日本の「ロマンティックな」"fairy"たち : ジェンダーで見る児童文学とライトノベルの中の「妖精」・「フェアリ」 Japanese "Romantic" Fairies : Fairies Depicted in Juvenile Literature and Young-Adult Fiction as Viewed through Gender Issues
This paper examines the image of the "fairy" held by today's Japanese people through analysis of questionnaire responses, and analysis of juvenile literature and young-adult fiction from the point of view of gender. Results are as follows.According to the data obtained from the questionnaire, many female Japanese university students typically picture a "fairy" as a tiny, cute girl in a romantic dress with wings, such as Tinker Bell from Peter Pan. This image corresponds to the "fairies" depicted in juvenile literature. In some works, the cute, romantic appearance of the fairies reflects the desire of the heroine, who is around ten years old, to overcome her inferiority complex; in other works, it reflects the female readers' dreams for a happy, romantic marriage. On the other hand, young-adult fiction portrays the existence of various types of fairies from Western folklore, including male ones, but they also have a cute appearance; at the same time, it creates the original beautiful strong male fairy with wings.The cute appearance of fairies reflects the Japanese people's tendency to regard "tiny things" and "good, old things" as "cute," even if they are uncanny or fearful objects. With the admiration for the West added to this, the romantic beautiful fairies have become the ideal for Japanese girls.
東京女子大学比較文化研究所紀要 78, 21-39, 2017