- Vampirism didn't exist in Japanese folklore prior to 1930ish when Bram Stoker's Dracula was translated into Japanese...
- ...except for some weird ancient river creature that would slip out of the water and steal farmers' horses and cows and suck their blood through their (egads!) anuses. Disturbed, I promptly quit reading about that myth.
- Oh yeah, there is also an old story about a vampiric cat that is bent on revenge against some samurai who raped and killed a woman.
So, as you can see, a rich folklore concerning vampires does not reside in the Land of the Rising Sun. Recently, however, the vampire theme has infiltrated Japan by means of their anime (animated movies) and manga (comic books), both enormously popular with young people. Many of the tried and true western vampire themes have been incorporated into these media.
However, whereas American/European bloodsuckers are inhumanly sexy, the anime Japanese vampires are...really cute. Sure, they will drink your blood in a split second, but they will do so with huge, puppy dog eyes and light purple hair. That's just how the undead roll here.
I suppose that appropriate terror is evoked through the anime/manga writing because, afterall, the Japanese are creative and compelling story tellers. But jeez, if something with girly cow eyes and pastel hair comes near me with little bitty sharp teeth and a school girl skirt, I'm not going to flee in terror. I'm probably more likely to pat it on the head and give it a cookie.
This, of course, might be my ultimate undoing AND the most effective mode of world domination...
The Cute Shall Inherit the Earth.