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August 21, 2017

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Exhibition lets kids release their inner monster

The China Post--Eager for a taste of folklore and supernatural friendliness? Try out the "GeGeGe no Kitaro Monster Park" (鬼太郎的妖怪樂園), where one can interact with larger-than-life models of mischievous Japanese monsters and learn about the mysterious nature of mystical beings from an array of cultures.

At Taipei's Huashan 1914 Creative Park (華山1914文創園區), imagination has been running wild in a humorously supernatural manner from Jan. 19, and will continue until April 29.

Featuring Kitaro (鬼太郎) — a monster boy who made his way into the world by digging out of his dead mother's tomb — and his buddies as well as foes — wondrously nasty-looking creatures that accompany Kitaro on justice missions of sending unlawful humans into hell — and even more intimidating figures up to no good, the exhibition provides a glimpse of how "yokai" (妖怪) Japanese monsters gained international popularity.

Mizuki Shigeru (水木茂), now aged 90, is the mastermind behind the manga series that began in 1959 and received international recognition. "The long-lasting manga series accompanied me through my childhood, and I would like to pass on the memories and imagination to my child," a woman said, gesturing to her daughter, who was playing with clumps of clay outside the exhibition venue.

Her 5-year-old daughter was sculpting a one-eyed monster similar to one that was displayed in the exhibition. As yesterday was Children's Day, the exhibition organizer, Gold Media Group (金傳媒), installed a clay-man booth for children to demonstrate their creativity. A total of 400 sets of clay art materials will again be prepared for children today, and those with two exhibition tickets will be welcomed to enjoy the clay fun for free from 11 a.m. through 8 p.m.

Soon welcoming its 200,000 visitor and closing at the end of the month, the exhibition is now promoting a special deal for busy folks: Those who visit the exhibition after 5:30 p.m. and provide business cards will receive a NT$40 discount on tickets that were originally NT$220, Gold Media said.

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