By Kunio Yanaguta
From Amazon.com consumer Zack Davisson:
Much of what we all know of eastern folklore could have been misplaced perpetually if it weren't for 2 authors, Lafcadio Hearn and Kunio Yanagita. either have been avid creditors of the mysterious stories of peculiar and imaginitive creatures that have been handed down as oral folklore yet by no means written down. either did their paintings firstly of the Meiji period, a time whilst, within the identify of modernization, the govt and students of Japan have been actively trying to wipe out the ideals and superstitions of prior eras that have been regarded as embarrassing to a rustic getting into the fashionable age.
"The Legends of Tono" (Japanese name "Tono Monogatari") is the main well-known of Yanagita's works, accumulating the narratives of the small city of Tono in Iwate prefecture, as instructed to him by means of neighborhood resident and storyteller Kizen Sasaki. The tales accumulated in "The Legends of Tono" comprise a few of Japan's most renowned monsters just like the kappa and the child-ghosts zashiki-warashi. besides Hearn's Kwaidan: tales And experiences of wierd issues and Ueda Akinari's stories of Moonlight and Rain, "The Legends of Tono" is without doubt one of the such a lot vintage and significant books on eastern folklore.
A unusually small booklet for one who consists of quite a bit weight, there are precisely 100 and nineteen legends opened up over fifty-eight pages. lots of those legends are just a sentence in size, and sometimes there are 3 to 4 varied legends on a web page. a few of them are a section longer, perhaps a paragraph or , and general of eastern folklore they don't inform a whole tale yet really simply describe a strange condition or the background in the back of a few unusual stone or tree neighborhood to a definite village. Many clarify customs of the time in Tono village, and the pursuits of loved ones gods and gala's. a few are sexual cautionary stories, and different frights designed to maintain humans of their right position for worry of punishment. Yanagita's variety used to be to checklist the legends in a straight-forward demeanour with no ornament and little elaboration.
However, packed inside of Yanagita's brief sentences is an ocean of intensity, one who is sort of most unlikely to grasp simply via a short examining. certainly, in jap there are annotated models of "The Legends of Tono" that cross on for 400 pages or extra digging into each one of Yanagita's terse sentences as though mining for gold. His uncomplicated and direct writing sort could develop into an incredible impression on writer Mishima Yukio (The Sailor who fell from grace with the ocean) who thought of "The Legends of Tono" to be the finest-written paintings of eastern literature.
There used to be extra to "The Legends of Tono" than uncomplicated folklore amassing and writing notwithstanding. This was once a booklet with a political schedule. Yanagita was once protesting opposed to reputable histories on the time, which targeted merely at the wealthy and robust and neglected the lives and hopes of the thousands of negative peasants who, within the phrases of somebody with comparable dispositions, "did many of the dwelling and dying" in Japan. Yanagita didn't wish to determine the tales of those humans misplaced to the tides of time, and so he amassed them up and wrote them down for destiny generations.
This "100th Anniversary Edition" celebrates the unique 1910 book of "The Legends of Tono." It reprints the 1975 translation ready via Yanagita-scholar Ronald A. Morse. Morse features a preface to the one centesimal Anniversary variation, the unique ahead to the 1975 version written by means of Richard M. Dorson who had truly labored and studied with Yanagita, and a brand new creation discussing the relevance of Yanagita's paintings this present day. those 3 introductions upload a little bit bulk to the book, and a few historical past on Yanagita and his relevance.
Morse additionally incorporates a "Guide to English-Language Writings on Kunio Yanagita and "The Legends of Tono"" behind the publication for these attracted to pursuing additional learn at the guy and his works.