Regional Cultural Asset Portal

Nago City , Okinawa Related category:
The old tales of Okinawa Senko Yamamotos Folk Tales    

Digest: 3 minutes
Entire story: 36 minutes
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In the islands of Okinawa, where the sea was considered to be a road by the islanders, various different cultures were brought to the islands from many different regions. Such cultures often brought their folk tales with them. Senko Yamamoto was capable of telling as many as 120 of these folk tales with a superb narrative style. Senko was born in 1909 in the then Nago Village. His folk stories cover all kinds of genres including authentic folk tales, animal tales, funny tales, and legends in a well-balanced manner. He was also a very rare storyteller who could tell these stories in both the original local dialect of each story as well as in standard Japanese.
This video shows Senko telling the 4 stories of "Omochi Goro-goro (the tumbling mochi rice cakes)," "Hae to Suzume (the fly and the sparrow)," "Umi no Kami to Riku no Kami (the sea god and the land god)," and "Machigaa Warabi to Naguwee Kata (the child in Machiga and the boss in Nago)." The third story is especially interesting since it is told in both the original dialect and in standard Japanese.

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