Japan is monster country. Nowhere else on earth has the sheer variety of bizarre beasties lurking in every shadow. And no-one’s monsters are as weird.
The Japanese raccoon dog or tanuki, a shape-shifting, hedonistic and jovial trickster, has always lived in the borderlands between human settlement and the wilderness
Follow the path marked by red torii gates and enter a world outside of the city, a world of meandering paths, where there are more foxes than people.
Although their origins lie in Japanese folk traditions, omamori are still a popular sight throughout Japan. The word itself, 御守り, doesn’t have a direct translation into English, but they are protection charms – usually for sale within both Buddhist temples and Shinto shrines – which are said to contain spirits.
Chris Kullstroem delves into the world of monsters, their cultural festivals and scare tourism…