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Japan’s history has such a huge influence on its current trends. In fact, what is old is cool in Japan. Samurai, geisha and ninja are all perfect examples of how Japan loves to romanticize their history and how the past continues to play a role in present day culture. It’s surprising that entertainment in Japan isn’t constantly just remaking old stuff into new stuff! (Oh wait, they are?)

One of the most popular things in Japan right now is Yo-Kai Watch, which combines the thrill of Pokemon with monsters of Japanese folklore. But aren’t the monsters of Japan too scary for a children’s Pokémon-like game? If you haven’t figured it out yet…Japanese folklore is a weird and wonderful place.

For some reason, the yokai of Japanese lore are never purely scary monsters. The highest quality and perhaps best collection of yokai paintings is the Hyakkai Zukan or The Illustrated Volume of a Hundred Demons. Completed in 1737, the artist credited to this collection is Sawaki Suushi whose work, many people believe, is the basis for all Japanese monsters after the Edo Period.

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When you look at these demons you can’t help but notice that they are kinda scary, but also kinda cute…scute…cury? They also have the sort of weird but cuddly feel to them…wuddly? However you want to describe them, it’s like the Hyakkai Zukan took the scariest yokai and had the riddikulus spell cast on each of them, turning all of them into characters you wouldn’t mind following you around!

▼Hence the entire premise for Yokai Watch!

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We’d like to see Yokai Watch turn some of these yokai into cuddly creatures…it seems like a difficult task with more than a few of them:

▼Some people find a longer neck attractive in a woman…

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▼The fabled Yuki Onna, snow woman

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▼The lost pet outside your door. Of course you can come in creepy, yet kinda cute monster!

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▼Psy…duck…is that you?

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▼Obviously the inspiration for Hasbro’s Mr. Potato Head.

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What do you think about the classic versions of Japanese monsters? How do the modern adaptations compare with the originals? Whether they are from the Edo Era or the era of video games, the yokai are a proud tradition of Japanese culture!

Source: Japaaan Magazine
Images: Wikipedia, Siliconera