Beginner Japanese Book Club // Now Reading: 気になってる人が男じゃなかった // Next 葬送のフリーレン, then ウスズミの果て

I had originally nominated this in the ABBC, but it was suggested - and in retrospect I absolutely agree- that it would be a better fit here, so as promised I’m bringing it over here:

ゲゲゲの鬼太郎 (GeGeGe no Kitarō)

image, image


GeGeGe no Kitarō focuses on the young Kitarō—the last survivor of the Ghost Tribe—and his adventures with other ghouls and strange creatures of Japanese mythology. Along with: the remains of his father, Medama-Oyaji (a mummified Ghost tribesman reincarnated to inhabit his old eyeball); Nezumi-Otoko (the rat-man); Neko-Musume (the cat-girl) and a host of other folkloric creatures, Kitarō strives to unite the worlds of humans and Yōkai.
Some storylines make overt reference to traditional Japanese tales, and others involve Kitarō facing off with myriad monsters from other countries.
The series was created in 1960 by Shigeru Mizuki. It is best known for its popularization of the folklore creatures known as yōkai.
(adapted from Wikipedia)


There seem to be two editions of the manga. They both feature the same first story, but the rest of the stories seem to be entirely different. The Kodansha edition is smaller (7 stories/ 195 pages) and the stories seem to be in better chronological order, so I think this is a better fit for the club. But, it doesn’t seem to be available in paperback as far as I can see. The alternative is the Chūōkōron edition with 13 stories at 380 pages. We could maybe select some of the stories if we were to read from this one.

Amazon (Kodansha) ebook
Bookwalker (Kodansha) ebook
Amazon (Chūōkōron) ebook and paperback
Bookwalker (Chūōkōron) ebook

Personal Opinion

I think this is a fun way to learn about Yokai. This manga is a classic, and there have been lots of adaptations and other stories based on it. It’s targeted to children and it’s classified as comedy horror, so I assume it doesn’t get too scary or gory, in case anyone worries about that. I really love the background art too.

Pros and Cons for the Book Club


  • It’s full of fun Yokai!
  • Furigana throughout and language seems straightforward
  • Fantastic art
  • Plenty more to read if you like it


  • It is an old manga so may feel old-fashioned?
  • The subject matter may not appeal to everyone
  • Possible confusion with different story collections on the market


First Three Pages of Chapter One

Additional Pages

Difficulty Poll

How much effort would you need to read this book?

  • 1 - No effort at all
  • 2 - Minimal effort
  • 3 - Moderate effort
  • 4 - Substantial effort
  • 5 - So much effort my head might explode :exploding_head:
  • I don’t know

0 voters