By Royall Tyler
Listed below are 200 and twenty extraordinary stories from medieval Japan, stories that welcome us right into a great, far flung international populated by means of saints and scoundrels, ghosts and magical healers, and an enormous collection of deities and demons. tales of miracles, visions of hell, jokes, fables, and legends, those stories replicate the japanese worldview in the course of a vintage interval in eastern civilization. Masterfully edited and translated by way of the acclaimed translator of The story of Genji, those tales ably stability the lyrical and the dramatic, the ribald and the profound, delivering a window right into a long-vanished notwithstanding perennially attention-grabbing tradition.
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Additional resources for Japanese Tales (Pantheon Fairy Tale & Folklore Library)
Often, all the fox wants is food (nos. 124, 206). In the end, though, something else seems to be going on — something that has as much to do with the woman as the fox-bewitched man’s infatuation has to do with himself. No. 125 seems to support this impression. At the beginning o f the story, the empress is possessed by a fox which the healer manages to transfer to a medium and then capture. Next, the empress is overwhelmed to the point of insanity by the healer's own lust. It is hard to believe that the original fox had nothing to do with her susceptibility.
In these stories foxes leave monks alone, instead pestering laymen with confusing visions and illusions (no. 208). Perhaps the foxes’ lack of interest in monks has to do with their relatively more familiar presence in the everyday human world. It was a commonplace that an abandoned mansion, like the one in no. 84, soon became a foxes’ lair; and even an inhabited mansion could be infested with foxes (no. 80). Apparently foxes could move into a house just the way raccoons and even skunks do in the United States, but I wonder whether a raccoon family has ever carried on the way these foxes do.
98), but the reasons for the other forms are more complicated. All wield saving power. Kannon has a paradise called Fudaraku in Japanese. Potalaka, its Sanskrit name, is visibly the same as that of the famous Potala Palace in Lhasa, until recently the home of the Dalai Lama. ) Some mountains in Japan were thought of as Fudaraku, but the Japanese knew that Buddhist texts identify it as a mountain at the southern tip of India. To the Japanese, the location of Fudaraku meant that Kannon’s para dise, unlike A m ida’s, was in our own world and that in principle it could be reached in this body.
Japanese Tales (Pantheon Fairy Tale & Folklore Library) by Royall Tyler