Classic Chinese and classic Japanese mythology are quite similar, in fact, they have more commonalities than differences. As examples, one can compare and contrast the two mythologies in terms of characters, form and structure, creation myths, and mythology’s relevance to life. Animals and dragons also appear repeatedly in Chinese and Japanese mythology. In this paper it will be shown that Chinese and Japanese mythologies are more similar than different.
The characters in both Chinese and Japanese myths have similar personalities and reactions. For example, heroes in both mythologies use tricks, cunning schemes, and intelligence in general achieve their goals, instead of just force and wit. One example in a Japanese myth, a hero named Ito Soda warded away an evil creature by watching guard all night, despite a sleeping spell. “The false O Toyo, having been frustrated on two occasions, now kept away altogether” . An example in a Chinese myth is where a man named Li fought a river god. “The buffalo facing south with a white stripe on the middle part of his body is me… Finally, his chief secretary killed the buffalo facing north (his opponent the river god). That was the end of the river deity and all the trouble he had caused.”
Another major similarity is that the characters in both mythologies treat most animals like people. For example, either mythology might say something like, the evil badger plotted to steal food from the main warehouse, instead of just the badger stole food. One specific example in a Japanese myth is “The rabbit wanted to help” , which shows that the rabbit was a character comparable to people.
Chinese and Japanese mythologies look at dragons in...
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humanity, Confucian teachings about, and righteousness. "Chinese Myths and Fantasies." China Vista, China tour,China travel and China culture - the world's premier online gateway into China. http://www.chinavista.com/experience/myth/myth.html (accessed May 20, 2009).
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