Now Available: The Night Parade of One Hundred Demons

My book, The Night Parade of One Hundred Demons, is now available to order!

The Night Parade of One Hundred Demons (cover)

You can order your paperback copy directly from CreateSpace, or from Amazon.com. The digital version will also be is also available on Amazon.com within a few days! Check your local brick-and-mortar bookstores too!

Yokai – monsters from Japanese folklore – are some of the zaniest and wildest things ever imagined up. From the mists of Japanese prehistory, through the medieval ages, up to today, the bestiary of Japanese folklore contains a wide range of monsters. There are women with extra mouths in the backs of their heads, water goblins whose favorite food is human anus, elephant-dragons which feed solely on bad dreams, dead baby zombies, talking foxes, fire-breathing chickens, animated blobs of rotten flesh that run about the streets at night…

The Night Parade of One Hundred Demons is a massive illustrated bestiary choc full of yokai. It features over one hundred traditional Japanese monsters, each one beautifully illustrated in full color by yokai artist Matthew Meyer. Each yokai is described in detail, including origins, habitat, diet, and legend, based on translations from centuries-old Japanese texts.

Read this book, and the next time you watch an anime or a Godzilla movie, you’ll be able to recognize their folkloric ancestors dating back centuries. You’ll find out about all of the strange mythical animals you can see at temples and shrines, on beer can labels, and even on Japanese money. Meet the predecessors to Pokemon, Power Rangers, scary J-horror girls, and all of the strange creatures that pop up in Japanese video games. Night Parade will turn anyone with a passing interest in Japanese folklore into a full-blown yokai expert!

The book is 224 pages, with over one hundred full-color paintings. Inside the book you will find all of the following yokai: Abura-sumashi, Aka-name, Aka-shita, Ame-onna, Ao-andon, Ao-nyōbō, Ao-sagi-bi, Azuki-arai, Azuki-babā, Azuki-hakari, Bake-kujira, Bake-neko, Bake-zōri, Baku, Basan, Betobeto-san, Biwa-bokuboku, Chōchin-obake, Chōpirako, Dai-tengu, Doro-ta-bō, Funa-yūrei, Futa-kuchi-onna, Garappa, Gasha-dokuro, Hari-onago, Hito-dama, Hitotsu-me-kozō, Hitotsu-me-nyūdō, Hone-onna, Hō-ō, Hyakki Yagyō, Hyakume, Hyōsube, Iso-onna, Isonade, Itachi, Ittan-momen, Jatai, Jorō-gumo, Jubokko, Kage-onna, Kama-itachi, Kami-kiri, Kappa, Karakasa-kozō, Katawa-guruma, Kawauso, Kerakera-onna, Keukegen, Kijimunā, Kijo, Kirin, Kitsune, Kitsune-bi, Ko-dama, Komainu, Koromo-dako, Kosode-no-te, Kotengu, Koto-furunushi, Kuchi-sake-onna, Kyōrinrin, Mikoshi-nyūdō, Mokumoku-ren, Mujina, Neko-mata, Ningyo, Noppera-bō, Nozuchi, Nuke-kubi, Nuppeppō, Nurarihyon, Nure-onago, Nure-onna, Nuri-botoke, Ohaguro-bettari, Oni, Oni-bi, Onryō, Ō-nyūdō, Otoroshi, Reiki, Rokuro-kubi, Seto-taishō, Shami-chōrō, Shiro-uneri, Shōjō, Shōkera, Suzuri-no-tamashii, Taka-nyūdō, Taka-onna, Tanuki, Tatsu, Tsuchi-gumo, Tsurube-otoshi, Ubume, Umi-bōzu, Ushi-oni, Usu-tsuki-warashi, Uwan, Waira, Yama-uba, Yamabiko, Yamawaro, Yuki-onna, Yūrei, and Zashiki-warashi. Each yokai has a detailed description based on translations of documents hundreds of years old, and an illustration based on classical descriptions, woodblock prints, and paintings from throughout Japanese history.

