Yanagita Kunio Yanagida


Yanagita Kunio 柳田國男
Kunio Yanagita, Yanagida 柳田国男

(July 31, 1875 - August 8, 1962)

a Japanese scholar who is often known as the
father of Japanese native folkloristics,
or minzokugaku 民俗学.

He was born in Fukusaki, Hyōgo Prefecture. After graduating with a degree in law from Tokyo Imperial University, he became employed as a bureaucrat in the Ministry of Agriculture and Commerce. In the course of his bureaucratic duties, Yanagita had the opportunity to travel throughout mainland Japan. During these business trips, Yanagita became increasingly interested in observing and recording details pertaining to local village customs. Under the influence of literary friends such as the writer Shimazaki Toson, Yanagita published works supposedly based on local oral traditions such as Tales of Tono (1912). He collaborated extensively with folklorist Kizen Sasaki, and they published several books together.

Yanagita's focus on local traditions was part of a larger effort to insert the lives of commoners into narratives of Japanese history. He argued that historical narratives were typically dominated by events pertaining to rulers and high-ranking officials. Yanagita claimed that these narratives focused on elite-centered historical events and ignored the relative uneventfulness and repetition that characterized the lives of ordinary Japanese people across history.
© More in the WIKIPEDIA !


observance kigo for early autumn

Kunio ki 国男忌  Kunio Memorial Day
August 18

. Memorial Days of Famous People - SAIJIKI .

haiku no honshitsu wa hakaku ni aru.

The true meaning of haiku
lies in showing the extraordinary.


Yanagita Kunio to tanka: 柳田国男と短歌
Zoku Mori no fukuro

. kitsune hikyaku no hanashi 狐飛脚の話 .
Stories about the Fox Messenger


Edited by Ronald A. Morse, 2012.
Collection of essays and resources compiled and edited by Ronald A. Morse.
This scholarly book about the prominent Japanese folklorist Yanagita Kunio (1875-1962) is downloadable.
It is especially focused on Yanagita's mature theories and writings during the 1930s and 1940s. The book also has up-to-date bibliographical material: "A Guide to Major Foreign Language Writings on Yanagita Kunio and Yanagita Studies" and "A Guide to Japanese Folklore Centers & Resources".
- source : guides.library.harvard.edu

The Japanese-language book:
Yanagita Kunio Studies Around the World

Mukashibanashi Saichu Techo 昔話採集手帖
- reference -
(1936, Folktale Fieldwork Guide).

Momotaro - by David A Henry
This dissertation argues that folktales, and in particular the Momotaro tale, were important to the construction of national identity in Japan through the interrelated discourses of minzokugaku, kyodo kenkyu (local studies), and kyodo kyoiku (local education movement). Yanagita Kunio (1875-1962) founded the discipline of minzokugaku in the first half of the 1930s around the questions: what are folktales, when did they originate, and what do they mean? These questions also guide my own study.

Chapter One establishes the early modern history of Momotaro by focusing on the Edo period (1600-1868) when the tale rapidly gained popularity. I attempt to recover written and urban versions of the tale as a contrast to Yanagita's vision of folktales as products of oral, rural culture.

Chapter Two examines Iwaya Sazanami's (1870-1933) adaptation Momotaro (1894) which is the single best known iteration of the tale. Published just before the Sino-Japanese War of 1894-1895, this adaptation appeared around the time that the tale began to be read as national allegory.

In Chapter Three I examine Akutagawa Ryunosuke's (1894-1927) parodic adaptation Momotaro (1925) and the essay behind it, Iwami Jutaro (1924), which explores narrative consumption and the ideological work of renarration.

Chapter Four considers how Yanagita established minzokugaku by defining folktales theoretically in his 1933 work Momotaro no tanjo (The Birth of Momotaro ) and practically in his 1936 guide Mukashibanashi saishu techo (1936, Folktale Fieldwork Guide).

In Chapter Five, I look at how from 1930 onwards kyodo kenkyu and kyodo kyoiku were increasingly used to narrate local identities in ways that set these two discourses in opposition to Yanagita's own nationwide, top-down folklore project. While Yanagita's minzokugaku viewed Momotaro as a tale (mukashibanashi) that offered insights into the character of the Japanese people as a whole, the kyodo kenkyu and kyodo kyoiku movements explored Momotaro as a legend.
- source : www.amazon.in

Yanagita Kunio’s Folklore Studies in the early to mid 1930s

by David Henry
. Momotaro 桃太郎 and Yanagita Kunio .


. Tōno monogatari 遠野物語 Tono Monogatari
Legends of Tono - Tales of Tono .

Story Nr. 99
. Story Nr. 99 死者の想い Thinking about the Dead .

Yanagida Kunio had his reasons for being interested in the afterlife.
He had lost his young girlfriend (a one-sided love affair on his side though) when she was just 19, dying of tuberculosis.
He kept asking himself where she would be now.
Still in his room? Or near her grave? or far away in paradise?
While she was ill at the home of her parents, he had written a story about a little bird (himself), which she could keep in her room beside her bed, and he would sing for her all day long to make her feel better.

His interest in the legends of Tono stemmed from this interest of the soul in the afterlife.

. Tono Monogatari and the Kappa 河童  .

. Bon sugi medochi dan 盆過ぎメドチ談
After the Bon Festivities: Tales of Medochi [Kappa] .



. Yanagita Kunio .


Haiku and Senryu

furuike ni kappa tobikomu Yanagita ki

a kappa jumps
into the old pond -
Yanagita Memorial Day

Gabi Greve
November 2013

source - the WIKIPEDIA !

Related words

***** . minzokugaku 民俗学 / 民族学 folklore studies, ethnology .

***** . Personal Names used in Haiku
Introduction .


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Gabi Greve - Darumapedia said...

天狗 Tengu Legends from Fukushima
Some legends are told in all of Fukushima, some are related to a special district or village.
Many legends have been collected by 柳田国男 Yanagita Kunio
in a collection named
妖怪名彙 / 妖怪談義 Yokai Dangi

Gabi Greve - Darumapedia said...

Nobusuma 野衾 (のぶすま)"wild quilt", "wild blanket"
Yokai squirrel, Yokai bat

Sometimes depicted as a flying squirrel, sometimes as a huge bat.
The folklorist 柳田國男 Yanagida Kunio wrote;
In Tokyo, Nobusuma is seen as a 鼯鼠 Momonga or 蝙蝠 Komori. In some regions of Japan it is just called 衾 Fusuma.
It sneaks up on a person and covers its eyes and mouth.