Onibi: Dairy of a Yokai Ghost Hunter
- By Atelier Sento
Strangely I woke up this morning to a light misty haze passing over my street. It seemed like nobody was about as I started my morning ritual. I wondered what was going on, because we hardly ever get fog in my suburb. It felt eerie.
To calm my nerves, I decided to enjoy a simple warm bowl of matcha 抹茶 (まっちゃ). And as I did so, I found this book lying on the dining table for me to read: Onibi, the dairy of a yokai ghost hunter, by Atelier Sento.
This graphic novel wasn't the usual thing I would pick up and read. But intrigued by its illustrated cover of two young children standing beneath a Japanese torii gate - gates that traditionally mark the divide between the spirit world and our own physical world, I decided to adventure like a fairytale character and enter the forest behind them.
This wasn't your typical ghost story that teenagers typically feed off. You know, the ones designed to scare the pants off you with spine curdling horror.
Rather it came from a higher more somber realm of living in communion with the spirits or ghosts as being part of our reality, just as much so as a rock or tree is. And I found that comforting in a quiet sort of way, rarely found these days.
In a simple story format, this graphic novel is an easy way for an outsider to learn about the Japanese world of yokai or spirits without the blood and gore. Even my own children have read and loved it!
I would even recommend it to people who are in the spiritual game, as in: It forms a part of their beliefs and practices. Because, just like the torii on the cover, it acts as a simple narrative bridge between the two worlds.
And just like the Japanese, at the end of the book, the author Atelier Sento has provided a map with the locations of all the places mentioned in the graphic novel, so that you too can go visit those same places and experience it for yourself. So you can bet for one of my next trips to Japan, I may just do that.
YOUR TEA LIFESTYLE CHALLENGE