New Yokai Museum Opens in Hiroshima

A new museum, with an appropriately silly Japanese advertising campaign (see the video below!), has opened up in Hiroshima. As of April 26th, 2019, Japan’s first Yokai museum has opened its doors to the public, using the 5000 or so items donated by Koichi Yumoto, a Yokai art researcher and collector. Miyoshi Mononoke Museum will be a small but rich asset to the prefecture.

Yokai encompass most Japanese folklore creatures, poltergeists, ghosts, monsters, supernatural beings, and demons. It’s a fascinating subject area since Japanese folklore is so rich. There’s a temple in Kyoto with a huge scroll of my favorite type of Yokai; the TsukumogamiThese are objects that are over 100 years old, and as I learned it (though the definition is up for debate), are now vengeful and self-aware because they were discarded by their owners. You might have seen Kasa-Obake around Japan; an umbrella with eyes? That’s probably the most well-known Tsukumogami.

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This new museum in Miyoshi in Hiroshima prefecture will feature interactive and digital installations, allowing visitors to read up on the histories via picture books, take photos with the Yokai using a camera set up for some supernatural shots, and walk through old-style Japan.

The museum had a number of opening events, and an event space for the future, so if you like yokai, keep an eye on the events page of the official website. It takes about an hour and 20 minutes from Hiroshima via train or bus, so plan for a day trip. If you’re a fan of Japanese art, yokai, or the out-of-the-ordinary in general, this museum will be an interesting visit that’s a little off the beaten path!

Let us know if you go! Maisy really wants pictures of the Tsukumogami, so send them her way!

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