We here at Kaneko’s Crib Notes have been researching the true identities and origins of certain demons for the better part of a decade, along with many other like-minded collaborators. The diversity of source and reference at play in the series compendium is a sight to behold, but that same variety includes origins of the utmost obscurity, particularly for an English-speaking audience; many of these figures and sources of inspiration have only the most paper-thin presence even in Japanese media. World Mythology is a field of nearly immeasurable depth, so adding clumsy renderings to and from katakana to the mix tends to complicate matters even further. But by turning our attention to the oeuvre of one of Kaneko’s known influences, celebrated artist and folklorist Shigeru Mizuki, we’ve stumbled upon a motherlode of cribs and sources the likes of which we aren’t likely to see again. And so we’ve decided to catalogue it all in one place: not just the mountain of Mizuki cribwork, but the results of many years of hunting for the identities and sources of the most mystifying figures to ever grace the compendium.
This Crib has been years in the making, and for once that actually means something. We’ve publicly discussed these endeavors before, at least in microcosm, but this is where the pieces really fall together. Read on and be acquainted with some of the most persistent secrets the series has to offer!