Kwaidan: Stories and Studies of Strange Things

Kwaidan: Stories and Studies of Strange Things

Kwaidan: Stories and Studies of Strange Things

Kwaidan: Stories and Studies of Strange Things

Excerpt

Most of the following Kwaidan, or Weird Tales, have been taken from old Japanese books,--such as the Yaso-Kidan, Bukkyo-Hyakkwa-Zensho, Kokon-Chomonshu, Tama-Sudaré, and Hyaku-Monogatari. Some of the stories may have had a Chinese origin: the very remarkable "Dream of Akinosuké," for example, is certainly from a Chinese source. But the Japanese story-teller, in every case, has so recolored and reshaped his borrowing as to naturalize it. . . . One queer tale, "Yuki-Onna," was told me by a farmer of Chofu, Nishitamagori, in Musashi province, as a legend of his native village. Whether it has ever been written in Japanese I do not know; but the extraordinary belief which it records used certainly to exist in most parts of Japan, and in many curious forms. . . . The incident of "Riki- Baka" was a personal experience; and I wrote it down almost exactly as it happened, changing only a family-name mentioned by the Japanese narrator.

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