Use Of Animals In Japanese Fables

1572 words - 6 pages

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 stories is to teach lessons, it is good to make lessons that a younger audience would be able to comprehend.
If fables are good tales for children, does this mean an older audience cannot enjoy fables as much? This appeal of animals applies to all generations. Whereas younger generations are more interested in the ideas of the animals, the older reader can use these stories as an escape from the normal. It is generally assumed that most adults live stressed lives, and at some point in time they will want a break. Instead of taking time from away from a life that has no time to spare, why not just read? It is an easy way in which someone can escape to a place out of the ordinary. But in some cases, like the book “Animal Farm”, the use of a fable is just magnifying the current culture, but in a more subtle way that just writing an excerpt that could be taken straight from a history magazine. And even with this example taken into account, these fables can still help a more adult reader to escape, even if just enough so the mind can feel escaped from whatever may be on it.
Aesop was famous for his use of animals. He used animals instead of humans because it makes people able to learn lessons without having to see themselves of...

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