August is here! August is of course the month of Obon, which is when the spirits of the dead return to the living world to be with their families. It's the season when ghost stories play on late night TV, and when new horror movies come out. It's the season of hyakumonogatari kaidankai!
Although I hate the heat, I love the mood. And I hope I can share some of that mood with you guys.
This month, instead of typical yokai, I am going to focus on yurei, or ghosts. I've done a few ghost stories in the past, and I actually did some of this month's ghosts long ago on my blog, but it's time for a refresher (and I'd also like to put them into this format, for inclusion in my next book).
This month we'll be looking at four famous ghosts. The first three make up "The Three Great Ghosts of Japan": Oiwa, Okiku, and Otsuyu. The final ghost, Kasane, is part of the "The Three Great Ghosts of the Edo Period," which also includes Oiwa and Okiku, but leaves out Otsuyu (her story originally comes from China).
As of July, this Patreon project has produced 74 yokai! That's amazing! This is all thanks to you guys and your generous support. At the end of this month, we'll be at 78. I have said that once we reach 100 yokai, I plan on launching a Kickstarter to put them into a printed book, so now I am starting to make plans for that.
I'll be launching a Kickstarter in October to raise the funds to cover printing costs, just like I did with my first two books. Since October is A-Yokai-A-Day month, it makes sense to use the extra attention my blog gets at that time to promote the Kickstarter.
The title of this book is going to be "The Book of the Hakutaku." Each book so far has been based off of a yokai event or concept which I think is cool, and also hints at the idea of a book choc full o' yokai. The Night Parade of One Hundred Demons, of course, does that, and The Hour of Meeting Evil Spirits does too, while also implying a darker, scarier tone. The Book of the Hakutaku was a list of all the yokai in the world, given by a hakutaku to the emperor of China long ago. I think that matches very well with the collection of yokai we've covered in this Patreon project. We've looked at a lot of yokai from India, China, even all the way from Zanzibar! in addition to native Japanese yokai. So just as the original Book of the Hakutaku contained yokai from all around the world, this Patreon project has covered yokai from all over. A fitting name, I think.
I'll be putting the Kickstarter project together later this month and tweaking it throughout September to prepare for the October launch, but I would love to hear any input or suggestions you guys have on it. Since you've all played such an important role in supporting this project, you guys will also have played an important role in producing the book. Feel free to message me or to post comments here if you have any thoughts!