日本の「白蛇伝」映画に見る受容 : 主題と人物像を中心に
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Acceptance of The Legend of the White Snake in Japanese films: Theme and characters
This paper discusses the acceptance and transformation of narrative in two Japanese films, The Legend of the White Serpent aka Madame White Snake (白夫人の妖恋, 1956) and the animated Panda and the Magic Serpent aka The Tale of the White Serpent (白蛇伝, 1958), which were both adapted from a traditional Chinese folktale, The Legend of the White Snake. In a comparative analysis of the films with the original Chinese story, this paper focuses on love scenes to analyze the characteristics of the two films. The legend tells the story of a female white snake who desires to unite with a human male. In the end, the couple are separated by a Buddhist monk and the snake is locked into a pagoda. Although based on the same Chinese legend, the two films reveal unique interpretations of the legend by adding Japanese elements to it. In The Legend of the White Serpent, the theme concerns the essence of love between men and women, and the dark side of human nature, such as desire and fear. This film reveals that the essence of love is within both sweetness and suffering, but humans can obtain happiness when they recognize and overcome the dark aspects of human selfishness, desire, and fear. On the other hand, the animated version, Panda and the Magic Serpent, presents simplified plots, characters, and personal relationships, with the theme being true love. To express the everlasting love of the snake and her human lover, an original plot was added so that the two lovers transform into butterflies and the white snake is reborn into a human being at the end of the story.
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