YOKAINOSHIMA - Charles Fréger

Celebration of a Japanese bestiary

Actes sud -

Book signed by the author, on request.

Hard cover. Format 18 x 23 cm. 256 pages. Color photographs. Texts in French.


After Empire, Wilder Mann and Bretonnes, Charles Fréger continues his fascinating inventory of human communities in Japan. Yokainoshima (literally "the island of monsters") looks at the extraordinary variety and richness of masks, costumes, figures and bestiaries that make up the tableaux vivants that celebrate the seasonal rites of fertility and abundance, which surprisingly persist in a society that is less and less rural. In the countryside and fishing villages throughout the archipelago, elaborate outfits, created with fabrics, branches, woven straw and other natural elements, are worn to stage ritual gestures or dances populated by monsters, deities, demons and other yokai that haunt the Japanese imagination.
Arranged according to the seasons, Charles Fréger's photographs combine the acuity of a documentary look and the art of scenography in a perfectly new and singular style. Moreover, through the precious comments of an anthropologist and a specialist in traditional Japanese culture, it is the whole background of local festivals, choreographies and rituals that culminates in these incredibly eclectic costumes that the photographer's lens magnifies.

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