Notes: The hero’s journey to Otherworldly realms or into magical “treasure mountain”: Comparing Urashima Taro; Hoori; Rip van Winkle

Statue of Urashima Tarō in Mitoyo, Kagawa

A shrine on the western coast of the Tango Peninsula in northern Kyoto Prefecture, named Urashima Jinja, contains an old document describing a man, Urashimako, who left his land in 478 A.D. and visited a land where people never die. He returned in 825 A.D. with a Tamatebako. Ten days later he opened the box, and a cloud of white smoke was released, turning Urashimako into an old man. Later that year, after hearing the story, Emperor Junna ordered Ono no Takamura to build a shrine to commemorate Urashimako’s strange voyage, and to house the Tamatebako and the spirit of Urashimako

The folktale is most often compared with that of the more familiar western Rip van Winkle fairytale.  However, the story of Urashima Taro bears a striking similarity to folktales from other cultures, involving a certain adventurer figure including the Irish legend of Oisín and the earlier Chinese legend of Ranka.

We embark here on a comparative survey of folklore and legends, based on the shared elements of Urashima Taro and the Rip van Winkle.

Below we apply ideas and an analysis from Cynthia Bily’s “Critical Essay on ‘Rip Van Winkle‘ (Short Stories for Students. Ed. David M. Galens. Vol. 16. Detroit: Gale, 2002. Literature Resource Center. Gale. De Anza College. 21 Oct. 2009) to the Urashima Taro folktale. Citing Campbell, Bily observes the formulaic approaches and core elements of the Rip van Winkle like tale:

“The story of the hero takes place in three stages: separation, initiation and return. To put it more clearly,

A hero ventures forth from the world of common day into a region of supernatural wonder: fabulous forces are there encountered and a decisive victory is won: the hero comes back from this mysterious adventure with the power to bestow boons on his fellow man.

The accidental hero the hero’s story starts with a call to adventure. The hero does not necessarily want to become a hero, or to venture out on a quest that will separate him from the world he knows and change his life forever. Instead, some outside force compels him to leave home.

The next step in the hero’s progress, says Campbell, is an encounter with one of the “ageless guardians,” supernatural figures who guide through his initiation, his first tests.

“Not infrequently,” Campbell continues, “the supernatural helper is masculine in form. In fairy lore it may be some little fellow of the wood, some wizard, hermit, shepherd, or smith, who appears, to supply the amulets and advice that the hero will require.” Rip does meet a stranger, a “short square-built old fellow” who may not be ageless”

Examining the elements of the story:

  • magical beans in Jack and the Beanstalk
  • animal helper 
  • Supernatural – This guide does not offer advice; in fact, he never speaks at all. Rip does not speak, either, for there is “something strange and incomprehensible about the unknown, that inspired awe.”  The only version of an amulet the stranger carries is “a stout keg, that seemed full of liquor”– hardly a magic sword or ring, but the liquor does prove to be the means of Rip’s being transported out of this world.
  • Guided to cross over to into a different realm, a womb-like place often described as a cave, or the belly of a beast. a place without the guide, the hero will not be able to find
  • the hero must return home.
  • He has seen things and learned things that he must take back to his people. Sometimes the hero refuses to go back or hesitates. Rip thinks three times in four paragraphs that Dame Van Winkle will be furious with him for sleeping all night in the mountains, but he is more hungry than he is afraid of his wife, so “with a heart full of trouble and anxiety” he descends the mountain.

As a hero, he is ordained to bring new wisdom to the world. But what wisdom does he have?

  • Dream quality or state:  Campbell points to “Rip Van Winkle” as a “delicate case.” The fact is, he writes, “Rip moved into the adventurous realm unconsciously, as we all do every night when we go to sleep.” He returns from that realm “with nothing to show for the experience” but his “whiskers.”
  • Rip returns to a homeland that is in the first stages of becoming an independent, “busy, bustling, disputatious” nation. Once the novelty of talking to the wild man with a long beard wears off, the crowd in the street breaks up and returns “to the more important concerns of the election.” Rip resumes “his old walks and habits,” makes new friends among the younger folk, and settles into a life as “one of the patriarchs of the village.”
  • Rip has been asleep, and even now “the changes of states and empires made but little impression on him.” We are not meant to admire Rip. He is not the man who will lead the nation into the future. He is a missed opportunity, a failed hero.

More from Bily,

Is the archtypical formulaic and universal hero’s tale an allegorical excuse to:

a. teach society to welcome a journeying hero’s return while giving him an excuse for the oddity in behavior or for no longer being in synch with society that has changed or moved on

b. lend returning heros with an air of an adventurer who has been on a death-defying journey and come into contact with immortals and sages from a magical world

c. chance to tell a morality tale – some virtue rewarded – good vs. bad brother – or some lesson or virtue to be learnt – the transience of life? sometimes there is a test like in the adventures of Ulysses

d. a hero who returns with strange trinkets or amulets from the otherworldly realm, that lend him the authority of a patriarch?

e. the dreamlike state of the hero or quality of the tale is an element of each tale – a chance to tell a shamanic vision-like tale of brushes with immortality and magical beings while journeying into the Otherworlds?

 

The Japanese equivalent of Rip van Winkle is clearly seen in the Urashimako figure.

1.  Urashima Taro appears to be a genealogical tale belonging to the Urashima family who lived in Tango.

Following Bily’s insights, we too ask “What may we deduce from the above added insights?

It may be a genealogical tale chosen and passed down through generations because of its value as a device used by ruling lineages to perhaps, to to reinforce the value and role of the shamanic seer while the emphasis on the dreamlike or trancelike role of magical rulers, sacral patriarchs offer proof to people that an “Otherworld” exists.”

The above statement is informative, and allows us to suggest that Urashima Taro may have been such a genealogical tale brought by migrants(from where?), kept intact at the Urashima Shrine.

