Departmental Bulletin Paper 「棄老研究」の系譜 (I) : 民俗学的アプローチと文学的
A genealogy of studies of Kirō (I) : a folkloric and literary approach

佐々木, 陽子  ,  ササキ, ヨウコ  ,  Sasaki, Yoko

34 ( 3 )  , pp.1 - 14 , 2015-12-01 , 鹿児島国際大学福祉社会学部
In this study, we consider the existing research on kirō (the practice of casting the elderly off into the wilderness) fromfour fields: folklore, legal philosophy, literature, and film. Of these, this study deals mainly with the literary approach, butit also includes the study of folklore to provide an contradicting perspective. Although, in literary works, writers havebased their stories on the assumption that kirō was an actually existing custom, in the study of folklore it is widely heldthat the custom of kirō never actually existed. For example, due to ryōbosei (a custom of building separate burial groundsfor umebaka, graves for burial, and mairibaka, memorial graves for visitation), skeletal remains can be found on beachesand in caves that constitute umebaka. As a result, the custom of kirō is regarded as having really taken place; however, thisis not the case. In the postwar literature, authors such as Shichiro Fukazawa, Kiyoko Murata, and Yuya Sato have produced works on the theme of kirō, delving into issues of human existence such as old age and death. This study forms thefirst half of a genealogy of kirō studies.

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