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Essay on Use of Animals in Japanese Fables

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Japanese Fables
The influence from within and everywhere else.
Think back to when you were a child and to when your parents read you stories. Chances are pretty good that some of the stories you encountered were fables. For those people who do not know what a fable is, it is a story that uses animals in the place of using human beings. In researching Japanese tales, I did not have a hard time finding an abundance of fables. In relating fables to the Japanese life, I discovered that animals play an important role in Japanese culture. And as in most cultures, stories play a big role just as well. So by the simple use of common sense, any person could assume, and be accurate, that there is a wealth of fables in Japanese culture. So, Animals are used in Japanese Tales because they have a strong tie to the Japanese culture and its outside influences.
If I were to ask someone of a popular fable from American culture, many could assume which stories would be named, but some common ones would probably be the Tortoise and the Hare (Aesop 59), the Three Little Pigs, and Goldilocks and the Three Bears. We all know these stories because they tie to the American culture and the lessons we were taught as children. For example, a lesson we all know that was taught to us by fable is “Slow and steady wins the race.” (Aesop 59). For the most part, these stories use animals that most people can agree to like.
Some people may ask why animals are such an appealing choice for a story. When relating this to stories that were told us as children, it is apparent that children like animals, so it makes for a more approachable theme and idea for children to grasp onto. And it also makes for a story that they will enjoy. Also, since the purpose of storie...


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...animals to tell stories instead of humans is not only a bit more interesting, but it makes it obvious that this way of storytelling is very much so influenced by the culture as well. Animals are used in stories because they are interesting, and it makes people want to read them as well as learning lessons and not having to feel bad for seeing their negative attributes in what they see in the animals, since the use of animals takes away from the emotional part of the tales. It also ties strongly into Japanese culture with a good emphasis on the zodiac and focus on animals within the culture and past. Also, Aesop helped to take stories like the Japanese ones and bring them together and make them accessible for everyone, by taking tales and adding lessons to them for all to enjoy. When you add all these aspects together, it makes for a good read, and a lesson learned.


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