A festival called the En Nen Sai (Festival to pray for Long Life) at Urashima Shrine, Ine Town, Kyoto, where a traditional drama replays the story. Source: En Nen Sai 

The Urashima Tarou (Japanese Rip Van Winkle) legend (depicted in Tango Fudoki, Japan’s oldest chronicle, 713AD) takes place at Urashima-jinja Shrine. The tale is usually associated with the Nara period and that the shrine is said to have been built in 825 in praise of the achievements of the powerful Urashima family who lived in Tango during that time. Among the treasures of this temple is the Urashima Scroll (Important Cultural Property), on which is depicted in fine detail the story of Urashima Taro. This is said to be the oldest such scroll in Japan. Also at this temple is the Otohime Kosode kimono sleeve (Important Cultural Property). Its beautiful pattern is of a style from the middle of the Muromachi Period to the Momoyama Period (See Urashima)

The name Urashima Tarō appears in the 15th century (the Muromachi period), in a genre of illustrated popular fiction known as otogizōshi. Older sources such as Nihon ShokiMan’yōshū  and Tango no Kuni Fudoki (丹後国風土記) refer to Urashima Tarō as Urashimako. The change from Urashimako to Urashima Tarō reflects a shift in Japanese naming customs; while the suffix -ko (“child”) was originally used in both male and female names, in medieval times it was largely restricted to female names, and replaced by -tarō (“great youth”) in male names.

The old document in the possession of the Urashima Jinja, describes a man, Urashimako, who left his land in 478 A.D. and visited a land where people never die. He returned in 825 A.D. with a Tamatebako. Ten days later he opened the box, and a cloud of white smoke was released, turning Urashimako into an old man. Later that year, after hearing the story, Emperor Junna ordered Ono no Takamura to build a shrine to commemorate Urashimako’s strange [read dreamlike] voyage, and to house the Tamatebako[amulet, supernatural] and the spirit of Urashimako. See Urashima Jinja.

2. Tamatebako – The idea of the Treasure Box, cognate with the Ural Mountains, or the Urals.

Urashima Tarō illustration by Edmund Dulac

Tarō stays there with her for a few days, but soon wants to go back to his village and see his aging mother, so he requests Otohime’s permission to leave. The princess says she is sorry to see him go, but wishes him well and gives him a mysterious box called tamatebako which will protect him from harm but which she tells him never to open. Tarō grabs the box, jumps on the back of the same turtle that had brought him there, and soon is at the seashore.

When he goes home, everything has changed. His home is gone, his mother has vanished, and the people he knew are nowhere to be seen. He asks if anybody knows a man called Urashima Tarō. They answer that they had heard someone of that name had vanished at sea long ago. He discovers that 300 years have passed since the day he left for the bottom of the sea. Struck by grief, he absent-mindedly opens the box the princess had given him, from which bursts forth a cloud of white smoke. He is suddenly aged, his beard long and white, and his back bent. From the sea comes the sad, sweet voice of the princess: “I told you not to open that box. In it was your old age …”

Variations

As always with folklore, there are many different versions of this extremely famous story. According to one version:

There were three drawers in the box. After he turned into an old man he found a mirror, then took the body of a crane when touched by a crane feather from the last box, in another he ate a magic pill that gave him the ability to breathe underwater. In another version, he is swept away by a storm before he can rescue the turtle. Also, there is a version in which he dies in the process of aging (his body turns into dust), as no one can live 300 years

 

In the Edo Period Nara E-hon version:
“This is a picture scroll of the popular Japanese fairytale “Urashima Taro” However, the story line differs from the version that is widely known in Japan today.
The story of Urashima Taro is very old, appearing in Japanese classics such as Nihon Shoki and the Man’yoshu. Many adaptations of the story have been made as the legend was passed down from generation to generation in different parts of the coountry. This picture scroll depicts one such adaptation.
In this version, Taro catches a turtle but lets it go free. Out of gratitude, the turtle returns to invite him to Ryugu-jyo (palace of the Dragon God) under the sea, where he is welcomed and entertained by Princess Otohime. He returns home with a box called “tamatebako” which he was advised never to open. However, after discovering that 300 years has passed, he absent-mindedly opens the box and turns into an old man. Realizing what had happened to Taro, Otohime changes into a turtle and rushes to his side. The aged Taro is then transformed into a crane, and in the end, the crane and turtle are worshipped as Shinto gods.
As you can see from the scenes on the right, the vividly-colored illustrations are breathtaking. One cannot help but be capitivated by the gorgeous robes of Otohime and the court ladies as well as the decorative interiror. This is a splendid example of illustrated books of short stories called “Nara Ehon (ara Picture Books), which were made in the early Edo period.” Source: Urashima Taro Monogatari. Makino, 2011 ToyoBunko publication

 

There is a very ancient idea that certain mountains are equated with Treasure Boxes. The idea points to an origin of the tale in the Ural mountains, where the Circum Pontic and Eurasian metallurgical networks originated (see The Urals and Western Siberia in the Bronze and Iron Ages, by Ludmila Koryakova, Andrej Epimakhov)

