On the Origin of Species: Shuppet and Banette - Investigating the inspirations behind Pokémon

George Hutcheon writes: It's Halloween, and that means costumes, candy and tiresome pranks. It also means ghosts, and so what better time to talk about two of my favorite Ghost-type Pokémon?

Shuppet and Banette superficially resemble puppets: Shuppet a hand or finger puppet and Banette a marionette. But that isn't all that they have in common, because both are also based on mythical beings called tsukumogami (付喪神).

Tsukumogami account for some of the odder examples in the already very odd world of Japanese monsters, or youkai (妖怪). Put simply, tsukumogami are inanimate objects that have come to life. Usually, this is because the object is one hundred years old: upon reaching this age, an object is able to become a tsukum

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