Halloween Celebration: Japanese Horror Showcase!

“Japanese Horror Showcase”

Written by: Brandon Skanes and Cory Sellars

Message from the Owner:

In the spring of 2020 I became fascinated with Japanese culture, and this was the result of watching the anime Inuyasha (2000-2004). The “Inuyasha” anime (also based on a manga series which ran from 1996 to 2008), is primarily set in Feudal Japan.

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This was a time from 1185 to about 1603, as it covered much of the Middle-Ages.Since this popular anime took place in a world of the past, stories often involved demons, ghosts, as well as yokai. So, what are yokai? According to yokai.com,

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“Yokia are strange supernatural creatures and phenomena from Japanese folklore. The world of yokai also includes ghosts, transformed human and animals, spirit possession, urban legends, and other strange phenomena.”

I’ve learned some things about the Japanese supernatural, especially in 2021 when my friends and I conducted a paranormal investigation for the first time. From our own research, I also learned that some Asian cultures use intense profanity to push evil spirits away. So, what do we have in store today at The Modernist Son? Well, today’s blog post will be another showcase. This time we are focusing on Japanese horror, as a means of celebrating the Halloween season.

Before we dive straight into the content, our team has an announcement to make. I (the owner) and Cory Sellars have decided to collaborate for my next volume of poetry. This poetry collection is expected for the summer of 2022, and will be titled Cosmo and the Revolution. Horror will be a subgenre for this volume, as we will also focus on love, life, and the human condition. With that being said, Cory is also the co-author for this horror showcase.

Suicide Forest:

(Written by Brandon Skanes)

About two hours from Tokyo, the area known as “Suicide Forest” rests on the northwestern part of Mount Fuji. Known formally as Aokigahara the forest gets its name from the large amount of people who have taken their own lives within the dense proximity.

Drawing from the significance of this place in Japanese culture, it’s said to be inhabited by the yurei- Japanese ghosts said to be prohibited from a peaceful afterlife. Thus, spirits of these dead men and women restlessly haunt the grounds of the park. As recently as the 1960s (it could have been earlier than this), the park has been associated with the issue of suicide and the paranormal. Interestingly, this has led to the nickname “Suicide Forest” within the English-speaking world. Back in 2003, 105 bodies of the deceased were found in the forest. Yes, that’s just for one year.

So, besides the issue of mass suicide; what makes this place so haunted? Well, this place has been long associated with death and the supernatural. Actually, there have been records of large amounts of death as far back as the 1800s. Although not necessarily a proven fact, it’s possible ubasute was practiced in the area during the 1800s. More specifically, the term ubasute refers to bringing frail (or sick) elderly people to a remote area, and leaving them to die. Some people viewed this as a way of putting people out of their misery. However, we cannot dismiss this was the process of abandoning human life.

Red, or Blue?

(Written by Cory Sellars)

Here’s one of my favourite Japanese urban legends, and one I heard about when I was a kid. Actually, I heard about this legend when I was in junior high from 2008 to 2011. The paranormal creature known as the Aka Manto or even Red Cape, is something you would find in public bathrooms. Now, it’s something you would find more so in the public bathrooms of Japanese schools. But why Japan in particular? Well, I have no idea. Maybe someone pissed it off. In terms of what the story deals with, the Aka Manto is a masked spirit who appears to people when they are using public bathrooms.