The Urals have been viewed by the Russians as a “treasure box” of mineral resources, which were the basis for its extensive industrial development. In addition to iron and copper the Urals were a source of gold, malachitealexandrite, and other gems such as those used by the court jeweler Fabergé. As Russians in other regions gather mushrooms or berries, Uralians gather mineral specimens and gems. Dmitry Mamin-Sibiryak (1852–1912) Pavel Bazhov (1879–1950), as well as Aleksey Ivanov and Olga Slavnikova, post-Soviet writers, have written of the region.
In Greco-Roman antiquityPliny the Elder thought that the Urals correspond to the Riphean Mountains mentioned by various authors, including Arabic sources of the 10th century. As attested by Sigismund von Herberstein, in the 16th century Russians called the range by a variety of names derived from the Russian words for rock (stone) and belt. The modern Russian name for the Urals (Урал, Ural), which first appeared in the 16th-17th century, was initially applied to its southern parts and gained currency as the name of the entire range during the 18th century. It might be a borrowing from either Turkic (Bashkir, where the same name is used for the range), or Ob-Ugric. From the 13th century, in Bashkortostan there has been a legend about a hero named Ural. He sacrificed his life for the sake of his people and they poured a stone pile over his grave which later turned into the Ural Mountains.
See also “In northern mists” by Nansen, which refers to the Riphean Mountains as a land “farther north [of Norway, Sweden and Finland] along the coast of the ocean”
 “In many parts of Nordmannia and Suedia people even of the highest rank are herdsmen,[185] living in the style of the patriarchs and by the labour of their hands. But all who dwell in Norvegia are very Christian, with the exception of those who live farther north along the coast of the ocean [i.e., in Finmark]. It is said they are still so powerful in their arts of sorcery and incantations, that they claim to know what is done by every single person throughout the world. In addition to this they attract whales to the shore by loud mumbling of words, and many other things which are told in books of the sorcerers, and which are all easy for them by practice.[186] On the wildest alps of that part I heard that there are women with beards,[187] but the men who live in the forests [i.e., the waste tracts ?] seldom allow themselves to be seen. The latter use the skins of wild beasts for clothes, and when they speak to one another it is said to be more like gnashing of teeth than words, so that they can scarcely be understood by their neighbours.[188] The same mountainous tracts are called by the Roman authors the Riphean Mountains, which are terrible with eternal snow. The Scritefingi [Skridfinns] cannot live away from the cold of the snow, and they outrun the wild beasts in their chase across the very deep snowfields. In the same mountains there is so great abundance of wild animals that the greater part of the district lives on game alone. They catch there uri [== aurochs; perhaps rather ‘ursi’ == bears ?], bubali [antelopes == reindeer ?], and elaces [elks] as in Sueonia; but in Sclavonia and Ruzzia bisons are taken; only Nortmannia however has black foxes and hares, and white martens and bears of the same colour, which live under water like uri (?),[189] but as many things here seem altogether different and unusual to our people, I will leave these and other things to be related at greater length by the inhabitants of that country.”
The  Vara – sacred enclosure, possibly a location in Pakistan, may be a variant of Hara and Pandora’s Box genre of tales.
The Urashima Taro story bears a striking similarity to many folktales from other cultures, including the Irish legend of Oisín and the earlier Chinese legend of Ranka.
3. A change of scene from the Mountains to the Undersea Palace as the key location for story action, and the Turtle as the Dragon King Sagara’s messenger
The inclusion of the turtle is significant because it is not only an agent of the magical world but it is a character that introduces a morality tale (European, Indian and Tibetan versions too stress the good vs evil brother natures, reminding us of Cain and Abel in the Jewish and Christian Bibles) and the theme of a reward into the story: Urashima is rewarded for his kindness to the turtle by getting to visit the other world.

In many East Asian versions, the Dragon King’s Undersea palace is a common feature, as with thus folktale version: …

One day a young fisherman named Urashima Tarō is fishing when he notices a group of children torturing a small turtle. Tarō saves it and lets it to go back to the sea. The next day, a huge turtle approaches him and tells him that the small turtle he had saved is the daughter of the Emperor of the Sea, Ryūjin, who wants to see him to thank him. The turtle magically gives Tarō gills and brings him to the bottom of the sea, to the Palace of the Dragon God (Ryūgū-jō). There he meets the Emperor and the small turtle, who was now a lovely princess, Otohime.

In folklore as well as in the ancient chronicles, Hoori known as Yamasachihiko, travels lead him to a visit to the sea god Ryūjin. Where he (Hoori) gets married to Otohime the daughter of Ryūjin, Otohime is also known as Toyotama-hime (Japanese for “luminous jewel”). See Dreams, Myths and Fairy Tales in Japan p. 107 by Hayao kawai

In Japanese folklore, Ryūgū-jō (竜宮城, 龍宮城 Ryūgū-jō, lit. Dragon palace castle) is the undersea palace of Ryūjin, the dragon god of the sea. It is built from red and white coral, or from solid crystal, depending upon the differing versions. The inhabitants of the palace were Ryūjin’s families and servants, who were denizens of the sea. In some legends, on each of the four sides of the palace it is a different season, and one day in the palace is equal to a century outside its boundaries. The most famous legend about the palace concerns Urashima Tarō‘s visit to Ryūgū-jō for three days. (See Ryugu-jo)
You will often see the mark of three triangles in these shrines. This design consists of three scales from the guardian dragon of Enoshima. In 1190, five years after a Samurai government was established in Kamakura, the man who worked as an assistant of the Shogun and who was the father of the Shogun’s wife (Tokimasa Hojo was his name) confined himself on Enoshima for the period of 21 days. He prayed for his family’s prosperity and received evidence of God’s acceptance of his prayers in the form of three scales left by the dragon. He thanked the dragon, and turned it into his family mark. His descendents for generations, following in his pious footsteps, made offerings to cover the cost of the buildings, stone steps, and so on. So any time you see the family mark anywhere in the shrines, it signifies an offering from the Hojo family. (See The Dragon Palace)
Otarashihime is associated with the Dragon King Sagara.
The Kojiki contains a reference to Okinaga tarashihime no mikoto, aka Otarashihime … or  the legendary Empress Jingū, consort of Emperor Chūai. According to Kojiki and Nihongi, during a campaign to subdue the indigenous Kumaso people, the empress received a divine oracle instructing the emperor to conquer the Korean kingdom of Silla. Following the death of Chūai, the empress went herself to conquer the Korean peninsula even though pregnant with her child, the next emperor Ōjin. Upon her triumphant return, she gave birth to Ōjin at Kyushu, then returned to the capital where she killed Ōjin’s elder half-brother by a different mother, and personally took the reigns of government. In the background to the legendary material is believed to lie some factual events in the Korean peninsula during the latter part of the fourth century C.E. Numerous other legends are associated with the empress, including the story that at the time she was about to leave on the Korean campaign, she delayed her approaching labor by placing a rock in her girdle, and that she augured her impending victory by catching a smelt.In the medieval period, the legend was influenced by the Buddhist doctrine of honji suijaku (“original essence, manifest traces”); legendary shrine histories (engi) of the Kashii, Usa, Kōra, Aso and other Hachiman shrines in Kyushu claim that the empress was the wife or daughter of the dragon king Sagara, and that she sent envoys to the dragon palace in the ocean to retrieve precious jewels called mitsutama and hirutama, whereupon she achieved victory in battle. Other legends relate that she herself returned to the dragon palace at the time of the birth of the “Great Bodhisattva Hachiman” (Ōjin). She is enshrined at the Kashiigū in Fukuoka, the Sumiyoshi Taisha in Ōsaka, and at numerous other Hachiman shrines throughout the country. Source: The Encyclopedia of Shinto, Kadoya Atsushi
The above legends are literary references in the Indian and Chinese tradition based upon the Buddhist Jataka tales of the King Sagara’s daughter, the Naga Princess, see The Story of the Dragon King’s Daughter; pp 236 The Dragon King in China and Japan by M.W. by De Visser; The Dharma-Seal Sutra Spoken by the Buddha for Ocean Dragon King in which tale the Buddha was in the Dragon King Sagara’s ocean palace where the Dragon King bows in submission to Buddha; and also the sutra The Questions of the Naga King Sagara;

The Four Dragon kings may have been a Central Asian or Chinese Metaphor for four real historical kings.

