Kwaidan: Stories and Studies of Strange things is a collection of short stories. The stories are of Japanese origin and are retold by the narrator, stories that he heard of during his time in Japan. The stories are based on Buddhist religion and are told in the way that shows the supernatural powers of prayers, curses or just getting involved with the after life. Karma is very much present in the stories and the belief of the overall balance in the world and nature.
Nature is the main motif in most of the stories and shows the price that comes with disturbing the nature. Kwaidan also has meta-fictional qualities as the narrator often talks to the reader and discusses the story and makes it clear that the story is just that-a story. The last part of the collection is called Insect Studies and in this narrator talks about the historical background of the usage of certain insects as symbolisms or images in Japanese literature. The Insect Study of Ants shows a possible human utopia where there would be no negative aspects of it and all of the human kind would work for common wealth-just like ants do.
The meaning of the word Kwaidan translates to "a ghost story" and this collection is mostly made out of those.