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The Japanese ghost stories that give What Remains of Edith Finch its eeriness

What Remains of Edith Finch is rooted in Japanese horror as much as it is Lovecraftian. That’s why Giant Sparrow, the team behind the game, is pretty happy with its localized title over in Japan: ????????????????? or, translated back to English, What Happened at the Strange Estate of the Finch Family.

The long name calls to mind some of Lovecraft’s own eerie tales, like A Reminiscence of Dr. Samuel Johnson or the even longer Facts Concerning the Late Arthur Jermyn and His Family.

Giant Sparrow also shared a message on the game’s Japanese site, which you can read in English on their blog. It details some of the specific Japanese works that were influential in the making of Edith Finch, including Ugetsu Monogatari and Kwaidan, both collections of ghost stories that were later adapted into film. Also listed are two additional movies, The Woman in the Dunes and Kuroneko, and Junji Ito’s horror manga series Uzumaki.

It’s surprising how strongly Edith Finch‘s existing Japanese horror vibes are highlighted in its recent Japanese trailer, especially in its use of flashback and the sickly grey green hue saturating everything.

mysterious, unsettling and strange 

“Our game is a collection of tales that are meant to feel mysterious, unsettling and strange, which is a feeling Japanese artists seem to capture really well,” writes Giant Sparrow. “Hopefully our game feels like nothing you’ve ever played before but if any of it starts to seem a little familiar, and maybe even a bit Japanese, don’t be too surprised!”

Learn more about What Remains of Edith Finch on its website.