Ghosts & Demons – Scary Tales from Japan
A distorted face behind long black hair, a lopsided shape wearing an ill-fitting kimono – Oiwa, the tragic heroine from the famous kabuki play TOKAIDO YOTSUYA KAIDAN is the archetypal Japanese ghost figure. The term “kaidan” desig- nates a form of ghost story that has been around since the 12th century in Japan. It was particularly popular during the Edo period (1603-1868) and has been adapted to such diverse art forms as kabuki, rakugo and ukiyoe. Later, filmmakers were inspired to put their own spin on classic kaidan, which often revolve around love and desire. Thus, many highly stylized masterpieces were created, transcending the horror genre to become riveting dramas that lay bare the dark depths of human nature. In addition to the film introductions, Dr. Elisabeth Scherer (University of Düssel- dorf) will give a lecture on Haunting Female Otherness: Ghost Narratives in Japanese Cinema.