Mukashi Mukashi . . .

Fairytales and timeless tales were the focus of my joint seminar today, and it was a pretty fun class due to both content and structure. We talked about Momotarou, Gongitsune and Taketori Monogatari, all of which are mukashi banashi (Japanese folk tales). Most tales in Japan end relatively sadly or abruptly in comparison to American ones, which are typically concluded with a ‘happily ever after’ and the sunset in the distance crap. They also don’t call for much contemplation, presenting a clear message of how to be a good person, follow true love, etcetera, while the Japanese tales we looked at were much more thought-provoking. I prefer that route, honestly, because although it can be frustrating in its newness (to me), it also seems much more interesting and open-ended versus the cut-and-dry I’m accustomed to. Good stuff.

Hubbard-sensei also couldn’t pull up the pdf of Momotarou to read in-class, so instead she had the Doshisha students go around reciting it off of memory. I mean it’s a pretty typical first few lines for most mukashi banashi, and from there it was simple. But it was fun to see how everyone’s faces dropped in an ‘oh shit’ moment until they all got into it, almost flawlessly jumping from person to person who’d roll the next lines off their tongue like nothing. Mecha impressive! Then they sang along to the Momotarou song, which was adorable. Favorite class so far 😉

I came home to learn that okaa-san finally bought the hella expensive mushrooms she’d been talking about, the ones that cost ~$100 if they’re straight from Japan. Yeah, well she got the cheaper but still yummy Canadian ones, so yay for smart buying! They were really good; I’m not a mushroom connoisseur and probably wouldn’t be able to tell the difference if a random mushroom dish was given to me with the same appearance, but I’m glad I got to try whatever beauty we had today (name in progress, I forgot). Afterwords we had a delicious cake with strawberries, banana, kiwi and some other berry plus cream inside. Dinner tonight was pretty bombin’.


Ended up staying up for another 2 1/2 hours just talking to okaa-san about Japanese politics, it’s colonial relations in contemporary times, where the hell I’m going for fall break and a bunch of other things. Time honestly flies whenever we’re talking, I love just being home and chilling with okaa-san so much. She’s spectacular. Now I’m going to crash and burn, so hang tight for pics and whatever tomorrow brings (I may hit up Toji Market, wahoo!). By the way, this is the stray Ichigo who lives by Kamagawa, okaa-san loves him and today he decided he’s hang out in her basket.



3 Comments Add yours

  1. Patricia nagy says:

    Hi Elizabeth maybe the Japanese have a better way of looking at things better than everything is wonderful and you live happy ever after and you know it’s not so love grandma


  2. Your home stay okaasan sounds awesome. Also, I think storytelling differences and similarities are so fascinating between Japan and other countries. Especially the little differences due to region or how old someone was when they first heard the story.


    1. lizhatesfizz says:

      She’s definitely one of my favorite people and a huge shaping factor while I’m here in Japan 🙂 And yeah, that’s a really interesting point – when I recounted some pieces of Taketori Monogatari to okaa-san she was really confused and gave me a completely different version that she had read/remembered.

      Liked by 1 person

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