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Goin’ Japanesque!

4 Works of Daijiro Morohoshi (Mangaka); Odd Genius Invites You to Different Worlds

(C) Daijiro Morohoshi 不熟

The history of Japan is long, and in ancient times Japanese emperors were believed to be descendants of gods themselves. These emperors worshipped gods of Shinto back then, and there are many myths and legends that have been handed down to date, with Japanese mythology as its center. And there is also a manga writer who portrays mysterious stories based on such Japanese mythology; Daijiro Morohoshi. This time we would like to introduce a few, very interesting works of Daijiro Morohoshi.


“Ankoku Shinwa”, Dark Mythology


The main character, Takeshi Yamato, is an ordinary middle school student.

One day he is told that the cause of his father’s death was actually murder. In order to find out the truth of the matter, Takeshi follows clues left by his father.

At one destination in his search, he encounters an ancient evil spirit “Takeminakata” at the deep bottom of a cave.

He then pursues the great secret hidden behind Japanese mythology.

The story is based on Japanese mythology, and the main character leaves the realm of daily life, and gradually wanders into an eerie parallel world.

The story mixes the Shinto and Buddhism, and it invites the readers into a different world with its dark gloomy atmosphere.

The story is based on Japanese mythology, local legends of various parts of Japan and it takes place in old landmarks. So if you are not familiar with Japanese culture, this manga’s setting might require some time to get used to.

However, beyond its intricate backgrounds, an overwhelming grand finale is waiting for you, like a Hollywood blockbuster movie.


“Mad Men”


One day Namiko’s anthropologist father brought home a boy, called “Kodowa”, from Papua New Guinea.

The boy, Kodowa was the heir of the leader of a minority tribe Gawan.

The Gawan tribe is hiding secrets involved in human creation, and Namiko’s father brought Kodowa to Japan in order to uncover the secrets.

And Kodowa and Namiko start their adventurous journey to unlock the secrets hidden by the Gawan tribe.

This saga is based on myths from islands of the Pacific Ocean.

The main character, Kodowa, has special, superhuman abilities like Tarzan.

Unlike the “Ankoku Shinwa” introduced earlier, which is based on Japanese mythology, this work is based on the myths of the southern islands, which are explained in detail.

Therefore the content can be read without difficulty.


“Yokai Hunter” Series


Reijiro Hieda, a former professor of K University, was expelled from the academic society because he had a preposterous theory and insisted that mythical gods and demons actually exist.

People called him “Yokai Hunter” as he researched magic and supernatural phenomena buried and hidden in the history.

Facing strange happenings or supernatural phenomena, he tries to re-validate them from various different angles.

This is a representative masterpiece of Daijiro Morohoshi.

This is a collection of short stories based on the Japanese mythology and legends, with a feeling resembling to that of “The Cthulhu Mythos” by H.P. Lovecraft.

In particular stories such as “Visitors of Darkness”, a story that describes abnormal incidents taking place when an old festival was revived and “Tree of Life” where strange things happen in a village that once hid its forbidden Christian worship during the Edo Period, were made into movies or readapted in other works.


“Shiori & Shimiko” Series


This is a horror comedy featuring two main characters; A beautiful girl Shiori who gives an impression that something is amiss between her ears and Shimiko her friend and a daughter of a used book store owner.

Many mysterious incidents happen; for example, they find a severed head and keep it like a pet fish in a tank, or they are chased by a sexy evil spirit.

They are surrounded by weird people, too. For example, Mr. Dan Icchi, a horror writer modeled after H.P. Lovecraft, and his wife, who is clearly not a human but a most commonsensical existence.

Such highly unusual everyday life is depicted.

As mentioned earlier the difference between this work and the preceding three works is that this is a horror comedy.

A story starts from an unassuming scene in everyday life, and by the time you notice you are thrown into a world far different from everyday reality.

It is a strange preposterous story like “Alice in Wonderland”.



Japanese mythology itself is already made of unique stories. Needless to say, Daijiro Morohoshi’s works which are based on such stories and even reconstructs them are probably quite different from other manga you may have read to date. Daijiro Morohoshi has also published many works not just using Japanese mythology but science fiction stories or stories involving parallel worlds.

If you have read any work of Daijiro Morohoshi, how about reading Japanese mythology itself? It will help you better understand the deep layers of his works.

Related Articles:
Shinto Fundamentals (Japanese Religion): Philosophy and Myth
Shinto Fundamentals (Japanese Religion): Popular Deities

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Berial the Demon

About the author

It has been over 40 years of reading manga in the deep world of manga. Japan’s manga has an endlessly wide variety of genres. I will be recommending special manga for you to read from such infinite amount of works.

View all articles by Berial the Demon