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Octopus games by Utagawa Kuniyoshi, Japan

The Sea Monk (Umi Bozu) is a sea monster with a smooth round head, like the shaven head of a Buddhist monk. This print illustrates the story of the sailor Kawanaya Tokuzo, who decides to go to sea on the last day of the year. A violent storm breaks out & the Umi Bozu appears. In a ghastly voice the apparition demands, "Name the most horrible thing you know!" Tokuzo yells back, "My profession is the most horrible thing I know!" The monster is satisfied with this answer and disappears.

寺つつき / Tera-tsutsuki / Temple-pecker from "Kaibutsu Ehon", 1881 by Nabeta Gyokuei || Tera-tsutsuki is the onryo of Mononobe no Moriya. It was sighted at Horyu-ji and Shitenno-ji temples, where it took the form of ghostly woodpecker and tried to destroy the temples until it was driven away by Prince Shotoku.

Utagawa Kunisada I and his school Period: Edo period (1615–1868) Date: 19th century Culture: Japan Medium: Polychrome woodblock print; ink and color on paper

The Kaibutsu Ehon ("Illustrated Book of Monsters") is an 1881 book featuring woodblock prints of yōkai, or creatures from Japanese folklore. Illustrated by painter Nabeta Gyokuei, the book is modeled after the influential works of Toriyama Sekien, an 18th-century scholar and ukiyo-e artist known for his attempt to catalog the many species of yōkai in Japan.

Utagawa Kuniyoshi - Mitsukuni Defies the Skeleton-spectre Conjoured up by Princess Takiyasha

Nabeta Gyokuei : Nekomata (fork-tailed cat with a host of supernatural abilities), 1881 - an example of yōkai, or creatures from Japanese folklore.

'Fukubara densha kai-i no zu', by Fukao Hokui (深尾北為). Woodblock print, triptych. History, myth and legend. Account of event in 1168 when ghosts of the slain Minamoto appeared to Taira no Kiyomori. (Left)