- pp.187-206, 2014
In this paper, the author discusses "Gakkou no Kwaidan" in relation to the psychological development of schoolchildren. Originally, "Gakkou no Kwaidan" were tales of the supernatural circulated by word of mouth among schoolchildren. After Toru Tsunemitsu, a junior-high-school teacher, collected and edited them into a book in 1990, a boom of new "Gakkou no Kwaidan" publications arose and continued through the 1990s. The author points out, however, that the boom of newly published tales reduced school children's primitive power of narrating these stories themselves.In this article, the original tales of the supernatural in school, "Gakkou no Kwaidan" will be the focus. Why do children tell "Gakkou no Kwaidan?" Why do they like narrating the tales? The author explains two reasons for this. The first is from the viewpoint of "the sense of self" in childhood, and the second is from the viewpoint of the special space of school where children are experiencing life together.First, many researchers in developmental and clinical psychology have stressed a turning point in an 8-10 year old child's sense of self. It is a fundamental restructuring of the self. After that occurs, they begin to be aware of the existence of "another me" (an objective self) in themselves. The author proposes that sometimes this can emerge in a mysterious and/or supernatural form.Furthermore, the author explains the significance of the power of narration. Children experience various feelings in school life such as delight, happiness, sadness, distress, rage, loneliness and so on. Unfortunately, there is also severe bullying at some schools that many children go through which can wound them deeply. In this case, narrating tales of the supernatural in school can give children reassurance, and has a great power to bring peace to 206 them and others who have been injured. In other words, the narration of such stories could be seen as a requiem of sorts.In conclusion, the author emphasizes the power of narrating "Gakkou no Kwaidan" and people should be careful not to underestimate or reduce the positive power this may have for children.