Shippeitaro

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Shippeitaro is a Japanese fairy tale. Andrew Lang included it in The Violet Fairy Book, listing his source as Japanische Marchen.[1]

Synopsis[edit]

A young warrior wandered the land in search of adventure, eventually finding an enchanted forest, wherein he slept in a chapel. He was awoken at midnight by ferocious yowls from cats, who were dancing and yelling, some saying, "Do not tell Shippeitaro!" He got up and continued on, eventually finding a village where he heard a woman lamenting and pleading for help. He was told that every year they had to sacrifice a maiden to the spirit of the mountain, and this year, this was the woman. She was put in a cask which, in turn, was put in the chapel where he had slept. He inquired about Shippeitaro: a dog of the prince's overseer, living nearby. The warrior visited the overseer and persuaded him to lend him the dog. He went to the cask, replacing the woman with Shippeitaro. The cask was brought to the chapel, and the cats came. A huge black cat opened the cask, and Shippeitaro jumped out and killed it. Then, with the help of the warrior, killed several others before they fled. The warrior brought Shippeitaro back to his owner in the morning, and every year a feast was held in honor of the warrior and Shippeitaro.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Andrew Lang, The Violet Fairy Book, "Schippeitaro"