19th-century ghost scrolls

“Every August, as Japanese spirits return en masse from the otherworld, Tokyo’s Zenshoan temple (map) exhibits a spine-chilling collection of 19th-century ghost scroll paintings.”

Kaidan Chibusa Enoki: The Ghostly Tale of the Wet Nurse Tree

 

“This painting by Ito Seiu, the godfather of Japanese bondage (kinbaku), depicts a scene from Kaidan Chibusa Enoki, an old horror story in which the ghost of a dead painter returns to protect his baby from his murderer, a wandering samurai who fell in love with his wife while he was away painting. This scroll shows the ghost holding the baby while standing under a waterfall at Juniso (where Tokyo’s Shinjuku Chuo Park is now located).”

The Ghost of a Blind Female Street Singer

“Utagawa Hiroshige’s “Ghost of a Blind Female Street Singer” portrays the restless spirit of a street performer, one white unseeing eye wide open, carrying a shamisen as she drifts above the surface of a river on the way to her next performance.”

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