Types of Japanese Folk Tales.pdf

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Type's Japanese Folklales
CONTENTS
Preface ........................................ 2
Bibliography .................................... 8
Origin of Animals . No . 1-30 .................... 15
Animal Tales . No . 31-74 ......................... 24
Man and Animal ................................ 43
A . Escape from Ogre . No . 75-88 ............. 43
v .
VI .
VII .
VIII .
IX .
X .
XI .
Supernatural Birth . No . 151-165 ................ 80
Man and Waterspirit . No . 166-170 .............. 87
Magic Objects . No . 171-182 ...................... 90
Tales of Fate . No . 183-188 ...................... 95
Human Marriage . No . 189-200 .................. 100
Acquisition of Riches . No . 201-209 .............. 106
Conflicts ........................................ 111
A . Parent and Child . No . 210-223 ............ 111
B . Brothers (or Sisters) . No . 224-233 ........ 119
.
XI1 .
XI11 .
XIV .
xv .
C . Neighbors . No 234-253 123
The Clever Man . No . 254-262 .................. 136
Jokes . No . 263-308 .............................. 141
Contests . No . 309-326 .......................... 152
....................
Osho and Kozo (Priest and his Acolyte) . No . 327-344 159
XVI .
XVII .
Lucky Accidents . No . 345-356 ................... 166
Fools and Numskulls ............................ 173
A . Fools . No . 357-385 ........................ 173
B . Blunderers . No . 386-399 ................... 182
C . Village of Numskulls . No . 400-417 ......... 188
D . Foolish Son-in-Law . No . 418-441 .......... 193
E . Foolish Daughter-in-Law . No . 442-452 .... 205
XVIII .
Formula Tales . No . 453-457 ..................... 209
Supplement . No . 458-460 ........................ 211
B . Stupid Animals . No . 87-118 ............... 49
C . Grateful Animals . No . 119-132 ............ 63
Supernatural Wifes and Husbands ................ 69
A . Supernatural Husbands . No . 133-140 ........ 69
B . Supernatural Wifes . No . 141-150 .......... 74
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KEIGO SEKI
PREFACE
I. Purpose. During the past fifty years Japanese folktales
have been collected from almost all districts. These tales were
examined and classified by the folklorists for the purpose of
scientific studies. Nevertheless, few of the texts available for
scientific study have been translated into European languages
or introduced to European scholars. For this reason Japanese
materials in the field of folktale research have been neglected
in comparative studies. This paper is intended to fill this gap.
11. Scope. First of all this work deals with the folktales
still living in present-day Japan. These tales include, besides
the so-called fairy tales, fables, jokes, anecdotes and a few legends.
This is because Japanese folktales have motifs which often in-
termix with those of other tales. For instance some motifs that
appear in fairy tales are also found in legends, some others are
combined with historical characters, and in some cases they
are adapted to folk beliefs.
111. Japanese terms for folktale. Folktale is called in Japa-
nese, mukashi-banashi, otogi-banashi, or ddwa. Mukashi-banashi
literally means an old tale or a tale of ancient times. This term
is derived from the peculiar form of the opening phrase of folk-
tales, "mukashi, mukashi (a long, long time ago) ." Togi of otogi-
banashi meant a night meeting or a kind of vigil kept by groups
of people who worshipped the same Shintoistic or Buddhistic
deity. Since the late fourteenth century there existed profes-
sional narrators, called "otogi-no-shu", who attended daimyos or
feudal lords, telling tales in the evening. Although not all of
the tales told on these occasions wcre folktales in the strict
sense of the word, otogi-banushi, tales told by the people who
did togi, came to stand for folktales. Ddwa which literally
means stories for children, is now usually applied to the
artistic stories written by modern writers of children's stories.
IV. Formulas of Japanese folktales. Many local variations
are seen among the Japanese folktales, but generally speaking,
the proper form with an opening and an ending phrase, is still
preserved. The story begins with the phrase, "mukashi, mu-
kashi'yin the old, old times; a long, long time ago), "zutto
mukashi no 6-mukashi" (a great many years ago), or "mazu
aru tokoro ni, jiji to baba to ga arimashita" (once there were
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TYPES OF JAPANESE FOLKTALES
3
an old man and an old woman), or the like. This formula is
used in Nihon RyGiki, which was compiled in the early eighth
century, and also in Ise Monogatari, written in the middle of
the tenth century, the opening phrase, "once there was a man",
is very often seen. Each tale in Konjaku Monogatari, compiled
in the early twelfth century, begins with the phrase, "ima wa
mukashi" (it was a long time ago). As for the ending phrase
of folktales, five kinds can be mentioned, (a) a phrase which
explains that the hero or the heroine becomes happy; (b) which
tells of the prosperity of the main cllaracters' offsprings; (c)
which indicates the end of the story; (d) which gives moral
or instructive teachings; (e) which explains the origin of a
species or a form of animals or plants. The last one appears
mostly in fables.
V. Present source materials. The materials used in this
work are all modern versions based on oral transmission. They
were published in books of small circulation, pamphlets, mimeo-
graphed prints, local magazines and newspapers and topographies
(see bibliography). Besides these, there are some unpublished
manuscripts. The writer tried to make the best use of these
source materials.
