Island of Monsters


Rising star Charles Fréger brings his inimitable eye to unfamiliar Japanese folk rituals


ISBN: 9780500544594 Category:

Charles Fréger


In rural Japan the passage of the year is marked by festivals and rituals that have changed little for centuries. Elaborate outfits, crafted from textiles as well as branches, straw and elements sourced from the natural environment, are donned in agricultural and fishing communities throughout Japan to celebrate seasonal rites of fertility and abundance.

Yokainoshima (literally ‘island of monsters’) explores the extraordinary range of masks, costumes and characters that reappear with each returning season. Charles Fréger’s photographs combine acute documentary attentiveness with individual portraiture in an entirely fresh and distinctive style.

Toshiharu Ito and Akihiro Hatanaka, both specialists in Japanese folk culture and anthropology, analyse Fréger’s photographs, setting the huge variety of eclectic clothing in ethnographic context and describing the local festivals, dances and rituals. A final illustrated reference section describes individual costumes and masks.

Additional information

Weight 1042 g
Dimensions 18.7 x 23.8 cm
Publisher name Thames and Hudson Ltd
Publication date 1 June 2016
Number of pages 256
Format Hardback
Dimensions 18.7 x 23.8 cm
Weight 1042 g


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Charles Fréger is a photographer based in Rouen, France. Internationally acclaimed for his subtle and poetic portraiture, he has devoted himself to the representation of social groups. Previous books include Wilder Mann, published in 2012.