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Connecting Childhood and Old Age in Popular Media$
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Vanessa Joosen

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9781496815163

Published to University Press of Mississippi: May 2019

DOI: 10.14325/mississippi/9781496815163.001.0001

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Happily Ever After for the Old in Japanese Fairy Tales

Happily Ever After for the Old in Japanese Fairy Tales

(p.43) 2 Happily Ever After for the Old in Japanese Fairy Tales
Connecting Childhood and Old Age in Popular Media

Mayako Murai

University Press of Mississippi

Compared to canonical Western fairy tales, Japanese fairy tales abound with aged heroes and heroines as protagonists rather than secondary figures. Mayako Murai first considers the marginalized place allocated to the elderly in the Brothers Grimm’s tales and their revisions in Japanese translations. She then considers the link between old age and children in traditional Japanese folktales by focusing on tales about aged protagonists who adopt magical children, particularly “The Tale of the Bamboo Cutter” and its recent Studio Ghibli film adaptation The Tale of the Princess Kaguya (2013), directed and co-scripted by Isao Takahata. She argues that Takahata’s film reflects the cultural dilemma that Japanese fairy-tale adaptations are facing now, divided between the two different narrative traditions.

Keywords:   Fairy Tales, Studio Ghibli, Japan, The Brothers Grimm, Film

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