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Japan's 1st museum of folklore 'yokai' monsters opens near Hiroshima

Japan's first museum of folklore monsters opens on April 26, 2019 in Hiroshima Prefecture. (Kyodo)

HIROSHIMA (Kyodo) -- Japan's first museum of folklore monsters opened Friday in Hiroshima Prefecture, allowing visitors to get immersed in a strange world of "yokai" through historical artifacts and interactive digital installations.

    The Miyoshi Mononoke Museum, or formally Yumoto Koichi Memorial Japan Yokai Museum, opened in the city of Miyoshi after Koichi Yumoto, a 68-year-old ethnologist and "yokai" researcher in Tokyo, donated some 5,000 items from his collection in 2016.

    The western Japan city is known as the setting for "Ino Mononoke Roku," a famous folk tale from the Edo Period (1603-1868). The story tells of a 16-year-old boy's 30 days of confronting "yokai" monsters.

    The museum displays about 160 items from Yumoto's collection, which includes a scroll painting of the famous folk tale and crafts.

    Visitors can also learn the histories of monsters through an interactive digital picture book of "yokai", and take photos with the monsters using a special camera set up at the site.

    "I'm glad (that the museum opened) as I don't have many chances to see those items. I hope this place will become a holy site for yokai fans," said Akimitsu Okaba, a 39-year-old from the city of Hiroshima.

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