By Frenchy Lunning
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Additional resources for Limits of the Human
Although yōkai is presently the word of choice, other terms are also invoked— such as bakemono, the more childish obake, and the more academic-sounding kaii genshō. Historically, the popularity of the word yōkai is relatively recent: although it has semantic roots in China and appears in Japan as early as mid-Edo, it did not develop into the default technical term until the Meiji-period writings of Inoue Enryō. See Komatsu Kazuhiko, “Yōkai: kaisetsu,” in Yōkai, ed. Komatsu Kazuhiko (Tokyo: Kawade Shobō Shinsha, ), –; also Kyōgoku Natsuhiko, “Yōkai to iu kotoba ni tsuite (sono )” (About the word ‘yōkai’; second installment) Kai (December ): –.
Toriyama Sekien’s Tenjōname. Courtesy of the Kawasaki City Museum. t h e ot h e rwo r l d s o f m i z u k i s h i g e r u 17 war. It was there and then, in an innocent, almost mystic atmosphere, that yōkai and the stories surrounding them inspired the imagination of old and young alike. Mizuki constructs his own hometown as an authentic and idyllic space representative of all hometowns; his manga, anime, catalogs, and personal memoirs bind postwar Japan to this desired prewar, prelapsarian, moment in much the same way Yanagita’s writings linked early twentiethcentury modernity with a mystical pre-Meiji imaginary.
The ﬁnal volume of the series includes, appropriately, two parallel datelines: one for the Shōwa period and one for Mizuki’s life. See Mizuki Shigeru, Komikku Shōwa shi (Manga history of Shōwa), vol. (Tokyo: Kōdansha Komikkusu, ), –. . Mizuki Shigeru, Musume ni kataru otōsan no senki (Papa’s war diary told to his daughters) (Tokyo: Kawade Shobō Shinsha, ), –. For subsequent citations, page numbers are given parenthetically in the text. . Mizuki’s lionization of the local people is rare in Japanese war memoirs about Rabaul, most of which speak disparagingly of the natives and their lifestyle.
Limits of the Human by Frenchy Lunning