There were four major Dragon Kings, each ruling a sea corresponding to one of the four cardinal directions: the East Sea (corresponding to the East China Sea), the South Sea (corresponding to the South China Sea), the West Sea (sometimes seen as the Indian Ocean and beyond), and the North Sea (sometimes seen as Lake Baikal).
In Khazaria, a throne was kept for Chinese king, Turkish king, the Persian king and of course, the Khazarian king. (Source: The Dragon King)
The stories of the Dragon King and nagas, may have been spread by burgeoning sea trade, after the decline of overland Silk Road trade (see Jewel and Dragon Naga-King) along with the spread of the Buddhist Jataka tales and sutra tales.
Dragon king undersea palace motif is found in many Buddhist sutras:

The Dragon King offered many jewels,
Whose value is equal to the whole world.
And wished to attain the Buddha’s light.
Bless all beings to get the Buddhahood!

Buddha taught Dragon King with endless teachings,
Which was a doctrine named “The Entire Control”,
“Endless discrimination, Endless wisdom,
Endless understanding, Endless rebuttal!

This Dragon-King Sutra implies profound wisdom. In it Buddha settled the struggle between the Asuras and Gods and that between the Garudas and Dragons. Anyone who repeats it may become enlightened and get protection from all the eight departments of protectors, namely, Deavs, Nagas, Yaksas, Gandharvas, Asuras, Garudas, Kinnara, and Mahoraga.

I was advised by heavenly instruction that I should find this Sutra in the Chinese Tripitaka and repeat it. As this Sutra is much longer than the Diamond Sutra, it was not separately repeated by anyone except those who read the whole Tripitaka. Hence there was no such Sutra printed separately by any publisher. I therefore summarized all those essences into some stanzas and printed them for those who may wish to repeat them, especially those who work on the oceans as navigators and mariners. Now I have been trusted to translate it into English. I hope it can flourish all over the earth between the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans.

Source: Dragon-King Sutra Stanzas, CW30_No.58, The Buddhist Yogi C. M. Chen

Below is a Korean folktale of the Dragon King’s Undersea world

The Dragon King rules the ocean deep and all its creatures. He is a great king–but an even greater hypochondriac. Though his physician can find neither cause nor cure for his latest ailment, the king believes he is not long for this world. After consulting with his court magician, the king is convinced that eating the heart of a rabbit will cure what ails him. Turtle volunteers to swim ashore and tricks a rabbit into visiting the undersea palace. When the rabbit comes face to face with the Dragon King and learns her fate, she shows that she has a few tricks of her own. Daniel San Souci’s splendid retelling finds new riches in an ancient tale that was recorded as early as A.D. 642 during Korea’s Shila Dynasty. Eujin Kim Neilan’s breathtaking paintings depict a magical, underwater world, where dragons, and turtles, and rabbits mingle on the ocean floor. This tale is also one of Korea’s best-loved folk-tales
4.  The Hoori – Horae cult? A tale of hunter/fisher-farmer warring brothers? Or an agricultural cult celebrating the Seasons and the earth’s abundance?
Hoori (火遠理命 hoori no mikoto), also known as Hikohohodemi no Mikoto, was, in Japanese mythology, the third and youngest son of the kami Ninigi-no-Mikoto and the blossom princess Konohanasakuya-hime. He is one of the ancestors of the Emperors of Japan. He is also called Hohodemi and is most frequently known as Yamasachihiko (lit. the prince of the mountain of fortune).

Hoori’s legend is told in both the Kojiki and the Nihonshoki. Hoori was a hunter, and he had an argument with his brother Hoderi, a fisherman, over a fish-hook that Hoori had forced his elder brother to lend him and had lost. Hoderi claimed that Hoori should give back the fish-hook, for he refused to accept another one (due to the belief that each tool is animated and hence unique). Hoori then descended to the bottom of the sea to search, but was unable to find it. Instead, he found Toyotama-hime (Princess Toyotama), also known as Otohime, the daughter of the sea god, Ryūjin. The sea god helped Hoori find Hoderi’s lost hook, and Hoori later married the sea god’s daughter Toyotamahime.

Hoori lived with his wife in a palace under the sea for three years, but after that Hoori became home-sick and wished to return to his own country. His brother forgave him after he returned the hook, and Toyotamahime gave birth to a son named Ugayafukiaezu. During the time when Toyotamahime was giving birth to her child, she had Hoori swear not to attempt to see her real figure. But he broke his promise and discovered her true form was a dragon or a wani. She was ashamed and returned to her father, never to return. Ugayafukiaezu married Toyotama-hime’s sister, who brought him up, and she gave birth to Emperor Jimmu, who is known as the first Emperor of Japan. Hoori reigned in Takachiho, Hyuga Province for 560 years.

Hoori’s cult is often associated with both his parents and his wife. He is worshiped mainly as a god of cereals or grain. In mythology it was said that the ho (火) part of his name meant fire, but etymologically it is a different character pronounced ho (穂), which refers to crops, particularly rice. Ori (折り, to bend) incidates a crop that is so rich, it bends under its own weight. His alias Hohodemi means many harvests.

The Hoori cult strangely calls to mind the similar-sounding horae or horai of Greek myths, deities honoured by Greek farmers, while the Hoori and Hooderi characters seem to find counterparts in Georgia(farmer) and Gripeus (fisherman) figures depicted in the centre of the mosaic mural picture below wearing rustic caps. 

THE HORAI (or Horae) were the goddesses of the seasons and the natural portions of time. They presided over the revolutions of the heavenly constellations by which the year was measured, while their three sisters spinned out the web of fate. The Horai also guarded the gates of Olympos and rallied the stars and constellations of heaven.

