Having beans thrown at you, being glared at while sitting in a flower…what horror!
Depicting the horrors of hell through art is a tradition in Buddhism that goes back at least 1,000 years in Japan. By depicting the suffering in store for sinners, the artworks were supposed to scare people onto the straight and narrow.
But if that’s what this late 19th century scroll was for, it might have had the opposite effect. We’ve never seen such a cute hellscape!
At the moment there’s a picture book that’s very popular in Japan called “A Picture Book of Hell.” It’s intended to teach kids good manners, and it’s become something of a hot topic, if you’ll excuse the pun. Popular illustrator Akiko Higashimura even mentioned it in her manga series “Mama wa Tenparisto”, loosely translated as “Momma With a Short Fuse”. As you can imagine, there’s been a lot of interest among mothers and educational professionals.
I suppose terrorizing your kids with two-dimensional representations of hell is OK, but did you know there’s a place you can take them to experience it in real life? Read More