Zack Davisson is a translator, writer, and scholar of Japanese folklore and ghosts. He is the author of the The Ghost of Oyuki and the upcoming Yurei: The Japanese Ghost from Chin Music Press, the translator of Mizuki Shigeru’s Eisner and Harvey Award nominated Showa 1926-1939: A History of Japan and a translator and contributor to Kitaro for Drawn & Quarterly, and a researcher and on-screen talent for National Geographic’s TV special Japan: Lost Souls of Okinawa.
Zack was born on August 15th, a date that didn’t have much other significance until he lived in Japan and discovered that he shared the day with Obon, the annual Japanese Festival of the Dead. Every year on his birthday the country transformed into a spectacle of lanterns and tradition, as all work was put aside to welcome the millions of ancestor spirits who made the trip back from anoyo to the welcoming arms of their living families, where they were fed and honored.
With an undergraduate degree in Fine Art from Cornish College of the Arts, Zack was aware of Japan’s tradition of ghost imagery and saw a connection between the Edo period figures and the modern j-horror image of Japanese ghosts. Pursuing his Master’s Degree with the University of Sheffield in Japanese studies, Zack delved deeper into the subject and learned to put a name to the mysterious white-robed figure; a yūrei.
Writing his Master’s thesis on yūrei, Zack took this new knowledge and published articles on yūrei and other folklore topics in nationally circulated magazines such as Japanzine and Kansai Time-Out. Other freelance writing work included writing for the Osaka City Guide and working as a consultant for Osaka University where he created articles for student use, worked as a translator and contributed to textbooks.
Retuning from Japan after seven years, Zack now lives in Seattle, WA with his wife Miyuki.
- Yurei: The Japanese Ghost (Chin Music Press)
- The Ghost of Oyuki (Sold Out) (Chin Music Press)
- The Secret Biwa Music that Caused the Yurei to Lament (Chin Music Press)
- Kitaro (Drawn & Quarterly)
- Showa 1926-1939: A History of Japan (Drawn & Quarterly)
- Showa 1939-1944: A History of Japan (Drawn & Quarterly)
- Showa 1944-1953: A History of Japan (Drawn & Quarterly)
- Showa 1953-1989: A History of Japan (Drawn & Quarterly)
- Drawn & Quarterly: Twenty-five Years of Contemporary Cartooning, Comics, and Graphic Novels
- Hitler (Upcoming) (Drawn & Quarterly)
- Satoshi Kon: Opus (Dark Horse Comics)
- Seraphim: 266613336 Wings (Dark Horse Comics)
- Art of Satoshi Kon(Dark Horse Comics)
- Panty & Stocking with Garterbelt (Dark Horse Comics)
- Wayward Volume 1: String Theory (Image Comics)
- JAPANESE GHOSTS!! Everything You Want to Know Explained by Zack Davisson
- Warlock Asylum Interviews Legendary Scholar &Translator of Japanese Folklore- Zack Davisson
- Phantom of the Typewriter: Zack Davisson
- The Japan Times: Hyakumonogatari Kaidankai: Tales of the Weird and the Strange
- Shigeru Mizuki’s Showa: An Interview with Zack Davisson
- JQ Magazine: JQ&A with Manga Translator Zack Davisson on Shigeru Mizuki
- On Living with a Japanese Ghost (NPR)
Some of Zack’s articles:
- The History of Hausu
- Jellyfish Eyes and Japan’s Monster Culture
- The Suicide Woods of Mt. Fuji
- Tales of Ghostly Japan
- J-Horror: An Alternate Guide
- Ge ge ge no Kitaro: Poor Little Ghost Boy
Zack also traveled through Egypt during the 2011 Revolution. You can see his travel blog at:
Facebook and Twitter
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Conventions, Media Contact, and Consultant Information
To contact Zack Davisson: firstname.lastname@example.org
Zack Davisson is interested in sharing his passion and knowledge of Japanese kaidan and folklore. He has worked as a consultant and contributor on projects ranging from television series, role playing games, and comic books to college courses and museum exhibitions. He is a trained public speaker who leads panels on yurei, yokai, Mizuki Shigeru, and other Japanese folklore.
He recently consulted on the Japanese film series for the Henry Art Museum, contributed a piece on Mizuki Shigeru and Yokai to an exhibition for the Wereldmuseum Rotterdam and gave panels on Japanese ghosts and Shigeru Mizuki at SakuraCon, KuronekoCon, and Anime USA. His funa yurei translation was performed as a puppet play for Drexel University, and other translations have been used in graduate programs for Central Michigan University and University of Maryland and he consulted for the São Paulo State University in Brazil on a lecture comparing Japanese and Brazilian ghosts.
Current projects included being a yokai advisor for the video game Kodama, advising Tony Harris on his upcoming comic Roundeye: For Love , and a consultant for Brandon Seiffert on his comic Supernatural Geographic, both from Image Comics.
If you have a project that you think he might be interested in or questions about Japanese ghosts and monsters, please send him an email!
What’s that Yokai?
If you have a yokai or Japanese ghost story you would like identified, Zack is happy to help if he can. Many of the best hyakumonogatari.com posts come from reader questions.
Send your question to Zack Davisson: email@example.com
Or stop by Obake Forums and post your question.