Gotta Catch ΄Em All!

The average person might not know what the heck yōkai are, but chances are they’ve encountered one of the mythical spirits before. The strange creatures are often the subject of Japanese folklore, but they show up nowadays in everything from movies to video games. Perhaps you’ve stumbled across a mischievous Tanuki, the supernatural raccoon seen in Super Mario Bros 3 (he’s got giant balls and a deep craving for sake), or had a run in with a couple of Kirin, those benevolent, unicorn-like beasts that grace the beer of the same name. But at the new exhibit “Yōkai in Your Eye,” opening this Saturday at the Bear and Bird Boutique + Gallery (upstairs at Tate’s Comics, 4566 N. University Dr., Lauderhill), you’ll get to meet more of the legendary, Japanese creatures than you’ll rightly know what to do with.

The group exhibit features nearly three-dozen artists who’ve been asked to give their take on all types of Japanese yōkai ranging from friendly to fearsome. Some of them are extra cute and helpful, like the Akaname, a spirit who seeks out dirty bathrooms so she can lick them clean. There are others you’ll want to steer clear of, like Japanese artist Naoto Hattori’s Nopperabo, an apparition who lures travelers with her beauty only to wipe her face clean off afterwards. There are tons of the little buggers to explore, so come check them out and meet with the many of the artists at tonight’s 7 p.m. reception. The shindig is free, plus there’ll be complimentary sushi, cold sake, and Japanese treats for all. Call 954-748-0181, or visit
June 14-July 26, 2008

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John Linn