VI. Collection of materials. Investigation into folktales in
Japan began in the first decade of this century. At first the
Ministry of Education undertook the collection of folktales,
simultaneously with that of folk songs, and commissioned the
primary schools of various districts to carry out this under-
taking. As to folk songs this method was pretty successful,
while the collection of folktales was not carried out satisfactorily
and ended in failure. Later some dilettants were interested in
collecting tales from rural districts. Meanwhile Japanese folk-
lore research rose, and under the strong influence of Kunio
Yanagita (1875-1962), the pioneer of Japanese folklore, the
scientific research workers began investigation into folktales.
In 1922 two pamphlets containing word-for-word versions of
folktales were issued. Referring to these materials, Yanagita
published a paper in which he emphasized the necessity of
collecting materials and he urged young students to undertake
this work. Since then under his direct guidance or his in-
fluence, many texts were written by trained folklorists. From
1936 the present writer co-operated with Yailagita in making a
Note Book for the Collection of Folktales and in carrying out
systematic collection from various districts. This work, how-
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4
KEIGO SEKI
ever, was interrupted by the outbreak of the Great War. After
the war, besides the advance of dilettants in this field, there
appeared some earnest local workers, and many texts are still
written down by them.
In order to write down the versions in which the least pos-
sible influence from literary sources is found, they tried to
choose the narrators of advanced age and of comparatively low
education. Most of the narrators were peasants or fishermen
and their families. Among them there were twenty narrators
who remembered more than thirty stories, and five or six among
them remembered more than a hundred stories. They were all
very old and the numbers of men and women were equal. The
tales collected are of the following types:
Origin of animals
556
Animal tales
878
Man and ogre
A. Escape from ogre
463
B. Stupid animals
674
C. Grateful animals
231
IV.
Supernatural wifes and husbands
A. Supernatural hubands
434
v.
VI.
VII.
VIII.
IX.
X.
XI.
B. Supernatural wifes
' 343
Supernatural birth
423
Man and water spirit
125
Magic objects
162
Tales of fate
220
Human marriage
286
Acquisition of riches
248
Conflicts
A. Parent and child
576
B. Brothers (or sisters)
122
C. Neighbors
975
XII.
XIII.
XIV.
xv.
XVI.
XVII.
Clever man
176
Jokes
310
Contests
427
Priest and his acolyte
589
Lucky accidents
413
Fools and numskulls
A. Fools
384
B. Blunderers
210
C. Village of numskulls
322
D. Foolish son-in-law
627
E. Foolish daughter-in-law
163
XVIII.
Formula tales
214
Supplement (unclassified)
123
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TYPES OF JAPANESE FOLKTALES
5
VII. Literary sources. There are many folktales which
were recorded in Japanese classics, some of them appearing in
the oldest records known at present. The oldest Japanese
literature are the following three books. Firstly, Kojiki (3
vols., 712) which was compiled by imperial order, is the record
which Cino Yasumaro (?-728) wrote down according to what
was told by Hieda Are, a professional narrator. It contains
myths, legends, and historical events of ancient Japan. Second-
ly, Nihon Shoki (30 vols., 720) is the first historical document
in Japan, compiled by Prince Toneri (?-735), 6no Yasumaro
and others. The first two volumes contains myths, traditions,
and records of clans. Lastly there are some volumes named
Fudoki (708-733). Fudoki means topography. Also by order
.of the emperor, Fudoki of various provinces were written.
Among them, five Fudoki of different provinces remained till
,our days in their complete forms. We find in these old literature
not only motifs or fragmentary descriptions similar to those of
folktales, but also parallels to modern versions of folktales and
legends in their complete forms. After the tenth century a large
number of popular tales were recorded. We can mention four
different forms in which these tales were recorded: (1) novels;
(2) ballades; (3) stories told for the purpose of religious in-
structions; (4) genuine narratives.
The oldest literary works belonging to the first group are
the Taketori Monogatari, the Utsubo Monogatari, and the Ochi-
kubo Monogatari (985) which were written in the late tenth
century. Among those which belong to the second group there
are the Ise Monogatari, the Yamato Monogatari (950), and the
Heichii Monogatari, which came out in the first half oi the
tenth century.. Those which belong to the third group are col-
lections of tales compiled for the purpose of religious propa-
ganda. The oldest among them which remains today, is the
Nihon Ry6iki (822) written by a Buddhist priest, Ky6kai. This
book consists of one hundred and sixteen narratives, mainly
legends, written for the purpose of propagating Buddhism. As
sother examples of the same kind of books, we can mention the
Sanb6ekotoba (984) by Minamoto Tamenori, the Oj6yGshG
(985) by Genshin, the H6butsushQ (1179-1180) by Taira Yasu-
yori, the Uchigiki-shii (later 12th century), the Kojidan (1212-
1215) by Minamoto Akikane, and the Hosshin-shii (1215) by
Kamo Ch6mei. There are also the collections of ethical or in-
structive tales, such as the Zoku-Kojidan (1219), the Kankyo-
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