伝承と子どもを結ぶもの : 松谷みよ子『龍の子太郎』をめぐって

Abstract

Tatsu no ko Taro [Taro the Dragon Boy] is an lengthy imaginative children\u27s story written by MATSUTANI Miyoko. Into this story the author has woven legends on Koizumi Kotaro who controls water, transmitted in Shinshu [Nagano Prefecture], as well as a number of legends and folk tales of other parts of Japan. It is a representative work of postwar Japanese juvenile literature which has been continuously finding new readers among the Japanese children since its first publication in 1960. Taro, the hero of the story, is a spirited boy, born of a mother who had been transformed into a dragon. He wrestles with animals. He expels ogres who have been tormenting people. He cultivates the paddy field and harvests rice. Through these and other experiences, he grows and comes to entertain an aspiration that, by draining a lake, he can create a vast track of new arable land for people of poor mountain villages. With the help of his dragon mother, he manages to realize this dream by demolishing mountains to let the water of the lake escape into the sea. A central thread of this story of growth is the hero\u27s tenderness. Folk tales and legends which are transmitted orally tend to become fragmentary, and their characters are often stereotyped. MATSUTANI Miyoko, the author, came across the legends of Koizumi Kotaro in Shinshu during her journey to search and record folk tales. On the basis of them but with a hope to "make the Taro [i.e. Kotaro] of Shinshu into a Taro of entire Japan, " she lavished her imaginative power on the creation of the hero, Taro, the dragon boy with a great success. The plot and the growth of the hero are closely knit in this story, and the cheerful optimistic hero is given a unique credible personality. Aiming at creating a new literary work which is at the same time anchored firmly in tradition, the author has managed to create in this story an attractive hero who strikes a responsive chord in the hearts of all children. She also has taken great pains to devise a suitable "narrative" style in order toallow children to have an easy access to the world of folk tales through it. In this essay, through the examination of the author\u27s intention, the characterization of the hero, and the style, I have tried to demonstrate that Tatsu no ko Taro really succeeds in building a bridge between the world of folk tales and the children of today, which, in my opinion, is one of the important roles Japanese juvenile literature can play

Similar works

Having an issue?

Is data on this page outdated, violates copyrights or anything else? Report the problem now and we will take corresponding actions after reviewing your request.