Category: Films

Japanese Monsters, Ghosts, and Spirits: Mythical Yōkai (妖怪) at OSU Libraries

An example of a colorful three-panel woodblock print of Japanese spirits and demons from the book Yōkai: Strange Beasts & Weird Spectres — 100 Japanese Triptychs (pages 56-57)

In Japanese folklore, yōkai (妖怪) refers to legendary ghosts, monsters, and spirits.  Rooted in Japanese animism, ancient Japanese religion, and the providence of nature, these mythical creatures are attributed with strange behaviors to explain the otherwise mysterious phenomena encountered in ancient life. Shedding light on the meaning of this word, the two kanji for yōkai, mean “attractive, bewitching” (妖)  and “mystery, wonder” (怪) respectively.  Because of their connection to human nature, yōkai were often depicted as strange embodiments of ordinary individuals or creatures — some resembling humans, for example, with altered features such as a long neck or three eyes.  Others looked like strange animals, plants, insects, or household goods. 

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NHK Drama DVDs in the Japanese Studies Collections

The following is a list of NHK dramas offered through the Japanese Studies Collections. Brief plot synopses for each series are provided along with links to their pages in the library’s catalog. Continue reading

DVD Resources in OSUL: プロジェクトX (Project X) and プロフェッショナル (Professional)

OSUL contains several different resources which can serve as valuable insight into modern Japanese innovations and professions. Among these are the two documentary television series from 日本放送協会 (NHK) known as プロジェクトX (Project X) and プロフェッショナル (Professional). プロシェクトX delves into the historical backgrounds for major advancements in Japanese industry, science, technology, public affairs, and sports. プロフェッショナル focuses on the detailed analysis of different professions by shadowing those who work in them, providing a glimpse into their daily work and motivations.

Project X and Professional

(Left): プロフェッショナル – 盲導犬訓練士多和田悟の仕事 (Right): プロジェクトX –  ゆけチャンピイ奇跡の犬 日本初の盲導犬・愛の物語

  • プロジェクトX (Project X) can be accessed through the library’s wiki here
  • プロフェッショナル (Professional) titles in OSUL catalog are listed below:

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Japanese films

The best way to find Japanese films in the Ohio State University Libraries’ collections is through the library’s catalog. I found 563 Japanese films! using the advanced search, limiting to Video Recording and Language = Japanese. The titles I found include TV shows and educational films in addition to movies.

Books on Japanese cinema in the library have the subject: Motion pictures — Japan

There are many databases on Japanese film, including these: Continue reading