Michael Dylan Foster is associate professor of folklore and East Asian languages and cultures at Indiana University. He is the author of Pandemonium and Parade: Japanese Monsters and the Culture of Yokai, The Book of Yokai: Mysterious Creatures of Japanese Folklore, and numerous articles on folklore, literature, and media.
One of my favorite teaching experiences involved loading a horror-themed video game on the classroom PC, turning out the lights, and inviting students to play on the big projector screen.
Reframing Folklore in a Popular Culture World
There is no denying that children’s folklore bears the stamp of commercial culture, but kids are always ready to adapt and satirize popular advertisements. A significant number of children’s parodies of commercials involve the ingestion of a well-branded product and address the implied dangers of voracious consumption.