The Horai were particularly honoured by farmers who planted and tended their crops in time with the rising and setting of the stars–measures of the passing seasons. The three were usually named Eunomia (Good Order, Good Pasture), Eirene (Peace, Spring), and Dike (Justice) goddesses who individually represented the conditions required for farming prosperity. The association of agriculture with law and order can also be found in the divinities of Zeus, Demeter and the Daimones Khryseoi.

The Horai/Hoorae were worshipped by land-based farmer Georgia (recalls Japanese equivalent – Hoori?) folktale? vs Gripeus (Hooderi, the Japanese equivalent) the fisherman angry and uncharitable towards brother for losing his magical fishhook.

Nonnus, Dionysiaca 38. 235 ff :

“I [Helios the Sun] carry the measures of time (khronos), surrounded by the four Horai (Horae, Seasons), about the same centre, until I have passed through a whole house [of the Zodiac] and fulfilled one complete month as usual . . . Against Mene the moon I move my rolling ball, the sparkling nourisher of sheaf producing growth, and pass on my endless circuit about the turning-point of the Zodiakos (Zodiac), creating the measures of time (khronos).”

Nonnus, Dionysiaca 38. 268 ff :
“When I [Helios the Sun] reach the Ram, the centre of the universe, the navel-star of Olympos, I [Helios] in my exaltation let the Spring (Eiar) increase; and crossing the herald of the West-Wind (Zephyros), the turning-line which balances night equal with day, I guide the dewy course of that Season (Hora Eiar) when the swallow comes. Passing into the lower house, opposite the Ram, I cast the light equal day on the two hooves; and again I make day balanced equally with dark on my homeward course when I bring in the leafshaking course of the autumn Season (Hora Phthinoporon), and drive with lesser light to the lower turning-point in the leafshedding month. Then I bring Winter (Kheimon) for mankind with its rains, over the back of fish-tailed Aigokereos [constellation Capricorn], that earth may bring forth her gifts full of life for the farmers, when she receives the bridal showers and the creative dew. I deck out also corn-tending Summer (Theros) the messenger of harvest, flogging the wheat-bearing earth with hotter beams.”

5. Comparison with other fairytales in the Indo-European tradition – fairy mountain tradition

In G. M. Bongard-Levin’s The Origin of the Aryans (New Delhi, 1980) at pp. 47-67, he describes the Indian and Iranian traditions about the northern mountains, comparing High Hara with a putative Rhip mountain in the Rig Veda, mount Meru in the later Mahabharata, and the Rhipaean mountains of Greek mythology. Perhaps the name Rip van Winkle may have been an intentional reference to the origins of Rip van Winkle character, as issuing from the Rhip mountain or Riphaean mountain.

Great Ural mountains of Taganay, Yurma and Itsyl are considered to be unique. In the mountains of the Southern Urals four seasons can change in one day. Ancient settlements were located on the islands and shores of mountain lakes, more than 260 varieties of minerals and rocks were found in old mines.

About 50 miles west of the southern part of Ural lies Arkaim, an archaeological site with remains of a Sintashta-Petrovka culture settlement dating back to the 17th to 20th century BCE. see The mythical Ural. The area as possible homeland of Scythic Indo-Aryan culture is plausible, the Vera site has a tomb cairn culture that is similar to that seen also in Korea and Japan.. See Megaliths in the Urals, Vera Island

There is a cultic ritual place on the island (Vera Island 9) consisted of two menhirs whose axis line sets a direction west – east. This direction is very typical of megalithic orientations of the island. In addition to this there were two fireplaces and a large altar stone.

Cultic place of Vera Island 9 and the central menhir. There is one larger menhir in the south-east. This menhir had been erected to mark a direction to the sunset in midwinter. The destination of this open-air sanctuary was rituals connected with seasonal circles. A celebration of the Horae deities of the four seasons and agricultural-related deities may have been the source of Hoori-Hooderi/Georgia-Gripeus figures of the tale. The region is rich in Megaliths and the Bashkir dolmen culture.

The Edo Period Nara E-hon version:

“This is a picture scroll of the popular Japanese fairytale “Urashima Taro” However, the story line differs from the version that is widely known in Japan today.
The story of Urashima Taro is very old, appearing in Japanese classics such as Nihon Shoki and the Man’yoshu. Many adaptations of the story have been made as the legend was passed down from generation to generation in different parts of the coountry. This picture scroll depicts one such adaptation.
In this version, Taro catches a turtle but lets it go free. Out of gratitude, the turtle returns to invite him to Ryugu-jyo (palace of the Dragon God) under the sea, where he is welcomed and entertained by Princess Otohime. He returns home with a box called “tamatebako” which he was advised never to open. However, after discovering that 300 years has passed, he absent-mindedly opens the box and turns into an old man. Realizing what had happened to Taro, Otohime changes into a turtle and rushes to his side. The aged Taro is then transformed into a crane, and in the end, the crane and turtle are worshipped as Shinto gods.
As you can see from the scenes on the right, the vividly-colored illustrations are breathtaking. One cannot help but be capitivated by the gorgeous robes of Otohime and the court ladies as well as the decorative interiror. This is a splendid example of illustrated books of short stories called “Nara Ehon (ara Picture Books), which were made in the early Edo period.” Source: Urashima Taro Monogatari. Makino, 2011 ToyoBunko publication

The Japanese Urashima-taro versions appear to be a syncretic version of maritime Dragon King and Chinese Ranka folktale of the woodcutter stumbling upon immortal fairies in the mountain tale. The Edo Period folktale adaptation also adopts the crane and turtle which are Chinese longevity symbols.

Ranka (爛柯) or Lankeshan ji, or Rotten Axe Handle in English, is a Chinese legend similar to that of Rip Van Winkle, although it predates it by at least a 1000 years. The exact date of origin of the legend is unknown. Its earliest known literary reference is a poem written in 900 by the Japanese poet and court official Ki no Tomonori upon returning to Japan from China.

The Chinese Ranka legend appears to be akin to “fairy mountain” of the European kind — featuring a woodcutter, Wang Chih, and his encounter with the two immortals in the mountains.

