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Master of Arts (M.A.)
Year Degree Awarded
Month Degree Awarded
Japan, medieval, muromachi, otogi-zoshi, literature, plants
This thesis presents translations of Kazashi no himegimi and Sakuraume no sōshi, two tales belonging to the genre of medieval Japanese narrative known as otogi-zōshi, and of the subcategory known as iruimono (tales of non-humans). Chapter 1 provides context, beginning with a brief history of otogi-zōshi and a description of residual challenges in its research, including the parameters of the genre and problems with its nomenclature. This is followed by a discussion of the typical physical formats of these tales, Nara ehon and emaki, and a brief history of iruimono and plant symbolism in otogi-zōshi completes the chapter. Literary analysis of Kazashi no himegimi and Sakuraume no sōshi in Chapter 2 focuses on the irui characters in each tale, describing their motivations and the effect they have on the humans they interact with. Format, plot, and character are compared and contrasted for each tale, and the textual sources are briefly described. Chapter 3 provides complete translations for Kazashi no himegimi and Sakuraume no sōshi with annotations for obscure words, puns, and meanings that may be unclear in the text. The chapter ends with a conclusion discussing aspects of the tales that might usefully be explored further.
Stephen M. Forrest