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Ambiguous BodiesReading the Grotesque in Japanese Setsuwa Tales$
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Michelle Osterfeld Li

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780804759755

Published to Stanford Scholarship Online: June 2013

DOI: 10.11126/stanford/9780804759755.001.0001

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The Feminization of Demons

The Feminization of Demons

Chapter:
(p.154) Chapter 5 The Feminization of Demons
Source:
Ambiguous Bodies
Publisher:
Stanford University Press
DOI:10.11126/stanford/9780804759755.003.0006

This chapter examines the depiction of female demons and the idea of women sharing things in common with demons in setsuwa tales. It analyzes four tales with female demons, and suggests that the associations of women with demons are not mainly attacks on women because the so-called female demons are often other than female and even gender-less, despite their impersonations. The chapter also argues that demonized women served to challenge the assumptions of the Heian elite and others, and that the narratives show that foolish pride and misdirected energy doom the man.

Keywords:   female demons, setsuwa, demonized women, Heian elite, narratives, foolish pride, misdirected energy

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