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Japanese horror

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Title: Japanese horror  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Cat Eyed Boy, Psychological horror, Yotsuya Kaidan, Hideo Nakata, One Missed Call (2003 film)
Collection: Asian Horror, Film Genres, Horror Fiction, Horror Genres, Japanese Horror Fiction, Japanese Horror Films
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Japanese horror

Japanese horror is Japanese horror fiction in popular culture, noted for its unique thematic and conventional treatment of the horror genre in light of western treatments. Japanese horror tends to focus on psychological horror and tension building (suspense), particularly involving ghosts and poltergeists, while many contain themes of folk religion such as: possession, exorcism, shamanism, precognition, and yōkai.


  • Origins 1
  • Film 2
    • Notable films 2.1
    • Notable directors 2.2
  • Anime and manga 3
  • Video games 4
  • Influence 5
  • See also 6
  • References 7
  • Further reading 8
  • External links 9


The origins of Japanese horror can be traced to horror and ghost story classics of the Edo period and the Meiji period, which were known as kaidan. Elements of several of these popular folktales have been worked into the stories of modern films, especially in the traditional nature of the Japanese ghost.

Ghost stories have an even older history in Japanese literature, dating back to at least the Heian period (794–1185). Konjaku Monogatarishū written during that time featured a number of ghost stories from India, China and Japan. Kabuki and noh, forms of traditional Japanese theater, often depict horror tales of revenge and ghastly appearances, many of which have been used as source material for films.


Notable films

Notable directors

Anime and manga

Certain popular Japanese horror films are based on manga, including Tomie, Uzumaki, and Yogen.

Video games


Hidetoshi Imura as Seijun from Tales from the Dead.

In the past few years several of the more popular Japanese horror films have been entirely remade. Ring was one of the first to be remade in America as The Ring, and later The Ring Two (although this remake bears almost no similarity to the original Japanese sequel).

Here is a list of some Japanese horror films that have been remade for the US market.

With the exception of The Ring, most American remakes of Japanese horror films have received negative reviews. One Missed Call has received the worst reception of all, having earned the Moldy Tomato Award at Rotten Tomatoes for garnering a 0% critical approval rating. The Grudge 4 was announced in 2011, but no news has surfaced since. Similarly, The Ring 3D was reportedly green-lit by Paramount in 2010,[1] and it was reported in 2015 that the film would be renamed "Rings" and would be released in early 2016.

Many of the original directors who created these Asian horror films have gone on to direct the American remakes. For example, Hideo Nakata, director of Ring, directed the remake The Ring Two; and Takashi Shimizu, director of the original Ju-on, directed the remake The Grudge as well as its sequel, The Grudge 2.

Several other Asian countries have also remade Japanese horror films. For example, South Korea created their own version of the Japanese horror classic Ring, titled The Ring Virus.

Inspired by current trends in Japanese horror, the first film by Los Angeles–based writer-director Jason Cuadrado, Tales from the Dead, is a horror film in four parts which Cuadrado filmed with a cast of Japanese actors speaking their native language.

See also


  1. ^ "Paramount to Make The Ring 3D". /Film. April 26, 2010. Retrieved September 24, 2013. 

Further reading

  • da Silva, Joaquín (17 December 2007). "J-Horror and Toshi Densetsu (Urban Legends)". Eiga9. 

External links

  • Media related to at Wikimedia Commons
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