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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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Animal Spirits

Animal Spirits

(p.192) Chapter 6 Animal Spirits
Ambiguous Bodies
Stanford University Press

This chapter examines the representation of animal spirits in setsuwa focusing on foxes, monkeys, a tree with bird spirits, snakes, wild boars, raccoons, dogs, and tengu. It suggests that while the behaviors and functions of various animal spirits overlap with each other and with those of oni, each animal spirit has idiosyncrasies affecting its role as a grotesque representation. The chapter also argues that the depiction of animal spirits reveals the fragility of people, particularly in their attempts to conquer fears and illusions.

Keywords:   animal spirits, setsuwa, oni, grotesque representation, fragility of people, fears, illusions

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