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Japanese horror: Wikis


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Japanese horror, sometimes referred to as J-horror, is Japanese contributions to horror fiction in popular culture, noted for their unique thematic and conventional treatment of the horror genre in light of western treatments. Japanese horror tends to focus on psychological horror and tension building (anticipation), particularly involving ghosts and poltergeists, while many contain themes of folk religion such as: possession, exorcism, shamanism, precognition, and yōkai.



The origin of the Japanese horror can be traced to horror and ghost story classics of the Edo period and the Meiji period, which were known as kwaidan. Elements of several of these popular folktales have been worked into the stories of modern films, especially in the traditional nature of the Japanese ghost.

Ghost stories have an even older history in Japanese literature, dating back to at least the Heian period (794-1185). Konjaku Monogatarishū written during that time featured a number of ghost stories from India, China and Japan.

Popular culture



The success of the 1998 film Ring brought the image of the yūrei to Western popular culture for the first time, although the image has existed in Japan for centuries.

Yūrei are Japanese ghosts, ones who have been bound to the physical world through strong emotions which do not allow them to pass on. Depending on the emotion that binds them, they manifest as a particular type of ghost. Most common to Japanese horror is the onryō, a yūrei bound by a desire for vengeance.

Like many creatures of folklore, like vampires or werewolves, yūrei have a traditional appearance and follow a certain set of rules.

They are generally female, although male yūrei do exist. They wear white clothing, which is the color of funeral garb in Japan. They have long, often unkempt black hair, which comes from Kabuki theater where each character has a particular type of wig that identifies them to the audience.


Notable films

Examples of this type are:

Notable directors

Anime and manga

Certain popular Japanese horror films are based on manga, including Tomie, Uzumaki and Yogen.

Video games


Hidetoshi Imura as Seijun from Tales From The Dead.

In the past few years several of the more popular Japanese horror films have been entirely remade. Ring was one of the first to be remade in America as The Ring, and later The Ring Two (although this remake bears almost no similarity to the original Japanese sequel).

Here is a list of some Japanese horror films that have been remade for the US market.

Many of the original directors who created these Asian horror films have gone on to direct the American remakes. For example, Hideo Nakata, director of Ring, directed the remake The Ring Two and Takashi Shimizu, director of the original Ju-on, directed the remake The Grudge and its sequel, The Grudge 2.

Several other Asian countries have been remaking these Japanese horror films as well. For example, South Korea created their own version of the Japanese horror classic Ring, titled The Ring Virus.

Inspired by current trends in Japanese horror, the first film by Los Angeles-based writer-director Jason Cuadrado, Tales From The Dead, is a horror film in four parts which Cuadrado filmed with a cast of Japanese actors speaking their native language.

See also

External links


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