Yokai

Boy’s Miyamairi Ceremonial Kimono with Depictions of Momotaro and Defeated Demons, Edo period (1603-1868), fabric, indigo, and other natural pigment

Museum of International Folk Art, 706 Camino Lejo, 505-476-1200, international folkart.org

In December, the museum opened one of the first large-scale exhibitions in the United States on the subject of Japanese supernatural beings, such as ghosts, demons, ogres, shape-shifters, and monsters. Collectively known as yokai, these beings were referenced in historic religious texts and art. But they became popular characters in their own right, possibly as early as the Muromachi period (1392-1573), and remain influential in Japanese pop culture today. Yokai can be found in comics, theatrical productions, movies, festivals, and more. An online version of the exhibition, Yokai: Ghosts and Demons of Japan, is now available at yokai.moifa.org or through the museum’s exhibition page on its website. The online version is ongoing. The onsite exhibition remains on view through Jan. 16, 2022 (currently, all New Mexico state museums are closed due to the spike in CoViD cases).

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