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Monologue by Yoko Kawakami

Kawakami, Yoko
Jung, Hye-Jin
Date of Interview: 
Stories and Storytellers
Yoko Kawakami tells some traditional Japanese fables and a favorite fable, "The Tortoise and the Hare." Each tale teaches important lessons in life.
Charlotte Narrative and Conversation Collection
Collection Description: 
Hye-Jin Jung interviews Charlotteans to collect stories for a class project at UNC Charlotte.
Interview Audio: 
YK (Yoko Kawakami): There was one guy whose name is Taro Urashima. He was a fisherman in Japanese tow, town [pause]. One day he went to the beach, or sea to fish, and he found wound, uh, [long pause] wounded turtle, on the beach, so he helped him. And after that, he released him in the sea. And like a week later, he, when he went to the beach to fish and he found the turtle again on the beach and he found two ladies beside the turtle. And they said, "Thank you so much Taro Urashima for helping this turtle. This turtle is ours. And we like to invite you to our castle in the sea." And they invited Taro to the castle, and Taro Urashima went to the castle in the beach, sea. And in the castle he had bunch of meals and the ladies danced for him and he had a really good time. Then, one of the ladies told him, "We would like to give you some present, and but you can never open this. You can never open this present. It's like a box." But then Taro Urashima said, "Sure, I'm not gonna open. Never, ever." Then the turtle took him up and on the beach he was like, "Thank you so much for having me and the food was delicious." Then they said bye-bye. And turtle and ladies went back to the castle. Then Taro opened that. Taro thought, "I cannot open this box." But he couldn't help it. So he opened the box. When he opened the box, there was uh, smoke coming up from the box. Then he turned into old person like his hair get white and his skin was really, uh, get older. Then he realized that he spend like few decades under the sea. So, it was like a time travel. So if he couldn't, he didn't open the box, he could stay younger, but since he open the box, he got older, [pause] and that's one of the story. Once upon a time, there were, was, there was a old couple in mountain. And the grandfather went in the woods to get some woods for the fire. And Grandpa, Grandmother was washing the clothes in the river. Then she found a peach. And the peach was coming from the upper side of the river. Then she picked the peach up and she brought the peach to home. Then she said when Grandfather came back home she said to Grandfather, "Look. I found this peach in the river." So, they thought, "OK. It's too big. But we can eat." So, they tried to eat the peach, and when they open the peach, there was a [pause] baby inside the peach. And since this old couple never had a child, so they decided to raise him, and they named him [pause] Momotaro, and they took care of Momotaro really, really carefully, and but Momotaro became really strong and really brave and really nice, good kid. Then one day uh, devils are coming, well came to this mountain, and the devil was really bad. And the people in the mountain wanted to get rid of them. But you know, since the devil was huge and strong they couldn't do it and they were suffer from that devil. But one day Momotaro said, "OK. I'm going to fight them to save Grandfather and Grandmother. Then Momotaro went, decided to leave the home, and Grandfather and Grandmother told, told Momotaro, "Bring this rice cake, rice bowl with you." So, when Momotaro get hungry he can eat, right? Then [long pause] he went to the mountain to fight the devil. Then [pause] Monkey came to Momotaro, and Monkey was trying to make fun of Momotaro, and Momotaro uh, Monkey said, "What are you doing? Where are you going?" And Momotaro said, "I'm going to fight with Devil from now." And Momotaro said, "OK. Do you want to come with me to fight them?" And, so, Monkey said, "No way." And Momotaro said, "OK. I can give you this rice cake or rice bowl whatever, rice cake. Then Monkey said, "OK. If you give me one, I'm going with you. So, Momotaro and Monkey were walking to mountain. Then, there was, is a one Dog. He was trying to, uh, keep Momotaro and Monkey from forward, go forward. And Momotaro said, "Do you want to join us to fight with Devil?" And Dog said, "Of course no. I don't want to do that. But I don't want to do, I can't let you go. Because this is my territory." So, Momotaro said, "OK. I can give you this rice cake. And if I give you this rice cake, do you want to join us?" Then Dog said, "Yep." So, now it's three of them. Then when they are walking they found some bird, kind of big bird. And the bird said, "Where are you going?" And Momotaro said, "We are going to fight with Devil." And Momotaro again asked this bird, "Do you want to go with, go with us to fight with Devil?" And Bird said, "No." But Momotaro offered rice cake again. And Bird joined Momotaro. Now four of them went to, uh, deep, moun, deep woods and they finally found the devil. But there were many devils. So, they said, thought they can't fight them. Then, ah [long pause] so, now uh, [pause] they decided to help each other. And Bird hit Devil's eyes, and Dog tried to bite Devil's legs, and Monkey, uh, I think he did arms and Momotaro had some kind of armors or knives or something like that. And they tried to hit the body. Then, since they helped each other, they would beat Devil. And Devil went away. Then they went to back to town. Then Grandma and Grandfather, people in the town lived happily afterwards. So, Momotaro didn't eat rice cake by himself. He gave all rice cake to the other, you know, Monkey and Dog and Bird. Uh, one day, [cough] Rabbit and Turtle decided to have a race. And, [pause] and when they started, of course Rabbit is much faster. So, Rabbit went to, Rabbit was running. Then Turtle was really hard, try his best to get the goal, to beat the rabbit. And the rabbit stopped and the rabbit looked back and, you know, Rabbit couldn't see the turtle, because Rabbit was much faster. So, Rabbit decided to take a nap, and when he was sleeping like a few hours ago, turtle [pause] overcome, come over, come over, right? Come over, yep. Then, Turtle didn't take a rest, but it was really hard for Turtle to walk such a long time. But he didn't take a rest. And when Rabbit forgot, he noticed Turtle went faster and earlier and Rabbit was run, run, run in a heat, because Rabbit didn't want to lose. So, Rabbit was trying to uh, come over him. But Turtle get goal, few meter, few minutes earlier. So, Rabbit lose, even Rabbit was much faster than Turtle.