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October 28, 2008



Don't forget the kappas you can turn into in Final Fantasy 6!

Or Pocky and Rocky, a game based completely on Japanese folklore.


Saw this article through Kotaku... just wanted to say I bought your book after I saw it featured on BoingBoing and I absolutely LOVE it.

It's a fun read and I love picking it up and reading an entry or two when I'm on the subway.


i'm surprise you don't have a picture of a kappa. it's quite commonly used in games. i think it is also referred to as a water demon.


I just wish to add that both Kara-Kasa and Bura-Bura also appear in Super Mario Land 2 (Pumpkin Zone) on Game Boy.
Also the aforementioned Pom Poko has a sequence in it that features many beautifully animated Yokai!


Hayao Miyazaki didn't direct Pom Poko, as plainly visible in the wiki article that you linked in the article...

That's all.

Evil Jerk

The kappa, "Kappa", in the PS1 version of Star Gladiator would have been a great reference especially since his select screen portrait was a couple of cucumbers.


Given the sheer number of Pokemon there are (at least over 9000), it's not hard to find folkloric backgrounds to a great number of them. Off the top of my head, Golduck and Ludicolo are Kappas, Ninetales is, surprisingly, a nine-tailed fox, and Shiftry is a consummate Tengu.

Then again, you could write an entire encyclopaedia on the various origins of Pokemon and other monster-collecting game critters.


My whole household really loved the recent OKAMI video game, which is a real treasure trove of supernatural Japanese beings of all sorts (and an absolutely beautiful game!)


Metal Gear Solid 2 had Tengu Soldiers as well as Portable Ops +, but they were really Russian soldiers with swords and machine guns, so I don't think they count.

Matt Alt

>>Hayao Miyazaki didn't direct Pom Poko

Good catch. Fixed.


See.I'm always wondering why some Japanese confuse that racoon dog have striped tail just like racoon,because they do not.

Nintendo should be criticized for misinforming millions.

Matt Alt

Maybe some of them cross-bred with "Rascal" in the wild?


As you know raccoons are related to bears, while tanuki are more closely related to dogs, so perhaps tanuki have more variation in their pelts...? Some of them do seem to have sorta striped tails...



Wow I have never even heard of Tanuki until now....It's all starting to make sense lol

Very cool post !!!

super smash bros

Yokai are like the things Hell Teacher Nube runs after... But why do they look like super smash bros characters?

Leonardo Boiko

No one mentioned Kiki Kaikai yet? You people have no respect for the classics.

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