Detail of Grant Awarded General Researches
Uncovering of “The Story of Tama” (folktales and legends) and narrative performances
|Affiliation||Vice-chairperson and Director of the Education and Culture Department, The Beautiful Tama River Forum|
In order to uncover the folktales and legends handed down in the Tama River Basin area, three teams (10 investigators) were organized to separately visit the upper, middle, and lower regions of the Tama River. “The Story of Tama” was compiled from interviews with local residents and using documents and other materials from folk museums brought together at meetings to collect these things. The investigation spanned a total of 139 days (from May 2014 to March 2015) and targeted 12 cities and wards: Hamura, Hachioji, Hino, Kodaira, Koganei, Mitaka, Tama, Fuchu, Chofu, Komae, and Kawasaki cities, and Ota ward.
On March 4, 2015, the Narrative Performance of ‘The Story of Tama’ was carried out at the Hamura Lifelong Learning Center (Yutorogi Small Hall) and also, through the narrative, expressed the need for disaster prevention essential for a safe and secure lifestyle. The audience numbered over 180, and their impressions of the performance were (excerpted from survey results): “I listened to all the narrations with great interest. I would like to walk to the mouth of the Tama River while experiencing its history if I have the chance.” “I’d like children in preschools and schools to hear this.” “I was moved by the fact that the performers really did their research on the area.” and “I thought all the materials were wonderful. I could experience the beauty of the human voice which is lost on television.”
In fiscal 2015, using the content used in the narration as a foundation, more materials were compiled and “The Story of Tama” booklet was produced and completed on March 1, 2016. The Beautiful Tama River Forum developed the “Movement to Create a Beautiful Tama,” supported by the three pillars of economy, environment, and education and culture with the goal of “Achieving a ‘Sustainable Regional Society,’ in which Tama residents have something to live for through active involvement in regional economics while protecting the water environment and educating children who will lead the next generation.” The Forum then established the basic plan, the “Beautiful Tama River 100 Year Plan,” and is currently implementing a regional development movement through collaboration between the public and private sectors and promoting cooperation while achieving a “loose agreement” among collaborators. For “The Story of Tama” narration activities, which are considered to be part of the education and culture activities of the Plan, field investigations were performed as a way to uncover the folk tales and legends handed down in the Tama Region. “The Story of Tama,” a “narrative” performance with an artistic flair, generates interest in the history and culture of the area among the people living in the region and cultivates a love for the region in the children who will be the leaders of the next generation. In addition, through the “narration” of disaster prevention based on the lessons learned from studying the history of disasters in the Tama River Basin, we can expect a heightened interest in disaster prevention and a safe and secure lifestyle among the people of the region.
In addition, by distributing “The Story of Tama” booklet to educational facilities, in addition to community centers and libraries in the Tama River Basin, we hope the story continues to be spread among the people of the region.
Takashi Inagaki, Mariko Kako, Masako Kawai, Kazumi Tomita, Motoko Tomita, Erika Baba, Junko Yanagisawa, Keiichi Yamada, Maki Watanabe
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