Prologue: Monsters in the Twilight
Izumi Kyoka, "Tasogare no aji" [The taste of twilight], in Kyoka zensha (Tokyo:
Iwanami, 1940-1943), 29:683-84. Unless otherwise noted, all translations are
Although most commonly thought to refer only to the time near dusk, the
word "twilight" as well as the Japanese tasogare and kawatare could refer to
both near dusk and near daybreak. Although synonyms, tasogare and kawatare,
the Daijirin informs us, took up a popular pseudo division of labor: tasogare
came to refer to the evening phenomenon and kawatare came to refer to its
morning counterpart. Kyoka's use of shinonome to refer to the morning phe-
nomenon is in a way redundant, as tasogare, in its association with kawatare,
effectively comprises both times at which this ephemeral shade occurs.
3 Yanagita Kunio, "Kawatare-doki" [Twilight time], in Yanagita Kunia zensha
(Tokyo: Chikuma shobo, 1989), 6:37-39.
4 Yanagita Kunio, "Yokai dangi" [A discussion on monsters]' in ibid., 6:20.
As will be discussed in chapter 4, a hierarchy of eye, ear, and heart (kokoro) as
organs of collecting deepening levels of information about folk practices be-
comes important in Yanagita's method of folk studies. The heart is privileged
in order to allow a stealthy, tactical opening for a subject who can to some
degree identify (with) the feelings of his or her object while maintaining an
image of scientific objectivity during an essentially hermeneutical procedure.
But even this alternative method of forming knowledge must pass through
the modern institutional eye to be accepted by the Academy.
6 Tidy English translations for fushigi and yokaijbakemono are difficult to come
up with given their context-determined nuances and the popular associations
of possible English counterparts. As noun and adjective, fushigi ranges from
"the marvelous, the strange, the mysterious, the uncanny" to "inexplicable,
incredible, magical, miraculous." Taking a broad view of "the fantastic" (and
fushigi) that encompasses these meanings, I use it to refer to what often liter-