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The Journal of Japanese Language Literature Studies > Volume 16(1); 2023 > Article
Border Crossings: The Journal of Japanese-Language Literature Studies 2023;16(1): 4-7.
doi: https://doi.org/10.22628/bcjjl.2023.16.1.4
When Tragedy and Laughter Meet
Folklorist, Professor of Gakushuin University
Correspondence  Norio AKASAKA ,Email: akodara4@gmail.com
Published online: 30 June 2023.
Copyright ©2023 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.
Sorrow secretly harbors laughter. In the Japanese literary tradition, there was an indispensable and invisible manner that connects sadness and laughter. There, the experiences of cruelty and resentment or ressentiment seldom gave birth directly to the literature of grief. It is necessary to observe the fate of the weak closely. Kadokawa Genyoshi’s “The emergence of tragic literature (Higeki Bungaku no Hassei)” is a pioneering study about the occurrence of tragedy in Japanese literature. Although Orikuchi Shinobu had a great influence on this work, it was the originality of Genyoshi himself, and the archetype of the storyteller as the bearer of the literature of sorrow was told. The losers and their clans who were burdened with grief brought out laughter from others by telling comically their histories as losers. The literature of laughter and the literature of tragedy arose together hand in hand. There, a man who willingly tries to play a role that will be laughed at, Houkan, appears. He brought out the repose of souls and purification through laughter. So, there was a melancholy in this laugh. We must strain our eyes on the cruelty and loneliness that laughter hides.
Keywords: Tragedy, Laughter, the Weak, Loser, Repose of Souls

キ―ワ―ド: 悲劇, 笑い, 弱者, 敗者, 鎮魂
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