokai – Michael Dylan Foster
Another Yokai book, this one is written by Michael Dylan Foster. These creatures are of different shapes and sizes. Presently they are popular in computer games, manga, anime, and films. After years of research, Michael Foster has jotted down the history, the roots, cultural context, and the hunters of the Yokai.
The Japanese Fairy Book – Yei Theodora Ozaki
This book is originally written by Sazanami Iwaya and translated by Yei Ozaki. This consists of 22 tales that have ogres, ghouls, goblins, sea kings and serpents, magical birds, dragons, prince and princesses, and more.
Yokai Attacks! – Matt Alt and Hiroko Yoda
Yokai are like ghosts, spirits, or whatever term you could match with that sort. Everyone has their definition and description about how they look and the kind of features and special abilities they possess. This book is composed after gathering information from various sources including 18th-century movie illustrations.