Thoughts from the Book of Friends: concerning ghosts and monsters!


Watching Natsume Yuujinchou was a pleasant experience. We all know that for a fact. But here I will talk to you about the lessons and thoughts I have picked up from my journey through several seasons of Natsume Yuujinchou. This post is only the first of the planned ‘thoughts from the Book of Friends’ post series.


Treat everything with respect because they are all around us!

Natsume Yuujinchou has confirmed what we have always been curious about. Yes, whenever we feel like we are being watched, we are really being watched! I suspect that this is one of those old tricks (in Asian countries, at least) to teach children that they should always behave wherever they visit and even when no one is visibly around. At every rock and tree, every doorway and signpost, there’s always some entity hanging about. We are merely humans, passing by, asking for shelter, comfort and peace. We should be humble and to things and places we encounter because we do not own those things and places, they don’t need us but we need them. So we should show some respect. Of course, the anime sometimes portrays youkai in such extreme ways that it is hard to believe they are real. But the core concept remains and we are living in the world full of spirits who subtly interact with us. You may think I am crazy but I believe that if we try our best to pay them respect by always minding our thoughts and actions, our lives and possibly the world would become a much better place.


How come that all youkai can see us but only few of us can see them?

Since we all agree that youkai are real, I have another question that needs answer; is it fair that most humans cannot see youkai but they can see us? Of course, it’s not fair. But let’s not jump to the conclusion so quickly. How do we know that Natsume Yuujinchou gets all the fact right? Can all youkai really see us? And even if they can, to what degree and in what manner can they see us? Is it possible that they are as blind as we are when it comes to cross-dimensional perception?

There are several possibilities but here are some that I think are more plausible. The first possibility is that they are entities with greater power than us and they subtly influence humans’ lives through phenomenon we usually describe as coincidence, natural occurring, dreams or simply the whispers in our ears. The second possibility is that they are like us, stuck in their own side of the world. What we do here also affect their world in similarly subtle way. So the strange happenings are mostly unintentional. The third possibility is the combination of the first two and the most likely. I think there are diverse groups of youkai/spirits all around us just like there are all kinds of people. Some of them can see and communicate with us and some cannot (again, very similar to human). Some are great and helpful while some maybe too dangerous to mess with. I like this last possibility the most because it is the fairest of the three. Nevertheless, at the end of the day, I can’t confirm anything except what I believe.


Conclusion: My thoughts on ghosts and monsters may seem quite over-the-top or childish for many of you. But then again, if you are anime fans, I am sure you can understand me at least partially. And of course, if you have different thoughts on this topic, feel free to share them here. My next post will probably discuss other aspect of Natsume Yuujinchou. Please stay tuned.

Ps. also read ‘Living among the spirits: do you believe in Nyanko-sensei?’ for similar stories!

Ps.(2): I have just learned that I passed the mid-term board exam that took me away from blogging last December. So…Yay!


7 responses to “Thoughts from the Book of Friends: concerning ghosts and monsters!

  1. I just finished watching all four seasons of Natsume Yuujinchou myself back to back xD

    I do had a hard time believing that a ghost or spirit could be somewhere at the moment, not to your extent at least, but I couldn’t really deny their existence as well.

    I never really thought of it but coincidences and natural occurrences originating from youkai and spirits do sound like a plausible possibilities. Whenever some coincidence happens, whether or not they are good or bad, I always think of God or fate.. but that’s a discussion for another time ;p

  2. Hmm…..should I watch this you think? Yikes 4 seasons though……gahiuehowvasnixov must be good…

    • I would recommend watching it during long holidays. This anime is long and generally episodic so if you are busy, the whole series can easily get loss in the commotion.

  3. Pingback: More thoughts from the Book of Friends: concerning power and friends in the shadow | Canne's anime review blog

  4. I started watching the first season a while ago and kept getting sidetracked, but it has a VERY “Mushishi” vibe to it. You know, go and help people you find along the way sort of thing. And I like that. Just unfortunately doesn’t exactly “motivate” me much to see it. I want some sort of goal or conclusion or mystery. I guess I hadn’t gotten to that yet, but it’s a wonderful show.

    As for ghosts I think my opinion is so incredibly unpopular and such a buzz kill I’m scared to share it. In short, no I don’t believe in ghosts…But I still can get into ghosts in anime definitely

    • Thanks for sharing :)
      I completely understand what you are saying. It took me a whole year to get through season 2 of Natsume Youjinchou. The anime was great but left little suspense or made me want to get to another episode.

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