The Japanese Tale Urashima Tarō in a Swedish Children’s book of the Early 20th Century : A Comparative Literary Analysis of the Tale Elements of Urashima Tarō in Ida Trotzig’s book Japanska sagor (Japanese Tales), published in 1912

Detta är en Kandidat-uppsats från Högskolan Dalarna/Institutionen för språk, litteratur och lärande

Sammanfattning: The present thesis examines Japanese folktales through a comparative case study of the tale elements of Fiskarpojken Urashima (The fisher-boy Urashima) in the Swedish children’s book Japanska sagor (Japanese tales) written by Ida Trotzig, published in 1912. The book was part of the book series Barnbiblioteket Saga (The Children’s Tale Library). Trotzig’s tale version is compared to historic and contemporary versions of the tale in Japanese, English and Swedish. The comparative tale elements include motifs defined by the author and classified according to Stith Thompson’s motif classes, structural and formal tale elements, and motifs of the religious substrata defined by McKeon. The time period studied includes the birth of Japanese folklore studies, the Russo-Japanese War with a growing interest for Japan in the West and the influx of Western ideas in Japan. Japanska sagor was published around the time when the Urashima tale was added to the National readers by Japan’s Ministry of Education and the narrative was changed, omitting the original love story. Both narratives are represented in the non-Japanese versions from this time, and still today. Trotzig’s version follows the historic narrative that included a love story and shows relatively many romantic elements in comparison to the significant Japanese tale versions recorded during the last millennium. Trotzig’s version contains two new added romantic and emotional elements at the end of the story and the princess was given a new name, Urana No. Trotzig’s version includes all four original motifs of the basic religious substratum and at least four of the nine motifs of the ōo (romantic) substratum, as defined by McKeon. The age of the tale elements can in several cases be traced back to the 8th century texts. Trotzig’s version shares almost all of the compared tale elements with the Hasegawa/Chamberlain version (1886).

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