Wang Chih was a hardy young fellow who used to venture deep into the mountains to find suitable wood for his axe. One day he went farther than usual and became lost. He wandered about for a while and eventually came upon two strange old men who were playing Go, their board resting on a rock between them. Wang Chih was fascinated. He put down his axe and began to watch. One of the players gave him something like a date to chew on, so that he felt neither hunger nor thirst. As he continued to watch he fell into a trance for what seemed like an hour or two. When he awoke, however, the two old men were no longer there. He found that his axe handle had rotted to dust and he had grown a long beard. When he returned to his native village he discovered that his family had disappeared and that no one even remembered his name. Source: Chinese legend Ranka

The British Isles tales

In Orkney there is a similar folktale linked to the burial mound of Salt Knowe adjacent to the Ring of Brodgar. A drunken fiddler on his way home hears music from the mound. He finds a way in and finds the trowes (Trolls) having a party. He stays and plays for two hours, then makes his way home to Stenness, where he discovers fifty years have passed. The Orkney Rangers believe this may be one source for Washington Irving’s tale, because his father was an Orcadian from the island of Shapinsay and would almost certainly have known the tale.

The first formal survey of the Ring of Brodgar and surrounding antiquities was performed in 1849 by Royal Navy Captain F.W.L. Thomas of HM cutter Woodlark. Captain Thomas was in the area drawing up Admiralty Charts in 1848-49, and he and his crew performed archaeological surveys as well resulting in the publication in 1852 of The Celtic Antiquities of Orkney.

In Ireland, the story of Niamh and Oisin has a similar theme. Oisin falls in love with the beautiful Niamh and leaves with her on her snow white horse to Tir Na nOg – the land of the ever-young. Missing his family and friends, he asks to pay them a visit. Niamh lends him her horse, warning him never to dismount, and he travels back to Ireland. But three hundred years have passed; his family and fellow warriors are all dead. Some men are trying to move a boulder. Oisin reaches down to help them. The girth of the horse’s saddle snaps and he falls to the ground. Before the watching eyes of the men he becomes a very, very old man.

The Continental European versions

In many ways the story is a classic European faerie tale of a man who is actually rewarded for helping the faeries move their barrel. They advance him to a time in life where he is free of his nagging wife and it now old enough for it be respectable for him to take it easy and play with children, working when he wants to instead of when he has to, supported by his loving, grown, children.

The story is similar to the German folktale “Peter Klaus” by Johann Karl Christoph Nachtigal, which is a shorter story set in a German village.

[The [Rip van Winkle Tale] was found among the papers of the late Diedrich  At the foot of these fairy mountains, the voyager may have descried the light smoke curling up  Rip Van Winkle, however, was one of those happy mortals, of foolish, ….. by a little German superstition about the Emperor Frederick der Rothbart and Bily, Cynthia. “Critical Essay on ‘Rip Van Winkle’.” Short Stories for Students. Ed. David M. Galens. Vol. 16. Detroit: Gale, 2002. Literature Resource Center. Gale. De Anza College. 21 Oct. 2009 <Source >.

The story is also similar to the ancient Jewish story about Honi M’agel who falls asleep after asking a man why he is planting a carob tree which traditionally takes 70 years to mature, making it virtually impossible to ever benefit from the tree’s fruit. After this exchange, he falls asleep on the ground and is miraculously covered by a rock and remains out of sight for 70 years. When he awakens, he finds a fully mature tree and that he has a grandson. When nobody believes that he is Honi, he prays to God and God takes him from this world.

The Indian solar Ikshavaku dynasty version

The oldest such motif seems to be found in India. In Bhagavatam, there is a story of Muchukunda, King of Ikshavaku dynasty, who slept for a long long time. According to Hinduism, Muchukunda was an ancestor of Sri Rama. Muchukunda had helped Indra fight against Asuras (demons). Once, in a battle, the Devas (deities) were threatened by the Asuras(demons). The Gods sought help from king Muchukunda. King Muchukunda agreed to help them and fought against the demons for a long time. Since the deities did not have an able commander, king Muchukunda protected them against the demonic onslaught, until the deities got an able commander like Kartikeya, the son of Lord Shiva. Then Indra said to the king Muchukunda, “O king, we, the deities are indebted to you for the help and protection which you have given us, by sacrificing your own family life. Here in the heaven, one year equals three hundred and sixty years of the earth. Since, it has been a long time, there is no sign of your kingdom and family because it has been destroyed with the passage of time. We are happy and pleased with you, so ask for any boon except Moksha (liberation) because Moksha(liberation) is beyond our capacities”. Muchukunda asks Indra for a boon to sleep. While fighting on the side of the deities, king Muchukunda did not get an opportunity to sleep even for a moment. Now, since his responsibilities were over, overcome by tiredness, he was feeling very sleepy. So, he said, “O King of the deities, I want to sleep. Anyone who dares to disturb my sleep should get burnt to ashes immediately”. Indra said, “So be it, go to the earth and enjoy your sleep, one who awakens you would be reduced to ashes”. After this, king Muchukunda descended to earth and selected a cave, where he could sleep without being disturbed. A lot of time had passed during his sleeping years. Finally, Sri Krishna lured Kalayavana into the cave where Muchukunda was sleeping. Kalayavana inadvertently woke up Muchukunda and was burnt to ashes when Muchukunda’s gaze fell upon him. Then, Muchukunda came out of the cave. He was astonished to see the size of various beings. The size of all creatures had shrunken due to evolution during the longtime that he was alseep. Then Muchukunda went to north to Gandamadana Mountain and from there to Badrika Ashrama. The difference between Rip Van Winkle’s story and Muchukunda’s story is that Rip Van Winkle escaped fighting the war for independence as he was asleep, but Muchukunda slept after having participated in the war. Another difference is that Rip Van Winkle was separated from his family and friends due to the sleep. Muchukunda was separated from his family and friends due to war. Finally, Rip Van Winkle did not plan for the sleep. On the other hand, Muchukunda’s sleep was voluntary.

The Greek Epimedes version

Diogenes Laertius, an Epicurean philosopher of the third century, includes the story of Epimenides in his book On the Lives, Opinions, and Sayings of Famous Philosophers, in chapter ten in his section on the Seven Sages of Greece, precursors to the first philosophers. The sage Epimenides is said to have slept in a cave for fifty-seven years. But unfortunately, “he became old in as many days as he had slept years”. Although according to the different sources that Diogenes relates, Epimenides lived to be one hundred and fifty-seven years, two hundred and ninety-nine years, or one hundred and fifty-four years old.

