Enryakuji is holding a special exhibition on the temple's "seven mysteries" featuring characters from the “GeGeGe no Kitaro” horror manga series (Jiro Tsutsui)

OTSU, Shiga Prefecture--Enryakuji temple here is retelling seven folk tales connected with its storied past through a special art exhibition running until Dec. 8, with a modern twist.

The works bring together ancient yokai ghouls and characters from the hit manga series "GeGeGe no Kitaro," such as Medama-Oyaji (daddy eyeball) and Nezumi-Otoko (rat man) created by Shigeru Mizuki, who died in 2015.

The Japanese-style paintings are the creation of Kyoto-based illustrators and are on display in the Daishoin building on the grounds of the World Heritage site. The guest house is designated as a tangible cultural property that has been unveiled to the public for the first time.

One of the ancient yokai featured is Hitotsume-Kozo, a one-eyed, one-footed goblin. It is said that a high priest named Jinin in the Heian Period (794-1185) turned into the creature after his death to discipline priests who neglected their training.

Nasubi-Baba is an eggplant-colored grandmother believed to have sounded a bell to warn the temple of danger when feudal warlord Oda Nobunaga attempted to set Mount Hieizan, where the temple stands, ablaze.

Other yokai include a ghost of a woman floating in a boat surrounded by mist; a maiden performing water ablutions in the dead of night; a raccoon dog with a single, straight white eyebrow; a large serpent that inhabits a lake; and souls of the dead dancing all night in the six realms of the wheel of life.

The paintings are the creations of Shinya Yamada, 44, and another illustrator from Toyowado Co. The dyeing studio based in Kyoto has produced artworks combining famous Japanese-style paintings by Ogata Korin and Ito Jakuchu with popular modern characters like virtual idol Hatsune Miku.

Enryakuji officials approached the artists with the project, and it took them about a year to complete the paintings on the seven mysteries, as well as a byobu folding painted screen.

About 20 works are on display at the venue, including Kitaro-themed works that have already been made public.

"I illustrated them paying respect to the works of our forerunners and inspired by folk legends," Yamada said.

The Japanese-style Daishoin was built in Tokyo in the Taisho Era (1912-1926) before being relocated in 1928. Architectural styles of Kyoto’s Katsura Imperial Villa and Nijo Castle can be seen throughout the building.

Admission to the exhibition is 1,000 yen ($9.20) for junior high school students or older and free for elementary school pupils or younger. An additional entrance fee to the temple is required.

Visit the temple’s official website at (https://www.hieizan.or.jp/).