The Faceless Ghost and Other Macabre Tales from Japan
The Faceless Ghost and Other Macabre Tales from Japan

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Annotation: Presents six supernatural stories from or inspired by Japanese culture.
Catalog Number: #137172
Format: Perma-Bound Edition
All Formats: Search
Special Formats: Graphic Novel Graphic Novel Manga Manga
Common Core/STEAM: Common Core Common Core
Publisher: Random House
Copyright Date: 2015
Edition Date: 2015
Illustrator: Morikawa, Michiru,
Pages: 144
Availability: Available
ISBN: Publisher: 1-611-80197-4 Perma-Bound: 0-605-96724-5
ISBN 13: Publisher: 978-1-611-80197-2 Perma-Bound: 978-0-605-96724-3
Dewey: Fic
LCCN: 2015007576
Dimensions: 23 cm.
Language: English
ALA Booklist
Half-a-dozen of famed Japanophile Hearn's collection of traditional tales of the supernatural are presented in this collection in suitably moody sequential art. Wilson's storyboarding and Morikawa's beautifully detailed images give readers a seemingly medieval Japan, in which life is mostly simple and unadorned by fashion or consumer goods. The title story is perhaps the most frightening to read in this style, with the appearance of the eponymous specter no less terrifying after the build-up of suspense. Other tales here treat a snow spirit insisting on keeping an act of mercy a secret, a gnome-like creature who weeps jewels, and the deadly regret of a woman who contributes to her village's temple bell. Beautifully fashioned in accordance with Hearn's own storytelling aesthetics, this collection makes an excellent crossover title for those inexperienced with graphic novels as well as those unfamiliar with traditional Japanese ghost stories. Hand to fans of Emily Carroll's eerie collection, Through the Woods (2014).
School Library Journal
Gr 8 Up&12; A well-done graphic novel featuring new interpretations of traditional Japanese tales of terror. With six stories of vengeful spirits, mischievous men, and wayward journeys, this graphic novel offers a beautifully drawn interpretation of Lafcadio Hearn's famous renditions of Japanese tales of suspense. Fans can find these selections in various collections, but this work cleverly compiles an interesting group of stories that offer an introduction to Japanese horror folklore. Wilson closely mirrors traditional methods of translation as he reimagines each piece for a graphic modern adventure. While this method creates a mood akin to that felt when reading a more traditional story format, it may prevent immersion from some readers not used to this type of "subtle scare" in their horror. On the other hand, illustrator Morikawa's depictions perfectly capture the essence of each adventure with captivating character models and adept landscapes. With audiences with a high interest in Japanese horror, this graphic novel may circulate well. Tighter collections may want to pick graphic titles from Edogawa Ranpo or Junji Ito. VERDICT Purchase for collections with fans of Japanese folklore.&12; DeHanza Kwong, Central Piedmont Community College, Charlotte, NC
Reviewing Agencies: - Find Other Reviewed Titles
ALA Booklist (3/1/16)
Library Journal
School Library Journal (3/1/16)
Reading Level: 7.0
Interest Level: 7-12

Eerie traditional Japanese ghost stories retold in a graphic novel format.

Over one hundred years ago, the writer Lafcadio Hearn gathered and translated into English a selection of traditional Japanese ghost/mystery stories. They were published as Kwaidan: Stories and Studies of Strange Things. In this new graphic novel, acclaimed manga creator Sean Michael Wilson retells six of these stories. All of them are very well known in Japan, where ghosts and demons are often called yokai, meaning "the mysterious and weird." Today these stories find expression mostly in movies and manga, but they remain rooted in the traditional ghost stories of the Edo era known as kaidan, which means "recited narrative of strange, mysterious, rare, or bewitching apparitions."
The book includes an afterword by William Scott Wilson, the esteemed translator and editor of Japanese texts and samurai philosophy, who puts the stories into historical context.

A 2016 YALSA Great Graphic Novels for Teens Recommendation

The snow woman
Of a mirror and a bell
Hoichi the earless
The faceless ghost
The gratitude of the samebito.

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