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Save the "Monster Culture" of Local Cities in Japan

Updated on August 5, 2019

In the summer of 2016, there was a monster boom in Japan. The Monster Exhibition at the Edo Museum in Tokyo, Japan, shows the hell from the Jomon period, the hell of the Kamakura era, the scrolls of the Middle Ages, the Ukiyoe of the Edo period, and the modern "Monster Watch". It can be described as an exhibition that tells the past and present life of Japanese monsters and attracts more than 200,000 visitors.

The cultural gap between local and urban monsters is expanding

This summer, major museums in Japan also held a "monster exhibition." For example, the "Monsters / Humans - From Fantasy to Reality" held by the Kawasaki City Citizens Museum, the Hiroshima Prefectural Museum of Art, "The Life of the Mizuki Suzuki", held by the National Museum of History and Folklore "Ghost Monsters in the Culture of the Family", "The Temptation of Different Worlds - Monsters, Spiritual World, and Foreign Countries" organized by the Ota Memorial Museum, the "Amazing and Bizarre Creatures" organized by the National Museum of Ethnology, etc. "The Ghost Show" is too numerous to mention.

On April 26, 2019, Japan’s first monster museum, “Yumoto Hoichi Memorial Japanese Monster Museum,” was opened in three cities in Hiroshima. About 5,000 items related to monsters, including 絵巻・锦絵, books, tools, toys, etc., were displayed. The biggest donor is from the monster researcher Yumoto Hoichi. The relationship between the three cities and the monsters originated from the monster legend of the Edo period, "The Rice Creature", and the stage of the "Rice Creature" story is three times. The protagonist is the 16-year-old juvenile rice Taro. In the 30-day period, Hira Taro confronted all kinds of monsters until he faced the demon king Yamamoto Goro, and the Yamamoto Goro left the door to praise his courage and surrender. The prototype of Taro's life is the real Hiroshima gentleman Inaba, the story of this story, which was spread to all of Japan because of the high evaluation of the Chinese scientist Hirata. By the time of opening on June 23, the number of participants in the museum only reached 50,000.

With the newly added three cities as the head, there are more and more local governments that use monsters to revitalize cities around the country.

"The City of Monsters" scattered throughout Japan

The “Shuimu Mao Road” and “Tottori Sand Dunes” in the city of Tottori Prefecture are all tourist attractions. The “Shui Mu Mao Road” is the theme of the monster world depicted by the cartoonist Shui Mianmao.

From the port of Kyoto to the main section of Honmachi, about 800 meters long, the center of the "Ghost Taro" is set up with many bronze statues based on monsters from all over Japan.

There is also the “Shuimu Mao Memorial Hall”, and the nearby commercial street is also promoting the “Shuimu Mao Road”.

The setting process of “Shuimu Mao Road” is as follows:

The port city is known as one of Japan's few fishing ports. The nearby commercial street has also developed along with the prosperity of the fishing port. However, in recent years, the shopping street has fallen into a state of “fast digestion” and has begun to decline.

The municipal government has drawn up a plan for the rectification of the commercial street. Because the cartoonist Shuimu Mao was born in the harbor, the commercial street has set up some of the masterpieces of Shuimu Mao, "Gig Taro", "Devil Jun" and "Kappa Sanping". A bronze statue for the prototype. On July 18, 1993, a total of 23 bronze statues were set up.

In 2003, the "Shui Mu Mao Memorial Hall" was opened. By 2005, with the movie "Monsters War", the visitors of the memorial hall increased. In 2007, the number of tourists exceeded 1 million.

In 2010, the NHK morning drama "Giggle's Wife" was broadcast, and then with the release of the movie version in mid-November, the number of tourists visiting the "Shuimu Mao Road" increased, and the number of tourists reached 3.7 million. .

It is said that Shuimu Mao is living in Hong Kong for about 12 or 3 years until he graduated from high school for about 2 or 3 years.

It can be said that it is the inspiration for the creation of the "national cartoonist". The move to set up bronze statues on commercial streets is undoubtedly a great success.

Taking the opportunity of discovering "Monster Legend"

"Mountain City, Dabu Dangerous Monster Village" in Sancheng City, Miyoshi City, Tokushima Prefecture, was named the Monster Village because it "discovered" the "Grandfather Grandfather" in the prototype of Shuimu Mao.

In the 30th year of the Showa era (1955), the population of Yamagata-cho was about 15,000, and now the village has a population of less than 4,000. In order to solve this problem, the government began activities such as beautifying the environment and historical investigations in 1998.

