This includes a Japanese name and prayer. It's always best to hunt up someone able to give you pronunciation, but at the end I'll give an easy way to learn today's names and prayer before telling the story if you don't have the opportunity to do this.
I promised "an easy way to learn the names and prayer" and you may hear them in a YouTube video of The Story of Umetsu Chubei by Lauren Flinner and Ryan Mihaly. They abbreviate the story, but at least the names and prayer can be heard.
Before telling the story it would probably be well to give a brief introduction to samurai and the concepts of Japanese goblins and Shinto deities, the Ujigami, and their local followers, the Ujiko.
Of course if you are telling this to young lovers of superheroes, you might also talk about how Umetsu had to adjust after receiving such strength and how it might be difficult.
Today's story can be found in Archive.org's publication of the book, A Japanese Miscellany in the subsection called Strange Stories. I love some of the stories there and next week, the weekend before Halloween, will give yet another. Also look ahead to an extra here on Halloween day itself to close out this month of Hearn's spooky tales. One of the two very brief stories then will be "Riki Baka" -- and "Riki" means "Strength", but "Baka" means "the Simple" or "the Fool", so there is a simple or foolish bit of continuity with today's story topic.
Here's my closing for days when I have a story in Keeping the Public in Public Domain.
This is part of a series of postings of stories under the category, "Keeping the Public in Public Domain." The idea behind Public Domain was to preserve our cultural heritage after the authors and their immediate heirs were compensated. I feel strongly current copyright law delays this intent on works of the 20th century. My own library of folklore includes so many books within the Public Domain I decided to share stories from them. I hope you enjoy discovering new stories.
At the same time, my own involvement in storytelling regularly creates projects requiring research as part of my sharing stories with an audience. Whenever that research needs to be shown here, the publishing of Public Domain stories will not occur that week. This is a return to my regular posting of a research project here. (Don't worry, this isn't dry research, my research is always geared towards future storytelling to an audience.) Response has convinced me that "Keeping the Public in Public Domain" should continue along with my other postings as often as I can manage it.
Other Public Domain story resources I recommend -
- There are many online resources for Public Domain stories, maybe none for folklore is as ambitious as fellow storyteller, Yoel Perez's database, Yashpeh, the International Folktales Collection. I have long recommended it and continue to do so. He has loaded Stith Thompson's Motif Index into his server as a database so you can search the whole 6 volumes for whatever word or expression you like by pressing one key. http://folkmasa.org/motiv/motif.htm
- You may have noticed I'm no longer certain Dr. Perez has the largest database, although his offering the Motif Index certainly qualifies for those of us seeking specific types of stories. There's another site, FairyTalez claiming to be the largest, with "over 2000 fairy tales, folktales, and fables" and they are "fully optimized for phones, tablets, and PCs", free and presented without ads.
- The email list for storytellers, Storytell, discussed Online Story Sources and came up with these additional suggestions:
- David K. Brown - http://people.ucalgary.ca/~dkbrown/stories.html
- Karen Chace - http://karenchace.blogspot.com/search?q=public+domain
- Richard Martin - http://www.tellatale.eu/tales_page.html
- Spirit of Trees - http://spiritoftrees.org/featured-folktales
- Story-Lovers - http://www.story-lovers.com/
- Tim Sheppard - http://www.timsheppard.co.uk/story/storylinks.html
This reminds me, you're going to find many of the links on these sites have gone down, BUT go to the Internet Archive Wayback Machine to find some of these old links. Tim's site is so huge, probably updating it would be a full-time job. In the case of Story-Lovers, it's great that Jackie Baldwin set it up to stay online after she could no longer maintain it. For an example of using the "Wayback Machine", list member, Papa Joe is on both Time Sheppard's site and Story-Lovers, but he no longer maintains his old Papa Joe's Traveling Storytelling Show website and his Library (something you want to see!) is gone, but you can still see it. I put in his site's address, then chose 2006 since it was a later year and clicked until I reached the Library at http://www.pjtss.net/library/.