MONSTROSITY vs. DOMESTICITY IN THE RE-TELLING OF LAFCADIO HEARN’S “YUKI ONNA”

1R. Kavya, Dr. Meera. B

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Abstract:

Tales about seductively dangerous women who lures men into distress and death can be found in cultures around the world. Often portrayed in these stories as an attractive temptress who hides her monstrosity, she is someone who also challenges patriarchal notions about passive femininity. Yet, one finds certain myth which narrates her foray into domesticity and human motherhood despite her alien monstrosity. Lafcadio Hearn’s (the first prolific foreign author to write about Japanese art and culture) “Yuki-Onna” that appeared in Kwaidan: Stories and Studies popularized the myth of Yuki-Onna in the west. Clad in white “kimono”, Yuki-Onna is a preternaturally beautiful female Japanese spirit who appears on snowstorm nights before lonely male travellers who had lost their way back home. She freezes them to death by sucking their ‘life force’ with her icy breath. By focusing on Hearn’s portrayal of O-Yuki (or Yuki-Onna) as the primary text, this paper intends to analyze her asa classic example of monstrous domesticity and motherhood in Japanese culture.

Keywords:

Kwaidan: Stories and Studies, Lafcadio Hearn, Yuki-Onna Snow Woman, Monstrous Motherhood, Japanese Culture.

Paper Details
Month5
Year2020
Volume24
IssueIssue 10
Pages351-355