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Yokai Attack!: The Japanese Monster Survival Guide [Paperback]

Hiroko Yoda , Matt Alt , Tatsuya Morino
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
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Book Description

Aug. 10 2012 Attack!
Forget Godzilla. Forget the giant beasties karate-chopped into oblivion by endless incarnations of Ultraman, Kamen Rider, and the Power Rangers. Forget Sadako from 'The Ring' and that creepy all-white kid from 'The Grudge.' Forget everything you know about tales of terror before reaching for this book.

Yokai Attack! is a nightmare-inducing one-stop guide to Japan's traditional creepy-crawlies. Yokai are ethereal sorts of beings, like ghosts, nearly always encountered at night; everyone has their own take on how they might look in real life and what sorts of specific characteristics and abilities they might have. This book is the result of long hours spent poring over data and descriptions from a variety of sources, including microfilms of eighteenth-century illustrations from the national Diet Libraryin Tokyo, in order to bring you detailed information on almost 50 of these amazing creatures for the first time in English.

Illustrations, created by the talented Tatsuya Morino, detail the potential appearance of each yokai. Alongside each illustration is a series of "data points," with each yokai's important features at a glance-especially handy for any potential close encounters.

Yokai Attack! will surely convince you that Japan's tradition of fascinating monsters is a long one-yet far from being history.

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Yokai Attack!: The Japanese Monster Survival Guide + Yurei Attack!: The Japanese Ghost Survival Guide
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Product Description

About the Author

Matt Alt and Hiroko Yoda are a husband and wife team who run a Tokyo-based translation company that specializes in producing the English versions of Japanese video games, comic books, and literature. They are the co-authors of Ninja Attack! and Yurei Attack!, both originally published by Kodansha International and with new expanded editions from Tuttle Publishing.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
Browse Sample Pages
Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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5.0 out of 5 stars Informative May 6 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Informative and well designed, a book for anyone interested in the subject and looking to learn more about its history.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.8 out of 5 stars  24 reviews
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Review of Yokai! Aug. 24 2012
By J. Cameron McClain - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
When's the last time you asked yourself, "Gee, how do I keep my home safe from the Bathtub Licker?" Not recently, you say? And yet to a Japanese child, the mention of the name "Akaname" evokes the image of a large, red demonlike creature with a long tongue and glaring eyes, that hides in the bathroom at night. Aren't you glad you were warned? Then thank your lucky stars you're buying Yokai Attack! The Japanese Monster Survival Guide.

Each of the more than 50 detailed descriptions provide everything you'll need when faced with one of these legendary Japanese monsters. The first page of each entry is the "Stats Sheet" page, containing vital information such as monster height, weight, mode of locomotion, and any special abilities, as well as a full page color image (by talented illustrator Tatsuya Morino) of the yokai in question. The pages following contain information on the type of threat each yokai represents (whether it be just a scare, or a definitely-to-be-avoided disembowelment), as well as any defensive measures that can be taken, origin stories, typical location where found, regional variants of the monster, in addition to stories, facts, and legends surrounding that creature and its habits. Truly, the amount of information contained for each yokai is substantial, and will undoubtedly prove crucial to the would-be yokai hunter (or as often as not, the "yokai hunted").

The authors have made on-the-go referencing easier as well (very important when you're not sure if you're facing a Kuchisaki Onna or a Futakuchi Onna!) by separating yokai into groupings by type, from the ferocious to the feeble. What's more, each grouping has its own tab for flip-through ease, very convenient when you're running away from a creature at close to a full-out sprint!

In my own time in Japan, I myself came across a number of the creatures described in this book, and can attest to the efficacy of at least a few of the defense techniques described therein. I can only say I wish I had had this handbook with me at the time, and that I will certainly be bringing it with me on any future excursions.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Better than the original Sept. 24 2012
By Gilles Poitras - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
I got my hands on the first edition of Yokai Attack as fast as I could when it came out.

Then when the second edition hit my local bookshop I popped it open saw that it had even more yokai and far more color illustrations than the first edition and bought it on the spot.

