Author(s)

Elizabeth Lee

Graduation Year

2013

Date of Thesis Acceptance

Spring 5-2-2013

Major Department or Program

Asian Studies

Advisor(s)

Yukiko Shigeto

Abstract

The mountain crone, or yamamba , is a well - known monster in Japanese folktales. An eerie old woman living in the mountains, she chases down humans and gobbles them up. The yamamba has haunted the Japanese imagination and appears in both pre - modern and modern stories. Ohba Minako (1930 - 2 007), one of Japan’s most well - respected woman writers, brings back the yamamba as a devoted wife in her short story, “The Smile of a Mountain Witch” (1976). Previous analy s es of Ohba’s protagonist tend to either reduce her identity to a neat explanation o r tritely comment on her complexity. My study, however, explores the ways in which Ohba rewrites the yamamba myth on both the narrative and narratological levels. She not only revises the characters within the tales but the entire structure and tradition o f yamamba mythology. This thesis draw s mainly from Alicia Ostriker’s concept of “revisionist mythmaking” and Kathy Mezei’s interpretation of feminist narratology.

Page Count

38

Subject Headings

Protagonists (Persons) in literature -- Analysis, Alicia Ostriker -- Revisionist mythmaking, Kathy Mezei (1947- ) -- Feminist narratology, Yama-uba (Legendary character) --Yamauba -- Yamamba -- Yamanba, Minako Oba -- Novels -- Selections -- The Smile of a Mountain Witch, Minako Oba -- Criticism and interpretation, Whitman College 2013 -- Dissertation collection -- Asian Studies

Permanent URL

http://hdl.handle.net/10349/1226

Document Type

Public Accessible Thesis

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