Narrating Gender Reality in Japanese Folktale Tradition
Appendix III: Korean and Chinese Pond-Snail Wife Tale-Types
The following tales about a pond-snail wife circulate in Korea and China. The episodic structure of Korean Pond-Snail Wife tale-type is almost identical to that of Chinese one. The episodic structures of these resemble that of Pond-Snail tale contained in the fourth-century Chinese book In Search of the Supernatural (Sou shen ji 捜神記). It appears that the book’s Pond-Snail tale shaped the plot development of both Korean and Chinese Pond-Snail Wife tales, but any of deep investigations into these three tales’ relationship have yet to be done.
Inhak Choi, a leading Korean folklorist, has classified various versions of the Pond-Snail Wife tales that have circulated throughout Korea, and analyzed them in the Pond-Snail Wife tale-type section of his book, A Study of Korean Folktales with Tale-Type Index (Korean Tale-Type; hereafter, KT 206).1 He characterizes the episodic structure of that tale-type as follows:
The Chinese book In Search of the Supernatural lacks the last episode of Korean Pond-Snail Wife tale-type that describes the conflict between the couple and the feudal lord. Generally speaking, the episode of this conflict characterizes Korean folktales. Eberhard specifies the episodic structure of that tale-type as follows:
1 In-hak Choi, A Study of Korean Folktales with Tale-Type Index (Kankoku Mukashibanashi no Kenkyū 韓国昔話の研究) (Tokyo: Kōbun dō, 1976).
2 Wolfram Eberhard, Typen Chinesischer Volksmärchen (Helsinki: Academia Scientiarum Fennica, 1937) 59–61. See “Das Schneckenmädchen” or “the Pond-Snail Maiden” (Eberhard Chinese Tale-Type; hereafter, EBC 35)...
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