Kunio Yanagita was a Japanese scholar and folklorist who is considered as the father of Japanese folklore studies. He is most renowned for writing 'Tales of Tono' (Tono Monogatari) which is an account of folk lagends in the village of Tono, Iwate prefecture. He was born on July 31st 1875 and was an employee of the Ministry of Agriculture and Commerce.
Kunio Yanagita was born as Kunio Matsuoka, to a local physician's family. He was the fifth child and was adopted by Yanagita family, through marriage, in 1901.
After graduating from Tokyo Imperial University, he was appointed as a bureaucrat for Ministry of Agriculture and Commerce of Japan. He travelled a lot around Japan, given his job, and was always interested in local traditions, stories and customs. He passed away in 1962.
Tono Monogatri Edit
The best known work of Kunio Yanagita is 'Tono Monogatari' (Tales of Tono) which is a collection of local legends that ciculated in the village of Tono, Iwate Prefecture, Japan. This work was one of its first of its kind to be ever done in Japan and gave us the understanding about the common Yokai and legends such as, Kappa.
Yanagita's works are considered to be one of the most important attempts to study the folklore and local traditions of Japan. He also contributed in a new way of studying history by giving more attention to common people's history than that of rulers and clans. He is today considered the 'Father of Japanese Folklore Studies'.