Shaping Darkness in hyakki yagyō emaki


  • Raluca NICOLAE Bucharest University of Economic Studies



yōkai, night, parade, painted scrolls, fear


In Japanese culture, the yōkai, the numinous creatures inhabiting the other world and, sometimes, the boundary between our world and the other, are obvious manifestations of the feeling of fear, “translated” into text and image. Among the numerous emaki in which the yōkai appear, there is a specific type, called hyakki yagyō (the night parade of one hundred demons), where all sorts and sizes of monsters flock together to enjoy themselves at night, but, in the end, are scattered away by the first beams of light or by the mysterious darani no hi, the fire produced by a powerful magical invocation, used in the Buddhist sect Shingon. The nexus of this emakimono is their great number, hyakki, (one hundred demons being a generic term which encompasses a large variety of yōkai and oni) as well as the night––the very time when darkness becomes flesh and blood and starts marching on the streets.


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Author Biography

  • Raluca NICOLAE, Bucharest University of Economic Studies
    Associate professor, Department of Modern Languages and Business Communication


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24. 07. 2015



Researches in Arts and Popular Culture

How to Cite

NICOLAE, Raluca. 2015. “Shaping Darkness in Hyakki Yagyō Emaki”. Asian Studies 3 (1): 9-27.

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