- Kunio Yanagita's The Legends of Tono : Its Birth and a Hundred Anniversary (Special Issue Dedicated to Professor Norio KITAGAWA)
- トオノ モノガタリ ノ セイリツ ト ソノ ヒャクネン キタガワ ノリオ キョウジュ タイニン キネンゴウ
Tono-Monogatari, The Legends of Tono, is a collection of 119 folk narratives specific to the remote town of Tono and its neighboring villages of Iwate Prefecture. This paper is an attempt to answer the two questions: 1)How did the humble yet influential publication come about? 2)How did it grow to be a modern classic and to make Tono a pilgrimage site for folklore lovers? Tono-Monogatari is the first Japanese challenge to publish the oral tradition in book form. Actually, there were three people closely linked to this publication. Various forms of narratives were told by Kizen Sasaki, a young country man from Tono to Kunio Yanagita in Tokyo in 1908. These two men met for the first time by the introduction of Yoshu Mizuno, a young thriving writer living at the same boarding house with Sasaki. Mizuno was a ghost story lover, Sasaki was a great folk story teller himself, and Yanagita, public servant and writer, was a very attentive listener eager to dictate what Sasaki told. Then Yanagita travelled to Tono in August, 1909, to observe the setting of stories told. The result is the Tono-Monogatari, first printed and published privately for 350 copies. Thus this little book was known only among the restricted group of literary men and scholars until 1935 when there appeared its second, expanded version with enormous success. However, Tono has been a sleepy country town for a long time until 1970s, when the National Sport Games Soccer Venue and the Annual Convention of Japan Folklore Society were held. Since then there has been built such institutions as Tono City Library, Tono Folk Museum, an outdoor museum called Denshooken, and a folktale theater named Mukashi-banashi-mura. In 2010 Tono celebrated a hundred anniversary of Tono-Monogatari, with such exciting local events as the renewal opening of Tono Folk Museum, a centenary performance of folk drama, and 2010 Tono Seminar focused on this modern classic. Today Tono-Monogatari is still well read and provides the city identity to Tono, which remains to be a destination for Japanese folklore lovers.
- 桃山学院大学社会学論集 = ST. ANDREW'S UNIVERSITY SOCIOLOGICAL REVIEW
桃山学院大学社会学論集 = ST. ANDREW'S UNIVERSITY SOCIOLOGICAL REVIEW 44 (2), 337-352, 2011-03-28