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Books on Japanese mythology or novels inspired by it

Books on Japanese mythology or novels inspired by it

Old Apr 10th, 2015, 04:34 AM
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Books on Japanese mythology or novels inspired by it

I'm in the planning stages for my next trip and wanted some reading materials to get me pumped!

I'm interested in learning more about the folklore around Japan. It seems that Japan has quite a rich history of gods, nature spirits, ghost, demons, etc. I saw plenty fox spirit statues on my first trip and there's lots of references in there media-- Princess Mononoke, Spirited Away, Natsume's Book of Friends, Okami, etc.

I was wondering if anyone had recommendations for the mythology or novels inspired by them?
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Old Apr 10th, 2015, 07:19 AM
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I'd be interested in this too.

I read James Clavell's Shogun a year or two back, it seems most of my friends who harbour an interest in Japan read it back in the 1980s and also watched the Richard Chamberlain series too. It passed me by completely (I vaguely remember Thornbirds at the same time, so not sure how I missed it so comprehensively).

Anyway, it's one of the best books I've ever read. A fictional book loosely based on amalgamated accounts of a real character, those are missing much detail so it's evidently mostly made up but clearly includes a lot of historical accuracy. I found an academic paper discussing how accurate it was, and how useful it was/ was not as an introduction to some of the history of Japan of the period.

Anyway, it's not got much on folklore etc but it's an insight into Japan's feudal structure, the samurai system and so on.

Shall keep my eyes open for recommendations here on the more spiritual recommendations.
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Old Apr 10th, 2015, 07:25 AM
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Lafcadio Hearn (Koizumi Yakumo)'s collections of folk and ghost stories might interest you. Many are available on Gutenberg.

http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/search/?query=lafcadio

"Kwaidan--Stories and Studies of Strange Things" is the best known.
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Old Apr 10th, 2015, 07:48 AM
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Adding...

I've not read it, but it might be worth checking out "The Legends of Tono"
http://www.amazon.com/The-Legends-To.../dp/0739127675

Tono in Iwate is one of the centers of Japanese folklore.
http://www.japan-guide.com/e/e5060.html
I've been there and it's an attractive area but it's not easy to get information in English. The Tono Municipal Museum, for example, is all in Japanese.
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Old Apr 16th, 2015, 07:21 AM
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Thanks for your replies!

I downloaded the book from gutenburg but haven't had a chance to start it yet.
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