Gazu Hyakki Yagyō
Gazu Hyakki Yagyō
The Gazu Hyakki Yagyō (画図百鬼夜行), also called the Gazu Hyakki Yakō (The Illustrated Demon Horde’s Night Parade) is a compendium of Yōkai, demons and ghosts compiled by Toriyama Sekien, published in the Autumn of 1776.
The books were inspired by the 10th Century Demon Horde’s Night Parade. These books, alongside the following three books, the Konjaku Gazu Zoku Hyakki, Konjaku Hyakki Shūi and Hyakki Tsurezure Bukuro are different to earlier depictions of Yōkai as they place the Yōkai in a time and a place instead of just depicting them on a blank background.
This book was created as a set with the Konjaku Gazu Zoku Hyakki though they weren’t released together. The book was divided into three sections and contains 51 different Yokai.1
The forward of the book reads:
Let us speak of shape-shifting things, like stone-swallows or inkbrush-crickets. The man who created this book, Toriyama Sekien, has enjoyed himself in the field of art for some years. His very brush shape-shifts; in fact, there is nothing in all of creation it cannot evoke. He is already famed for his book Toriyamabiko.
This time, he took the ancient Hyakki Yagyō scrolls as inspiration, to which he added his own inimitable personal touch. A publisher took note and prepared blocks for printing a book. Sekien split his work into six Volumes: Ying, Yang, Wind, Rain, Darkness and Light. These are the first three, entitle, naturally. Gazu Hyakki Yagyō. By and by he asked me to pen a forward. Sekien and I have long been traders of verse, so I could hardly refuse.
But if you’re the sort who follows the conventional wisdom of shying away from talk of spirits and demons, you might find yourself wishing to avert your eyes.
Part One – Ying – 陰
Part Two – Yang – 陽
Part Three – Wind –風
- View the Gazu Hyakki Yagyō online here: Gazu Hyakki Yagyō Vol. 1 Online.
1. Yoda, H. and Alt, M. (2016) “Japandemonium: Illustrated: The Yokai Encyclopaedia of Toriyama Sekien.”. New York: Dover Publications, Inc.
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