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By Kunio Yanaguta

From Amazon.com person Zack Davisson:

Much of what we all know of eastern folklore could have been misplaced eternally if it weren't for 2 authors, Lafcadio Hearn and Kunio Yanagita. either have been avid creditors of the mysterious stories of strange and resourceful creatures that have been handed down as oral folklore yet by no means written down. either did their paintings before everything of the Meiji period, a time while, within the identify of modernization, the govt. and students of Japan have been actively trying to wipe out the ideals and superstitions of earlier eras that have been regarded as embarrassing to a rustic coming into the trendy age.

"The Legends of Tono" (Japanese identify "Tono Monogatari") is the main well-known of Yanagita's works, accumulating the narratives of the small city of Tono in Iwate prefecture, as advised to him by way of neighborhood resident and storyteller Kizen Sasaki. The tales gathered in "The Legends of Tono" contain a few of Japan's most renowned monsters just like the kappa and the child-ghosts zashiki-warashi. in addition to Hearn's Kwaidan: tales And reviews of odd issues and Ueda Akinari's stories of Moonlight and Rain, "The Legends of Tono" is likely one of the such a lot vintage and demanding books on eastern folklore.

A strangely small booklet for person who contains a lot weight, there are precisely 100 and nineteen legends opened up over fifty-eight pages. a lot of those legends are just a sentence in size, and sometimes there are 3 to 4 assorted legends on a web page. a few of them are a piece longer, perhaps a paragraph or , and commonplace of eastern folklore they don't inform a whole tale yet quite simply describe a wierd condition or the historical past in the back of a few unusual stone or tree neighborhood to a undeniable village. Many clarify customs of the time in Tono village, and the hobbies of family gods and fairs. a few are sexual cautionary stories, and different frights designed to maintain humans of their right position for worry of punishment. Yanagita's type used to be to list 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, person who is sort of very unlikely to grasp simply via a short studying. certainly, in jap there are annotated models of "The Legends of Tono" that pass 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 turn into an important effect 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 was once extra to "The Legends of Tono" than basic folklore amassing and writing even though. This was once a booklet with a political schedule. Yanagita used to be protesting opposed to legit histories on the time, which centred in simple terms at the wealthy and strong and neglected the lives and hopes of the thousands of terrible peasants who, within the phrases of somebody with related tendencies, "did lots of the residing and dying" in Japan. Yanagita didn't wish to determine the tales of those humans misplaced to the tides of time, and so he accrued them up and wrote them down for destiny generations.

This "100th Anniversary Edition" celebrates the unique 1910 e-book of "The Legends of Tono." It reprints the 1975 translation ready by way of Yanagita-scholar Ronald A. Morse. Morse incorporates a preface to the a hundredth Anniversary variation, the unique ahead to the 1975 variation written by way 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 day. those 3 introductions upload just a little bulk to the ebook, and a few heritage on Yanagita and his relevance.

Morse additionally contains a "Guide to English-Language Writings on Kunio Yanagita and "The Legends of Tono"" behind the ebook for these drawn to pursuing extra research at the guy and his works.

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