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The Journal of Japanese Language Literature Studies > Volume 11(1); 2020 > Article
Border Crossings: The Journal of Japanese-Language Literature Studies 2020;11(1): 13-25.
doi: https://doi.org/10.22628/bcjjl.2020.11.1.13
Momotarō in the South Seas :Folklore, Colonial Policy Studies, and Parody
Professor of modern Japanese literature and Head of the East Asian Literatures and Cultures Department, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
南洋の桃太郎 ―― 民話、植民地政策、パロディ
Correspondence  Robert TIERNEY ,Email: rtierney@illinois.edu
Published online: 30 December 2020.
Copyright ©2020 The Global Institute for Japanese Studies, Korea University
This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Momotarō became a fixture in the education of Japanese elementary school pupils during the early Meiji period. In the early 20th century, his journey to the ogre island was often conflated with Japan’s advance toward the South Seas. In this article, I compare two rewritings of the folktale:Nitobe Inazō’s essay “The Folktale Momotarō” (1907) and Akutagawa Ryūnosuke’s story “Momotarō” (1925). Nitobe, Japan’s first professor of colonial policy studies, treated the tale of Momotarō as a pedagogical tool that could fire the imagination of insular Japanese youth, enabling them to look beyond the confines of the Japanese archipelago. By contrast, Akutagawa focalized his retelling of the folktale by adopting the point of view of humanized ogres living peacefully on an island paradise in the South Seas. In this iconoclastic version, Momotarō is portrayed as a cruel invader who plunders the island and reduces its inhabitants to slavery. At the intersection of folklore, propaganda and parody, Momotarō emerges as an embodiment of the defining of self and other in the age of empire.
Keywords: Momotarō, Folklore, Parody, Propaganda, Colonial Policy Studies

キ―ワ―ド: 桃太郎, 民俗学, パロディー, プロパガンダ, 植民政策研究
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