In this activity, Yamagatamachi, as the birthplace of the legend of "Grandpa Grandpa", also discovered more than 150 monster legends such as "First Passage" and "Kappa".

In 2001, local volunteers called for the construction of the "Grandpa Grandpa" stone statue, and the "Monster Festival" will be held every November.

In 2008, the city was established as a village of the "Four Kingdoms, a dangerous monster village", and Yamagata-machi was recognized as a "monster heritage" by the World Monsters Association. Later, Yamagatamachi began to create an area that shows the charm of monsters.

The station of the Tao was also transformed into a "monster house", and some monster-like sculptures were placed in the spots related to the monsters.

The self-governing group that had been troubled by the small population of Yamagata-cho had changed the mountain village into a monster village through the "monster legend", which attracted a large number of tourists.

Related to the spread of folklore founders

The most well-known sight of the monster sightseeing spot is the hometown of the monster that appeared in the "Yoshino Monogatari" by the folklorist Yanagida Mano - Tono City, Iwate Prefecture.

The monsters such as Kappa, Tengu, and Seals described in "Yoshino Story" and some weird phenomena are everywhere in Tono. Many ancient buildings such as the ancient temples, small temples, stone gods and stone monuments in the ancient city of Tono are easily reminiscent of incredible legends. In addition, there are many exhibition halls related to monsters such as "Okuno City Museum", "Inheritance Garden", "Yoshinoya Village", and "Story Hall".

Tono also sells Genghis Khan hot pot as a specialty product. It is also known as the "hometown of beer", a major producer of Nissan beer, which enriches the non-monster sightseeing content. In Fukuzaki-cho, Hyogo Prefecture, the birthplace of Yanagida, in recent years, as a "city of monsters", some plans have been made to attract tourists. Among them, the statue of Kappa set in the pond attracts people's attention.

The reason why Fukusaki-cho has a "Fairy Castle God Festival" is because in April 2013, the then government officials proposed: "Can you turn the Kappa upside down to make the water in the pond clean?" In February of the following year, a portrait of a river boy jumping out of the lotus pond was also set up.

Starting from this, the "National Monster Model Competition" was held, and the monster image selected as the most outstanding prize was also set in the park. As a result of the increase in these sightseeing projects, the number of visitors from Fukuzaki Town has increased from approximately 248,000 in 2013 to approximately 415,000 in 2016.

Although it is related to the founder of folklore, the popularity of Fukuzaki is not high compared with Tono, but because of the introduction of some monster-related statues, the visual thorns are provoked, leading tourists to the city of monsters. "The understanding has suddenly improved."

The Japanese monster culture does not seem to have subsided, and there is a growing trend. I hope everyone can understand and love the monster culture.

How does "monster culture" go deep into the folk

It has been known since the ancient times for the legend of Kawako in the Kurume-cho, Kurume-shi, Fukuoka Prefecture.

JR Kyudai Honjo Line Line Main Maru Station was designed as a Kappa, and the information about the Kappa legend was also displayed in the "Tianzhumao Hometown Hall".

In addition, some of the sidewalks on the west side of the station were transformed into “kappa road” (transliteration), which is connected to the 12 bridges on the Juju River and the Yunque River. The 24 stone statues and stone monuments in the village have also become Kappa sightseeing spots.

In 1954, after the completion of the night dam in the upper reaches of the Chikugo River, the logistics trade with Oita and Hita was interrupted.

At the time of the gradual desertification around the river bank, the writer Hirano Reed, who is known as the Kappa, went to find the main subject, and reached a consensus with the residents. In 1955, with the help of Huoye Reed, the "Nine Thousand Children and Young Children of the Mountain" was established.

The "Nine Thousand Children's Children's Yamada's Main Maruhe Clan" was established with the study of the legend of Kappa, the development of local products, and the creation of sacrificial activities.

The legend of Kawashima’s Kappa was originally closely related to the flood. The Chikugo River, which flows through the city of Kurume, has been built since the early days.

Chikugo River is also a river with rapid currents. Because it has changed overnight, it has the title of “One Night Sichuan”. Legend has it that this is God's change, and people have created a god of water. After that, the belief in the god of water was divided, and the belief in the river boy was born.

In 2017, heavy rains in northern Kyushu and heavy rains in western Japan in 2018 caused huge losses in Kurume. The JR line, which was originally opened in the three cities where the Third Ghost Museum was located, was temporarily suspended.

The "3rd Ghost Museum" is now hosting an exhibition featuring "Lovely Monsters". The Japanese believe that because of the disasters and diseases caused by "strange" things such as monsters and monsters, they can only give them the soul and offerings.

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