If you are interested in Japanese folklore or spooky things in general this is a candidate for your shelves.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Night Parade of 100 Demons Oct. 25 2012
By Zack Davisson - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Japan is a monster country. While other countries may have their vampires and wolfmen, their unseelie courts and ogres and giants, Japan is home to a traditional eight million different varieties of spooks and lurkers in the dark. Japanese children obsess on them and memorize them the way American children do dinosaurs, and you would be hard-pressed to find a child without at least one of the ubiquitous tomes detailing their haunting places and special attributes.

"Yokai Attack! The Japanese Monster Survival Guide" (subtitled "A Survival Guide for Foreigners," although this is only written in Japanese), is one of the few English-language books available on this traditional aspect of Japanese culture. Emulating such books as The Zombie Survival Guide, it takes a tongue-in-cheek approach to Japan's bizarre menagerie. The book acts like a video game guide, giving statistics such as height, weight, favorite food, method of attack, surviving an encounter, etc ... A total of forty-nine yokai get the treatment, from the famous beasties like the kappa and tengu, to the lesser-knowns like the dorotabo and the hashi hime.

This is a re-issue of "Yokai Attack!" from a new publisher. There are a few new monsters added, and the book is finally in full-color. The previous edition from Kodansha USA switched to black-and-white illustrations for the final third of the book, almost as if they had run out of money for color printing (which they very may well have, considering Kodansha USA's final fate). Tuttle publishing corrects that, and it looks great. The authors have continued the series with Ninja Attack! and Yurei Attack! in a similar style.

"Yokai Attack!" is very much a "flipping book." You can read it cover-to-cover, but it's more fun going through and checking out whatever yokai that catches your eye. Every entry is accompanied by an illustration by Morino Tatsuya. Morino was an assistant to the yokai-master Mizuki Shigeru, and while his ability is not at Mizuki's level he does a good job with the style. The illustrations are often accompanied by older artwork such as ukiyo-e prints and toys featuring the various yokai, or photos of famous places.

Even thought I am not a huge fan of the "survival guide" style, I give full props to Hiroko Yoda and Matt Alt for writing "Yokai Attack!" Until recently, English-language books about yokai have been few and far between, and limited to academic books like Pandemonium and Parade: Japanese Monsters and the Culture of Yokai. There wasn't anything available for casual fans who wanted to learn a bit more about the various beasties that pop up so often in Japanese video games, comics, and animation. This book is fun and easy-to-read.

Since it was originally published, a few more English-language yokai books have popped up, like The Great Yokai Encyclopaedia and The Night Parade of One Hundred Demons: a Field Guide to Japanese Yokai. Those books are less tongue-in-check, and edge slightly more towards the academic than the playful. They are good continuations for those who want to dive a little deeper into yoikai. In a perfect world, all of Mizuki Shigeru's beautiful and authentic yokai encyclopedias would be available in English translations. But they aren't. So until thin, "Yokai Attack!" is a great introduction for casual readers who want a window into Japan's monster culture.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars From the essential to the bizarre Sept. 26 2012
By tigertora - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
My favorite thing about Yokai Attack! is that it's a book on a topic I would never research myself. Even though I know there are yokai all over Japan, it's just not a topic that calls to me enough to warrant my own deep study, so it's extremely convenient that Hiroko Yoda and Matt Alt have done hella work for me (and you!) Face it, if you don't know what a Kappa or Kitsune is, you are just plain under-informed when it comes to Japan (yes, as a country :P) And this book goes way beyond the Tanuki (Super Mario 3 anybody?) to things you almost wish you hadn't heard of, like the Ashiarai Yashiki--I have my own feet to wash, and am not interested in obliging a huge, demanding, disembodied one that suddenly appears out of nowhere...ew. The revised edition is in full color so there is no reason to sit around reading Amazon reviews; you need this for your reference if you are into Japanese culture--that includes anime and anything else!
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars childhood revisited Sept. 26 2012
By Penny - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
I grew up in Japan and this book brings back memories of summer nights and ghost stories. Not only are the Yokai explained in great detail, but the added historical information is brilliant. I love the illustrations and the sense of humor put into this book. Highly recommended!
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