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Japanese Folklore

Guest Author - Joy Alari

Japanese folklore has its fair share of narratives, it is colorful and never complete without the elaborate illustrations of the Kamishibai, in ancient times the storyteller would go from town to town, to spin their tales.

Japanese folklore had always being greatly influenced by foreign literature, especially from China and India.

Religions such as Buddhism or Shinto to some extent, also shaped Japanese folklore but there are still a lot of super human elements in most of these tales, such as Ghosts, Spirits, even animals like the Dragon, cat, fox or badger, all have their fair share in Japanese folklore.

Like folklore from other cultures, Japanese folklore has several genres such as:

• Tonchibanashi are stories that have lots of wit in it.

• Yokubaribanashi are tales filled with greed.

• Mukashibanashi are tales of yester years.

• Obakebanashi are tales that have Ghostly figures to it.

• Waraibanashi are tales that with lots of Fun.

• Ongaeshibanashi are stories that have the milk of Kindness in it.

• Namidabanashi are Sad tales.

Japanese folklore has developed over the years, gone were the time when story-tellers, used to travel from town to town, to tell and illustrate their tales with the Kamishibai, today technology has changed all that with movies, video games. etc Which you’ll agree with me have their own tales to tell too.

Here are some popular Japanese folklore:

• The Tale of the Bamboo Cutter: this is the story of the childless Bamboo cutter, who got a baby from the moon.

• Issun-boshi Folklore: This is the tale of the One Inch Boy.

• Bunbuku Chagama: The story of a wily shape shifting Raccoon.

• Kintaro Folklore: The Tale of a Golden superhuman boy.

• Ryujin Folklore: Tales of the Dragon gods.

• Yotsuya Kaidan Folklore: The tales of the vengeful ghost Oiwa.

• Shita-Kiri Suzume Folklore: The tale of the Sparrow with a split tongue.

• Momotaro Folklore: The tale about a Peach boy from heaven.

• Tokoyo Folklore: This is the Tale of Tokoyo, the girl who searched for her banished Samurai father and in turn became a legend.

• Urashima Taro Folklore: This is the tale of a fisherman, who journeyed into the future.

• Tamamo-no-Mae Folklore: The tale of the most beautiful and Intelligent woman in all of Japan, who had a huge secret.

• Bancho-Sarayashiki Folklore: Tales of the ghost Okiku.

• Mizuchi Folklore: The tales of a Japanese Dragon and water deity.

• Hanasaka Jiisan Folklore: The tale of the old man, who could make withered trees bloom.
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Content copyright © 2014 by Joy Alari. All rights reserved.
This content was written by Joy Alari. If you wish to use this content in any manner, you need written permission. Contact Ching Kin Min for details.

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