It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.
Please white-list or disable AboveTopSecret.com in your ad-blocking tool.
Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.
Every August, Zenshoan temple in Tokyo opens the
doors to its Yurei-ga Gallery, a private collection of
Edo-period ghost scrolls. The 50 silk paintings,
most of which date back 150 to 200 years, depict a
variety of apparitions from the forlorn to the ghastly.
The scrolls were collected by Sanyu-tei Encho,
a famous storyteller (rakugo artist) during the Edo era
who studied at Zenshoan. Encho is said to have collected
the scrolls as a source of inspiration for the ghostly tales
he loved to tell in summer.
Telling ghost stories has long been a popular summer pastime
in Japan, and many people believe that chilling tales have the
power to take the edge off the dreadful heat. Stories of shadowy
souls also make a nice, macabre complement to all the August
rituals (bon festivals, memorial ceremonies, grave cleaning, etc.)
performed to welcome the spirits of departed ancestors as they
return en masse to the earthly world.