In the Ephesus Greek Coptic/Christian tradition, there is the well-known story of “The Seven Sleepers of Ephesus“, recounting a group of early Christians who hid in a cave about 250 AD, to escape the persecution of Christians during the reign of the Roman emperor Decius, fell into a miraculous sleep and woke some 200 years later during the reign of Theodosius II, to discover that the city and the whole Empire had become Christian.

Islamic version:

This Christian story is recounted by Islam and appears in a famous Sura of the Koran, Sura Al-Kahf. The story recalls a group of young monotheists escaping from persecution within a cave and emerging hundreds of years later. Irving, who wrote a biography of the Prophet Muhammad, may have been familiar with the story.

6. Overland or Sea:  The different versions of the folktales hint to us of the probable centres of dispersal of the folktale
The Russian Sadko version spread from the merchant sea-going centres while the Sea King/Naga King/Dragon King Sagara versions spread with India-to-Southeast Asia seafaring trade … suggesting to us that the dispersal of the Undersea King palace stories lay with merchants and seafarers.

The main difference between the Russian and Japanese versions of the tale is also in the endings of the story.

“In the Hearn, Martin, and Forest versions, when Urashima opens the box, he grows old, and either dies or turns to dust.  This makes for an extremely tragic end to the story, because Urashima’s time on this earth is over, and he does not get another chance at happiness.  In the Matsutani, Yasuda, and McAlpine versions, however, Urashima grows old but does not die.  This ending is also extremely tragic, but it still leaves the possibility open that Urashima might have a few years of life left.  In the Milord and Tyler versions, the lady’s image floats out of the box and up to the sky, and Urashima realizes that he will never see the lady again.  Although this ending is obviously tragic as well, it is still possible that Urashima will have quite a few years of life left with which to find some type of happiness.  In the Seki version of the tale, although Urashima grows old, he then turns into a crane and is visited by the lady in the form of a turtle.  Although the ending is still tragic, this version of the story ends on a somewhat higher note than the other versions because it allows for at least one more visit between Urashima and the lady.

The content of the Russian variant of the tale is significantly different from the content of the Japanese tale.  In this variant, although the main character gets to visit the land under the sea, he is able to resist the temptation to stay there and marry the Princess and instead chooses to return to his home.  He is ultimately rewarded for this decision because he becomes the richest man in his city, marries a wonderful woman, and has a beautiful family.  Thus the happy ending of the Russian variant is a stark contrast to the tragic ending of the Japanese tale.

Russian variant of the “Urashima” tale, in which Sadko, a musician, travels beneath the sea to the Sea King’s palace to play music for him.  Sadko decides to return to his home to live rather than to accept the king’s offer to marry his daughter because, if he kissed or embraced the princess, he could never go home again.” (See The Sea King’s Daughter: A Russian Legend.  Retold by Aaron Shepard.)

Sadko’s story is set in Novgorod, the greatest commercial center of medieval Russia. Novgorod was built on both banks of the River Volkhov, a major trade route bringing ships and merchants from Scandinavia, Germany, Greece, Italy, Turkey, Arabia, and Persia. Sadko himself is probably based on the merchant Sotko Sytinich, who in 1167 erected the city’s largest church, according to official chronicles.

Sadko himself is probably based on the merchant Sotko Sytinich, who in 1167 erected the city’s largest church, according to official chronicles.

Between the 10th and 16th centuries in Russia, stories of ancient legendary heroes like the merchant-musician Sadko were composed and sung by minstrels, accompanied by the gusli, a psaltery of twelve or more strings. The tales are preserved in epic ballads known as byliny (pronounced “BIL-lin-ee”), a term meaning “what has been.” They are recited today by talented peasant “narrators,” mostly in the remote Russian northwest.

Russian legend says that every river has its nymph—a female nature spirit in human form who lives in the river and is part of it. And all river nymphs are daughters of the Sea King, into whose waters their rivers flow. Novgorod occupies an important place in Russian political history as well. In 862 it was conquered and made the capital of the Viking prince Rurik (whose heirs founded the Kievan dynasty and ruled most of European Russia until 1598).

7. Modern-day European fairytales: Rip van Winkle

According to  Ruth B. Bottigheimer in Fairy Tales: A New History Rip Van Winkle is a Celtic tale overlaid with indigenous elements from local European tales.

The Motif of Magic in Rip van Winkle:  The story of Rip van Winkle is a popular folktale of the United States. Its general motif is the magical passing of many years in what seems only a few days. Japan’s popular version of this story is Urashima Taro. In addition to the common motif, the personality of the main characters, Rip van Winkle and Urashima Taro, and plot structures are similar as well. The main characters, Rip van Winkle and Urashima Taro, in both stories are very similar. Both are simple men. One example of this is how they spend their time. For example, Urashima Taro likes to spend his days fishing, but does not really care if he catches anything, and Rip van Winkle likes to go hunting in the mountains with his dog as an excuse to get away from his duties. However, both men have social responsibilities that do not fit well with this lazy lifestyle. For example, Rip van Winkle’s short-tempered wife constantly scolds him for his lack of ambition and initiative. Taro either has a mother or a wife who depends on him for the very few fish he bothers to bring home. Although we recognize that these men are irresponsible, we sympathize with their simple desires and we understand they are very kind as well. As examples, Rip is described as a friendly and caring father and Taro saves a turtle that is being cruelly teased by a group of boys. It is easy to imagine them as basically the same man. The first episode in both stories emphasizes these aspects of their characters and habits. The next episode involves them having experiences with magical people far away from their own communities. In one case, Rip goes hunting in the mountains and meets fairies bowling and drinking. He enjoys their company and, after drinking some magical drink, falls asleep for many, many years. In the other case, the turtle takes Taro to the Ryugu Palace at the bottom of the sea. After joining the beautiful women in a variety of fun pastimes, he too discovers that he has been gone many, many years. The third episode of both stories involves the men returning to their communities. In both cases the men find their old homes strange an very unfamiliar. They experience loneliness, isolation, and old age.These similarities of structure and character help to make the stories almost the same. While there are many differences, the main theme seems to be the desire of men to escape from responsibility and its effects. On the one hand, we are encouraged to forgive these men for their laziness because they are basically good. On the other, as a result of their lazy habits they waste their time and their lives, and in the end discover that their punishment is to become old men in the wink of an eye. Works Cited Kawauchi, S. (1987). Once Upon a Time in Japan, 3. Tokyo: Kodansha Int’l. Ltd.Naganuma, N. (1964). Hyojun Nippongo Tokuhon, 2. Tokyo: Japan Publications Trading Co. Ltd. Source: Irving, Washington (18__). Rip van Winkle.

