Manga Yokai Stories by Sean Michael Wilson and UK-based artist Ai Inko Takita (aka Inko) is available from 15th September 2020, Sean’s second big collection of manga versions of the Japanese tales collected together by the Irish-Greek writer Lafcadio Hearn, around 120 years ago.
Offering a spine-tingling collection of seven Japanese ghost stories will thrill lovers of yokai stories, like the work of MR James they’re more mystery than horror, and with a subtle touch.
Manga Yokai Stories includes “Nuke-kubi”, in which a masterless samurai is trapped in a house haunted by headless goblins;
“The Screen Maiden”, where a young man develops an obsession with a woman in a painting that almost kills him; “Corpse Rider”, in which a woman’s unburied corpse cannot rest until she has taken her revenge on the man who divorced her; and “A Dead Secret”, where a young mother terrifies her family when she returns as a ghost, unable to find peace until she puts to rest a shocking secret she has left behind…
Released by Tuttle Publishing, these classic Japanese ghost stories are based on those written by famed author Lafcadio Hearn between 1890 and 1904.
Sean Michael Wilson, who adapted the text of Lafcadio Hearn’s original stories for this collection, is a comic book writer from Scotland, now living in Japan. He has had more than 30 books published with a variety of US, UK and Japanese publishers. He is the editor of the critically acclaimed collection AX:alternativemanga (Publishers Weekly‘s ‘Best ten books of 2010’ and nominated for a Harvey award).
Working with various Japanese artists he has written a unique line of Japanese history/martial arts/Samurai books, including The Book of Five Rings, The 47 Ronin, and Cold Mountain, winner of China Comic and Animation Competition 2015 ‘Best Overseas Comic’ award. Recent releases include The Garden, working with artist Fumio Obata.
In 2016 his book The Faceless Ghost was nominated for the prestigious Eisner Book Awards, and received a medal in the 2016 Independent Publisher Book Awards. In 2017, his book Secrets of the Ninja won an International Manga Award from the Japanese government – the first British person to receive this award.
Inko Ai Takita was born in Kyoto, Japan. She grew up with manga comics, loving both reading and drawing them. After graduating from Kyoto Zokei University of Art & Design, she moved to England and studied at Central St. Martin’s College of Art & Design. She is now based in the UK, where she delivers manga workshops in schools, galleries, museums and libraries.
Inko has worked as a culture and language ambassador for London University School of Oriental and African Studies. More of her yokai and monster drawings appear in Ketsueki (Markosia, 2011) and Tam O’Shanter (Cranachan, 2019).
Lafcadio Hearn (1850-1904) was born on the Greek island of Lefkas, the son of an Anglo-Irish father and a Greek mother. At the age of nineteen, he went to America, eventually ending up in New Orleans as a newspaper reporter. His flight from Western materialism brought him to Japan in 1890, where he worked for the Kobe Chronicle, and taught in various schools. In 1896, he began teaching English literature at Tokyo Imperial University, a position he held until 1903. He married a samurai’s daughter, became a Japanese citizen and a Buddhist and changed his name to Koizumi Yakumo. He became the great interpreter of things Japanese to the West.
Hearn’s most famous work is a collection of lectures entitled Japan: An Attempt at Interpretation (published posthumously in 1905). His other books on Japan include Kokoro (1896), In Ghostly Japan (1899) and Japanese Miscellany (1901).