Powerful, grotesque, and beautiful, the masked ritual figures of Japan variously represent the deities, otherworldly visitors, oni demons, and other denizens of the supernatural that haunt the fields, mountains, forests, and seashores of the archipelago. Deliberately divorced by the photographer from their festival contexts, the beings reach eloquently out toward us from where they stand in the interstices between the real and unreal.
This collection presents costumes from festivals in fifty-eight locales, from Akita in the north to the remote islands of Okinawa in the southwest. Also included are text contributions by critic Toshiharu Ito, writer and editor Akihiro Hatanaka, and poet and translator Ryoko Sekiguchi.
The original edition of this book was first published in the United Kingdom in 2016 by Thames & Hudson Limited.
The Japanese edition is available for purchase only within Japan.