Myths and Folklore of the Nonogawa River Valley

How did Shitani-san learn our stories? No one I've asked remembers telling our folklore to anyone. Remarkable!
— Nonogawa resident

  In 1949, the Nonogawa River Valley Historic Society wrote to Chronicler Books asking Shitani Daisuke, the avid collector of Japan's regional tales, to publish the region's folklore. They said that their stories were a treasure trove waiting to be discovered. The society received a brief response stating that Shitani-san would do his best to meet their polite and interesting request.   Two years later, a letter arrived for the society saying that the book would be published that fall. Yet, residents don't remember speaking to anyone about the tales.   Myths and Folklore of the Nonogawa River Valley appeared on bookshelves in 1951. To the surprise and delight of the locals, many of their favorite stories were in print and preserved for future generations.   It was a hit not only in the valley's communities, but throughout Japan. The tales were fresh and more vividly described. Folklore collectors were so avid that multiple print runs had to be made. People poured into the Nonogawa River Valley to see the places in the tales, and tourism boomed for a year or so after each edition.

 

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Type
Anthology of local myths and folklore
Publication Status
First published in 1951, 3rd edition is expected soon.
Popularity
Phenomenal

 


Cover image: by smashingstocks, freepik, AWV

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