MUJINA [English/Japanese Hybrid Edition]

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Animals in oral and written literature have long served as objectified others on which to project the fears and desires of the human self, much as racial others have functioned in imperialist narratives. Because they cannot write or talk back, animals enact the role of the other in a more extreme fashion than the colonized.

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In effect, the distinct culture that the animals represent is really a space within which humans can inscribe their own questions about identity. This externalized exploration of interiority is particularly prominent in fox and raccoon dog tales, because so much of their appeal resides in the exposure of these transgressive others who can-and do-challenge the boundaries of the human self.

Takahata Isao's animated film Heisei tanuki gassen pompoko Tanuki Battle of the Heisei Era, hereafter Pompoko accesses, updates, and greatly extrapolates the fox and raccoon dog folktale tradition and the inhering crisis within modem Japanese society as it relates to both the environment and a homogeneous notion of Japanese identity.

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Best Offer. Buy It Now. Classified Ads. Item Location see all. Delivery Options see all. Free Shipping. Some examples are: gawappa in Kumamoto; garappa in Kagoshima; and gongo in Okayama, where immigrants came Chiba, The function of monster tales was so relevant in Japan.

A Japanese ethnographer Kunio Yanagita describes a typical way of such a story could be used to control children in rural areas. The Japanese parents tried to prohibit their children play in hide-and-seek in evenings so they created some monsters to scare them. According to Yanagita , in order to make children hurry to their homes from the playground and not stop to talk with strangers, parents told them to beware of becoming children of mujina.

This self-regulating system in children in play might have existed in Hawaii too.

Hihi – No Laughing Matter | Wild in Japan

The contemporary Hawaiian mujina is a hybrid ghost created by the Asian and Hawaiian cultural encounter. It is a mixture of many ghosts and folklore stories in addition to some mysterious elements from both Japan and Hawaii, and maybe from other countries as well.


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Many influences migrated from the distant past in the collective memories of the Japanese and, maybe, other Asian inhabitants of the islands. They crystallized in eyewitness accounts of a faceless female with beautiful hair who is not unlike Madame Pele. These females have the same sort of power to allure and scare men. The broad images of Pele would have welcomed the spiritual female from Japan. Honolulu Magazine, October Despite the unknown origins of this particular ghost story in Honolulu, it is probably the flowering of kwaidan ghost storytelling in the Edo Period that provides the most fertile background for explaining the modern Hawaiian tale.

The cultural practice, kwaidan , was brought to Hawaii by immigrants from Japan, maintained under Buddhist sponsorship, and spread widely through horror movies to the general populace.

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In other words, the story developed in the cross-cultural stream of Hawaii as a form of longing. I assume that this blending of cultures in history in Hawaii is at the real root of the emergence of mujina in Honolulu. A few days later I encountered Gary on a bus again. He told me that one day he saw a white male on one of the escalators at Sears in Ala Moana, coming in a hurry behind from him. He turned his body to give him a space to let him go. But next moment when he turned his face back, there was nobody.

He still remembers what he wore and his specific face features. I asked him whether he saw a ghost. He was not sure since he had not checked if the man had feet or not. Then, I added a question whether it is common to believe that ghosts have no feet in Hawaii. Grant describes kappa : "The kappa was an ugly, amphibious creatures about the size of a small boy of three or four years of age.

Mikio Chiba complied various names of kappa and other creatures throughout the nation in his dictionary of monster words. On Sado, there is a famous raccoon dog legend called Don-saburou-tanuki that lent money to people Sasama, The story also has a mujina version. Aston, W. Nihongi: Chronicles of Japan from the earliest times to A.

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