(Stanford University Press)  This study draws from theories of the grotesque to examine many of the strange and extraordinary creatures and phenomena in the premodern Japanese tales called setsuwa. This book aims to understand the grotesque representations in setsuwa — animated detached body parts, unusual sexual encounters, demons and shape-shifting or otherwise wondrous animals — and, in a broader sense, to show what this type of critical focus can reveal about the Japanese mentality in the ancient, classical, and early medieval periods.  Li is an independent scholar and a research fellow in the Ho Center for Buddhist Studies at Stanford University.