The folktale “Kono Shirobaasan” passed down in Matsushige Town has been made into a short animation. The content conveys the dangers of the sea and warnings against overfishing through an old demon-like woman who appears in front of fishermen who enjoy the sea’s bounty. The town plans to use anime to appeal to the region. (Masahiro Tatsumi)
Since 2018, The Nippon Foundation (Tokyo) and the Japan Mukashibanashi Association (the same) have been working on the “Umi no Folklore Town Project” to pass on to children the folktales and traditions of various parts of Japan surrounded by the sea. Fifteen stories were selected, including Kono Shirobasan.
The animation is about 5 minutes and 30 seconds, saying, “This sea is good for Konoshiro. women and the fishermen lived in prosperity.” A white-haired woman appears in front of the fishermen drinking sake on the beach, enjoying a big catch of herring fish. The woman unilaterally demanded, “I want Konoshiro!” and “Give me back, Konoshiro.” content.
The land that became the folktale setting used to be a cove, and it is said that it was a great fishing spot.
On the 17th of this month, a meeting was held at the town office to report on the completion of the project, and director Shinnosuke Numata (42) said, “I want this anime to serve as an opportunity to think about our relationship with the ocean, and to protect the ocean.” Mayor Naoto Yoshida, who saw the movie, said, “The town’s tourism resource is the sea. I want to use this animation for product development and other purposes to appeal to the town.”
The anime is available on the video-sharing site YouTube’s “Umino Folklore Town Project” page. The town will hold a screening on March 12 at the town’s exchange facility “Matsushi Gate.” It is said that it will also be used as teaching material for children in the city.
A total of 27 episodes have been selected for the project over the four years until fiscal 2021. Within the prefecture, “Zenpahan” (Komatsushima City), a story about a fisherman who meets an umibōzu, has already been made into an anime.