Cuddly Pokemon and the Demons That Spawned Them

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That's... that's soooo cool! :D

Bookmarking this article, I need to do some research on a slow day.

A very interesting article and very well written.

I'm sure I won't be the only one who's going to be researching this when I find some spare time

Reliable sources on Yokai are a little difficult to find in English. I highly suggest you look at the website - the owner is named Zack Davisson and his MA thesis was on Yurei, which are the ghostly counterparts to Yokai.

If you want to read about how Japanese folklore has been transplanted in the United States, I highly recommend any of Glen Grant's books: Obake: Ghost Stories in Hawaii, Obake Files: Ghostly Encounters in Supernatural Hawaii, and the decidedly darker The Secret Obake Casebook. The first one has a great essay on Japanese-style ghost sightings in Hawaii, including kappa sightings, but all of them have discussions of Japanese spirits.

Though antiquated, you can still get a lot of Lafcadio Hearn's books on Japanese folklore very cheap or even for free online. (Most of them were written around 1900-1904 so they're public domain.) Kwaidan: Stories and Studies of Strange Things is the classic.

This is a bad joke but;

Does that make Ginko from Mushi-shi a pokemon trainer?

I'm Zack Davisson, the yokai researcher referenced in the article. Robert did a great job with the article, and I can confirm what he is saying. Most of the references are deliberate--you can see it even more in some of the Japanese names the Pokemon. And the yokai/pokemon connection is well known in Japan. There are lots and lots of yokai--thousands of them--and they provide a rich source when coming up with new pokemon.

If you want to know more, like Robert said check out my site ( or you can email me a question!

Not all Pokémon are based on monsters or Yokai. FarFetch'd is based on a popular Japanese dish- duck with spring onions/greens.

Very well-researched and interesting. I'm starting to really love this series.

Also, Espeon is still the best Pokemon ever.

This was a great article; very entertaining read. Thanks =D

Surprised the article didn't mention that Pikachu itself, or rather its evolutionary line, is based on a yokai called raijuu. Even the name itself is just a pun, with "chu" being the onomatopoeia for the sound a mouse makes. Although I guess it's not a very interesting yokai.

I guess what I'm trying to say is... I'd like to be able to see the Youkai treated as a "living" being with its own thoughts and desires, instead of just being some creature that does it "cause it can", or some other excuse not to give them a personalty by forcing them into a role.

Touhou. Although honestly the bits treating them as normal people with magic powers are significantly less interesting than the bits treating them as otherworldly entities with strange priorities and cultures.

The biggest monster is man.

Also I can never look at the Reuniclus line the same way after I realized what it was. Hint, it's not quite a fetus.

Bulbapedia actually has a great series of articles called "On the Origin of Species" that talks about the animals/mythologies that certain Pokemon are based on.

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