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The Night Parade of One Hundred Demons's video poster

an illustrated bestiary of monsters and ghosts from traditional Japanese folklore Read more

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This project was successfully funded on September 1, 2011.

an illustrated bestiary of monsters and ghosts from traditional Japanese folklore

About this project

I want to make a book about yokai.

There are plenty of Japanese-language resources on yokai, but very few books about yokai exist in English. Most of these only deal with only a handful of common ones. Japanese folklore goes back thousands of years, and there are hundreds and hundreds of unique yokai.

The Night Parade of One Hundred Demons will cover a broad range of monsters, from human-like to bestial, adorable to disgusting, silly to terrifying. It will be an illustrated yokai bestiary, featuring one hundred monsters with full color illustrations and descriptions.

What will set this book apart from the others is the paintings. I am treating the entire book as a work of art, from cover to cover, and the illustrations are the primary focus. The Night Parade will be beautiful to hold and beautiful to flip through, and fun to show your friends. Each illustration will be accompanied by a page of text describing the habits and habitat of each yokai. Don't think of this as a simple book with text descriptions, think of it as an illustrated bestiary full of works of art.

How will I do this?

I have been collecting and translating obscure yokai stories from old Japanese books and from people who live in my rural town for a few years now. The book will be based one hundred of the yokai from these stories and translated myths. Each entry will feature a one-page description of the yokai and a one-page color illustration. The finished book will be just over 200 pages, and will be available in full-color paperback and digital editions. The paintings will be finished in late November, and the book should be complete close to the end of 2011.

As the work progresses, all of the backers will have access to updates that include the images, sketches, and previews of the text in the book. You can see a few examples on my website, however the backers of this project will have special access to additional updates which will not be visible outside of this page.

What is the money for?

I will be printing this book with Amazon's CreateSpace program, which allows authors to self-publish and print on demand. There are a number of fees involved, including acquiring an ISBN, getting proofs and reviews, setting up the file layout and printing, converting it into ebook format, and so on. In addition to the cost of creating the book with CreateSpace, the time involved in painting over 100 pictures, writing the text, and doing all of the layout and design myself has been massive. As I am self-publishing this title, I don't have a large print company to back me up or provide funding for this project, and that is why I am turning to your patronage for support. I am hoping to raise $2000, which should cover all of the costs involved with Amazon.

Thanks for checking out my project! I hope you'll become a part of it!

Best wishes,

Matthew Meyer


  • Simply put, they are creatures from Japanese folklore. England has ogres and pixies; Ireland has leprechauns and banshees; Germany has elves and dwarves; Japan has yokai. Just as ideas like angels, devils, goblins, and bogeymen are an integral part of Western culture, yokai are an integral part of Japanese culture. Some are demons, some are monsters, some are cute and funny. They have been part of Japanese folklore for over one thousand years, and still influence Japan today. Japanese movies, comics, video games, and TV -- Spirited Away, Princess Mononoke, even Pokemon -- owe all of their fantastical elements to yokai -- yet yokai are almost entirely unknown outside of Japan.

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  • I took the title from a Japanese myth by the same name. According to legend, one night per year, in the summer, all of the yokai in Japan gather together in one big parade and march throughout the streets of the country. It is a giant procession of pandemonium and chaos, with otherworldy music, chanting, and dancing. Any humans unfortunate enough to stumble upn or witness this parade will die the next day.

    It is also the name of one of the most famous and oldest illustrated yokai bestiaries in Japan, published in 1776 by yokai researcher Toriyama Sekien. My title is an homage to the original master of yokai, and his book is one of the big inspirations for my project.

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  • Absolutely, I'd be happy to! However, since I live in Japan the book has to ship from the printer in the US to me in Japan and then back to your address, which is quite a lot of shipping! It would really help me out a lot if you could increase your pledge by $10 or so to cover the cost of shipping it back and forth. (If you order multiple copies I can ship them together, so you don't have to increase the pledge for each book.)

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  • Sure! If you pledge $30 or more you can order as many additional paperback copies as you like for an extra $30 each.

    The same goes for the art prints. You can order as many additional art prints as you like by increasing your pledge $30 for each one.

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  • Once all of the paintings are completed and the project is finished, a survey email will get sent to all the backers. You'll be able to see all of the images and choose which one you want. In the meantime, you'll be able to see them all as I paint them and send them out in project updates.

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  • All of the costs are included in your pledge, so you don't have to pay anything extra!

    Of course, if you live outside of the US or Japan, where where it will cost a lot of money to ship the book to you, adding a couple of extra dollars to your pledge to help me cover the expenses would be greatly appreciated!

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  • You selected
    Pledge $1 or more

    14 backers

    Super top secret insider access to all of the project updates, sketches, behind-the-scenes, previews of the images and the text of the book -- before it comes out!

  • You selected
    Pledge $5 or more

    118 backers

    Super top secret insider access as above, plus a copy of the ebook (digital) edition of the finished book!

  • You selected
    Pledge $30 or more

    224 backers

    Super top secret insider access, the ebook, plus a PHYSICAL copy of the paperback book (includes shipping)!

  • You selected
    Pledge $60 or more

    37 backers

    Art Lover's Deal: Everything above (super top secret insider access, the ebook, the paperback), plus a beautiful, signed and matted 6x9 print of any yokai in the book!

  • You selected
    Pledge $100 or more

    57 backers

    Collector's Edition: Super top secret insider access, the ebook, and a limited edition HARD COVER copy, signed and shipped to you. This is a Kickstarter backer-only option, and the hardcovers won't be available outside of this project.

  • You selected
    Pledge $200 or more

    11 backers

    *NEW* Super Collector's/Art Lover's Combo: Super top secret insider access, the ebook, the signed, limited edition hardcover book, plus FIVE signed, matted art prints of any of the yokai in the book!

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    Pledge $500 or more

    0 backers

    *Updated* Yokai Preservation Society: Everything from above (insider access, the ebook, the paperback, the hard cover, any print of your choice), plus I will add to the finished book *ONE MORE YOKAI* not already in the book, along with its description and illustration! You'll also get TEN signed, matted 6x9 prints of any yokai in the book, and everyone in the project will thank you for making their books that much cooler!

    Estimated delivery:

Funding period

- (31 days)