- 現代民俗学研究 = Journal of Living Folklore (ISSN:18839134)
- vol.9, pp.43-53, 2017-03
Despite the popular assumption that yōkai has been one of the central themes in Japanese folkloristics, there have actually been few monographs about them. Given this, I discuss how yōkai became excluded from folkloristics by examining works of Kazuhiko Komatsu. By contrasting Komatsu and Kunio Yanagita, I suggest that Komatsu more or less explicitly replaced yōkai from old-style folkloristics to structural anthropology. His analysis of yōkai is particularly anthropological in that he takes them to be found in the world of the Other. This fact contrasts sharply with his (and Yanagita’s) definition of folkloristics as an understanding of the Self. Yet another of his definitions would explain this replacement: a central theme of folkloristics is“ kami.” Examination of his works reveals that his view on yōkai implies that while his formulation of the continuity between yōkai and kami could apply to folk societies of the Other, contemporary societies lost this continuity. Therefore yōkai became excluded from his folkloristics.