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Keywords: folklore motif, typological generalizations, mythical lover, God-serpent, Japanese mythological records, samurai epic literature
For citation:

Sadokova A.R. Folklore Motif of the Mythical Lover in the Ancient and Early- Medieval Japanese Literature. Studia Litterarum, 2019, vol. 4, no 4, pp. 294–315. (In Russ.)

DOI: 10.22455/2500-4247-2019-4-4-294-315

Author: A.R. Sadokova
Information about the author:

Anastasya R. Sadokova, DSc in Philology, Professor, Institute of Asian and African Studies of the Lomonosov Moscow State University, Mohovaya 11-1, 125009 Moscow, Russia.

ORCID ID: 0000-0003-1096-5669

E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Received: July 28, 2019
Published: December 25, 2019
Issue: 2019 Vol. 4, №4
Department: Folklore Studies
Pages: 294-315
DOI: 10.22455/2500-4247-2019-4-4-294-315
UDK: 398
BBK: 82.3(5Япо)4

Abstract

Japanese folk culture put great emphasis on the cult of the serpent since the ancient times. This cult found reflection in ancient mythological texts, folklore narratives, and folk customs and rituals. Japanese worshiped the serpent as a God giving rain as well as the guardian of the area. In traditional Japanese culture, the serpent is associated with the folklore motif of the mythical lover widely known in various parts of the world. Mythological as well as geographical and ethnographic records of the 8th century present the union of the serpent and the woman as divine. Gods born out of this marriage played important role in the Japanese mythological history. However, the motif was revised in the medieval epic literature. Now, the woman-and-serpent union resulted in the birth of the hero endowed with great military abilities. The motif of the serpent as the mythical lover was especially widespread in the Southern islands of Japan and Ryukyu Archipelago. Rich Japanese material associated with this theme is extremely important for both typological generalizations in folklore studies and deeper research of the traditional Japanese culture and its mythical foundations.

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