You won’t find any other book on yokai with this many monsters in it; let alone this many color illustrations! Here’s a few preview pages from the book so you can get a feel for what the whole thing looks like:

Night Parade - Map of Japan

Night Parade - Kappa

Night Parade - Hou-ou

Night Parade - Out at Sea

Ecchan #12 (The Final One)

March’s Ecchan manga marks the last in the series. It was a fun series, and I will miss doing it; not only for being fun to do, but also because I think it was a great help for foreign residents who otherwise have to deal with the most draconian garbage laws on planet Earth without much of an explanation. Hopefully some day Ecchan will continue.

An interesting thing happened today as well — just before writing this update, a stork just like Ecchan flew past my window! March is when they migrate back to Japan from China, and considering there are only a few hundred or so in all of Japan, this was a great sighting for me and for my town! The storks are back in Echizen for the summer!

Ecchan #12
Ecchan #12

Panel 1:「この金属製のふたは、何ごみなの?」
What kind of trash is this metal cap?
Panel 2:「金属製なら『燃やせないごみ』」
If it’s a metal cap, it’s non-burnable trash!
Panel 3:「プラスチック製なら、ほとんどが『プラごみ※』だよ。」
If it’s made of plastic, usually it will be puragomi.
Panel 4:「プラごみは資源として再利用されるごみの一つだから、汚れていないことが条件だよ!」
Puragomi is one kind of recyclable trash, so make sure it is not dirty when you throw it out!

All of the Ecchan comics can be viewed in Japanese, Chinese, Portuguese, and English at the Echizen International Association’s website: http://www.e-i-a.jp/en/help/garbage/

Ecchan #11

February’s Ecchan is the second to last comic in the series. Next month will be the final one.

I mentioned before how each of these monthly comics is accompanied by a page of text detailing the rules in depth for foreigners to correctly separate their trash. Well, now you can see all of the comics with their full descriptions in Japanese, Portuguese, Chinese, and English on the newly-redesigned Echizen International Association website. You can find all of the comics here: http://www.e-i-a.jp/en/help/garbage/

Ecchan #11
Ecchan #11

Panel 1: ビンや缶は、全部『資源ごみ』の日に捨てればいいの?
Can I throw out all my glass bottles and cans on recycling day?
Panel 2: 違うよ。『資源ごみ』と『燃やせないごみ』に分かれる。 | え!?どうやって?
No. They are split up into recyclable and non-burnable trash. | What?! How do you know which?
Panel 3: ポイントは、飲食物が入っていたかどうか! | たとえば、ジャムのビンは『資源ごみ』で、化粧品のビンは『燃やせないごみ』だよ!
The main point is whether food was contained in them or not. | For example, a jar of jam would be recyclable, while a makeup jar would be non-burnable trash!

 

Ecchan #10

Ecchan #10 is out! This is the January 2012 issue.

There’s not much more to say… Night Parade has been keeping me too busy to post much. I’m sure many of you are waiting for an update on the book, so I’m sorry I haven’t been able to give it a decent post in a while. Expect the big announcement on that pretty soon though!

Ecchan #10
Ecchan #10

Panel 1: スプレー缶を捨てるときは、必ず穴を開けないといけないよ。
When you throw away spray cans, you must poke a hole into them.
Panel 2: 他のゴミに混ざっていると、ゴミを回収して運ぶとき、とても危ないんだ!
If you mix them up with other types of trash, when the trash is collected it can be very dangerous!
Panel 3: こわい!じゃあ、スプレー缶は、いつ、どこに捨てればいいの?
That’s scary! So, when and where should I throw spray cans away?
Panel 4: 町内で決まっている『資源ごみの日』に、ゴミステーションで分別して出すよ。
Take it to your trash station on the designated day and throw it in the designated bin!

Ecchan #9

Christmas Ecchan

Happy New Year! I meant to upload this post on Christmas, but the end of December flew by me so quickly that it was January before I even knew it! I’m happy to say that The Night Parade of One Hundred Demons is almost finished, and will be published very soon — hopefully within a month. In the meantime, here is last month’s Ecchan comic, and a Santa Ecchan to celebrate the holiday season. A little late, but better late than never!

