Welcome to MatthewMeyer.net, the website of the author and illustrator of The Night Parade of One Hundred Demons and The Hour of Meeting Evil Spirits.
Greetings yokai fans!
Today’s yokai is another companion piece.
This is fuguruma yohi, the strange queen of the book cart.
You can probably guess who her companion is, as they are king and queen. Last month’s chirizuka kaio and today’s fuguruma yohi appear opposite each other in their original publication, Hyakki tsurezure bukuro. Like the strange king, this strange queen was made up by Toriyama Sekien, based on a pun from the Tsurezure gusa.
It’s never specified just what she is queen of (if anything). Presumably, she is just the queen of that book cart and it’s just a fancy name. But maybe she is queen of the tsukumogami entirely, ruling alongside the chirizuka kaio? It’s fun to speculate, but really there’s no answer, as neither of them are folkloric or mythological figures. They were both invented for Sekien’s book and really just mainly as silly puns that sharp-eyed and educated readers would enjoy on a level above just the funny illustration. Toriyama Sekien was a master at creating multi-leveled humor.
But regardless of what she is queen of, she’s a fun character to look at and a good addition to our collection of yokai!
This post originally appeared on Patreon.com. Support my work and feed your yokai addiction by becoming a backer for only $1 per month!