본문 바로가기
  • Home

The narrative structure and characteristics of Okinawa's folktale <A Man's Sex with a Stingray>

  • 日本硏究
  • 2017, (45), pp.45-65
  • DOI : 10.20404/jscau.2017.05.45.45
  • Publisher : The Center for Japanese Studies
  • Research Area : Humanities > Japanese Language and Literature
  • Received : December 13, 2016
  • Accepted : February 28, 2017
  • Published : May 20, 2017

Kim Yongui 1 Kim, Hee-young 1

1전남대학교

Accredited

ABSTRACT

Okinawa has historical and cultural traditions that are different from the main land of Japan. Narratives which have come down to Okinawa before modern times are not an exception. It means that there is a unique narrative tradition in types and contents there. This study analysed the story named <A Man's Sex with a Stingray> and characteristics in the viewpoint of human–animal marriage. The appearance of unique animals that are different from the main land of Japan in Okinawa's tale leads more exciting tale worlds. The heterogeneous animal that plays a role of man is a pig. And the animal that plays a role of woman is a stingray(Ei). A stingray is called Kamanta in Okinawan. The case that a stingray appears in tales as woman's role is a very rare example when compared to the cases of Korea and China as well as the main land of Japan. In general, the human–animal marriage is used to put an emphasis on mythological orthodoxy and divinity through unusual birth of heroes or is mobilized as a narrative system to explain the origins of specific things, places or annual events. However, the characteristics are not found in <A Man's Sex with a Stingray>. A man's sex is extraordinarily humorous. Of course, there may be different opinions about whether a man's sex with stingray can be considered as marriage or just sex. This study considered it marriage and included it in the category of human–animal marriage. This study analysed the narrative structure and characteristics in each type of <A Man's Sex with a Stingray> and pointed out a few distinctive characteristics: First, the motif that a hero visited a palace of sea kings because of a sex with a stingray has an important meaning. Second, it has a close relation to its folk religion. Third, a sexual vein of humor is straightforward. Among them, this study speculated on the motif that a hero visited a palace of sea kings because of a sex with a stingray in the category of existing Yonggungseolhwa(tales of palaces of sea kings).

Citation status

* References for papers published after 2022 are currently being built.