I did find out recently that Ecchan will not be renewed next year. That’s a big disappointment, as I really enjoyed making these. There will still be three more comics (up through March) in this series, but that will be the end of the series, unless it ever gets renewed some time in the future. It’s a little puzzling to me, as city hall has spent so much time, money, and energy trying to reinvent Echizen this year as a) a hot spot for storks, and b) an ecologically restored, clean and green town. Hopefully this just means a change of direction, and not that the move to promote ecology and wildlife was just a one-year fad… but it’s hard to tell with politicians and bureaucrats.

Anyway, on to December’s comic:

Ecchan #9

Panel 1:「プラごみ*はプラスチックとして再利用されるよ。」
“‘Puragomi’ is recycled as plastic.”

Panel 2:「汚れていたら、水でさっと汚れを流そう!」「え!?ゴミなのにどうして洗うの?」
“If it’s dirty, wash it out with water!”  “Huh!? Even though it’s trash, I have to wash it?”

Panel 3:「汚れがあるとリサイクルできないないんだ。」
“That’s because it can’t be recycled if it is dirty.”

Panel 4:「資源を大切にするために、私たちも協力しなくちゃね!」
“We all have to work together to conserve resources!”

Ecchan #8

It’s now well into November, and I am enjoying the beautiful fall colors here in Japan! Though while the mountains are like huge heaping piles of color that fill up the entire horizon, there’s something to be said on the smaller scale for the lush tree-filled avenues of New Jersey. Even Japan’s rural towns are asphalt jungles, and the only non-paved land is generally used for agriculture, so there are precious few trees in the towns. Oh well, I guess you can’t have it all no matter where you live!

This month’s Ecchan comic has been finished and continues the theme of separate trash. Looking at it here I often forget that we’re seeing a slightly incomplete version, as that funny brown bar at the top demonstrates. That empty space is used, along with a large area below the comic, for extra information on the month’s topic. So if it looks strange on this site, that’s normal! Today’s comic doesn’t make much sense on its own, but it headlines an article detailing the proper way to separate plastic trash from other nonburnable trash.

Ecchan #8
Ecchan #8

Panel 1: 「プラゴミ」って、プラスチック製のゴミのこと?
“Puragomi…” does that mean plastic garbage?
Panel 2: ううん、ちがうよ。商品の容器や包装に使われていたビニール製のゴミが「プラごみ」なんだ!
Not quite. Plastic containers and plastic wrappers are classified as “puragomi.”
Panel 3: ほら、このプラマークが目印だよ!
Look, here is the “puragomi” mark!

Ecchan #7

It’s been a quiet month on my blog, primarily due to my yokai book taking up nearly 100% of my time, leaving me none to write here — but also because I’m beginning to see how social networking is making blogs obsolete. It’s a lot easier for me to make a quick post to my Facebook page than it is for me to write up a long, detailed post here. On the same note, interacting with the Facebook page is easier than posting comments on a blog. With that in mind I am pondering the direction to take my blog, as it will definitely need a redesign to coincide with the read of Night Parade. I think the way to go is more integration with social networking services like Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ in order to make communication with fans easier, while using this website as more of a portolio with updates solely about my artwork. This kind of conforms to the way I have been using it in recent months: fewer updates on the blog, but each update will have more substance and be related to my artwork. Other kinds of posts seem more suited to the environment of social networking sites, so you’ll see them on Facebook, Google+ and so on!

Halloween Ecchan
Halloween Ecchan

Anyway, on to the main topic of this post! The October edition of Ecchan.

Obviously I wanted to do a Halloween-themed Ecchan, which you can see to the right. The story doesn’t have anything to do with Halloween, but it’s nice to keep up with the seasons somehow, especially considering that Japan is so in-touch with seasonal changes that to let them go by unnoticed seems weird.

This month continues the same topic as before. Here is the script:

Panel 1: CDラジカセこわれたから、買ったんだ!
“My CD player broke, so I bought this!
Panel 2:これはどうやって捨てるの?
How do we throw this away?
Panel 3:小型家電は「燃やせないごみ」だよ。
Small consumer electronics go in “nonburnable garbage!”
Panel 4: 電池は必ず取り出して、有害ごみ(※)として捨てるよ。
Make sure you take out the batteries, and treat them as hazardous garbage!

Ecchan #7
Ecchan #7