Rip van Winkle is said to be based on German or Dutch fairytales.See The Greatest Literature of All Time – Rip Van Winkle – Editor Eric (www.editoreric.com/greatlit/books/RipVanWinkle.html‎)

The plot of “Rip Van Winkle” is hardly original. Apparently Irving stole it from previous German fairy tales, including a very similar one by the Brothers Grimm. The American tale is based on his sojourn in Germany.

See also The Reception of Grimms’ Fairy Tales: Responses, Reactions, Revisions edited by Donald Haase; Kinder und Hausmarchen tales by Grimm brothers and Otmar’s “Ziegenhert” (which Taylor put into the second volume as Peter the Goatherd) is obviously enough, compared to Rip van Winkle p. 63

Romantic Elements in Washington Irving’s Rip Van Winkle by Christina Gieseler pp 5-6 attributes Rip van winkle to old Dutch folklore, spread via New Yorker Dietrich Knickerbocker:

(THE FOLLOWING tale was found among the papers of the late Diedrich Knickerbocker, an old gentleman of New York, who was very curious in the Dutch history of the province, and the manners of the descendants from its primitive settlers. His historical researches, however, did not lie so much among books as among men; for the former are lamentably scanty on his favorite topics; whereas he found the old burghers, and still more their wives, rich in that legendary lore so invaluable to true history. Whenever, therefore, he happened upon a genuine Dutch family, snugly shut up in its low-roofed farmhouse, under a spreading sycamore, he looked upon it as a little clasped volume of black-letter, and studied it with the zeal of a bookworm.    1
  The result of all these researches was a history of the province during the reign of the Dutch governors, which he published some years since. There have been various opinions as to the literary character of his work, and, to tell the truth, it is not a whit better than it should be. Its chief merit is its scrupulous accuracy, which indeed was a little questioned on its first appearance, but has since been completely established; and it is how admitted into all historical collections as a book of unquestionable authority.    2
  The old gentleman died shortly after the publication of his work, and now that he is dead and gone it cannot do much harm to his memory to say that his time might have been much better employed in weightier labors. He, however, was apt to ride his hobby in his own way; and though it did now and then kick up the dust a little in the eyes of his neighbors and grieve the spirit of some friends, for whom he felt the truest deference and affection, yet his errors and follies are remembered “more in sorrow than in anger”; and it begins to be suspected that he never intended to injure or offend. But however his memory may be appreciated by critics, it is still held dear among many folk whose good opinion is well worth having; particularly by certain biscuit bakers, who have gone so far as to imprint his likeness on their New Year cakes, and have thus given him a chance for immortality almost equal to the being stamped on a Waterloo medal or a Queen Anne’s farthing.)    3
By Woden, God of Saxons,
From whence comes Wensday, that is Wodensday,
Truth is a thing that ever I will keep
Unto thylke day in which I creep into
My sepulchre—
        CARTWRIGHT.

Whoever has made a voyage up the Hudson must remember the Catskill Mountains. They are a dismembered branch of the great Appalachian family, and are seen away to the west of the river, swelling up to a noble height, and lording it over the surrounding country. Every change of season, every change of weather, indeed, every hour of the day, produces some change in the magical hues and shapes of these mountains, and they are regarded by all the good wives, far and near, as perfect barometers. When the weather is fair and settled, they are clothed in blue and purple, and print their bold outlines on the clear evening sky; but sometimes, when the rest of the landscape is cloudless, they will gather a hood of gray vapors about their summits, which, in the last rays of the setting sun, will glow and light up like a crown of glory.

   4
  At the foot of these fairy mountains the voyager may have descried the light smoke curling up from a village whose shingle roofs gleam among the trees, just where the blue tints of the upland melt away into the fresh green of the nearer landscape. It is a little village of great antiquity, having been founded by some of the Dutch colonists, in the early times of the province, just about the beginning of the government of the good Peter Stuyvesant (may he rest in peace!), and there were some of the houses of the original settlers standing within a few years, with lattice windows, gable fronts surmounted with weathercocks, and built of small yellow bricks brought from Holland.    5
  In that same village, and in one of these very houses (which, to tell the precise truth, was sadly time-worn and weather-beaten), there lived many years since, while the country was yet a province of Great Britain, a simple, good-natured fellow, of the name of Rip Van Winkle. He was a descendant of the Van Winkles who figured so gallantly in the chivalrous days of Peter Stuyvesant, and accompanied him to the siege of Fort Christina. He inherited, however, but little of the martial character of his ancestors. I have observed that he was a simple, good-natured man; he was, moreover, a kind neighbor and an obedient, henpecked husband. Indeed, to the latter circumstance might be owing that meekness of spirit which gained him such universal popularity; for those men are most apt to be obsequious and conciliating abroad who are under the discipline of shrews at home. Their tempers, doubtless, are rendered pliant and malleable in the fiery furnace of domestic tribulation, and a curtain lecture is worth all the sermons in the world for teaching the virtues of patience and long-suffering. A termagant wife may, therefore, in some respects, be considered a tolerable blessing; and if so, Rip Van Winkle was thrice blessed.

  Rip’s sole domestic adherent was his dog Wolf, who was as much henpecked as his master; for Dame Van Winkle regarded them as companions in idleness, and even looked upon Wolf with an evil eye, as the cause of his master’s so often going astray. True it is, in all points of spirit befitting an honorable dog, he was as courageous an animal as ever scoured the woods—but what courage can withstand the ever-during and all-besetting terrors of a woman’s tongue? The moment Wolf entered the house his crest fell, his tail drooped to the ground, or curled between his legs; he sneaked about with a gallows air, casting many a sidelong glance at Dame Van Winkle, and at the least flourish of a broomstick or ladle would fly to the door with yelping precipitation.   12
  Times grew worse and worse with Rip Van Winkle as years of matrimony rolled on; a tart temper never mellows with age, and a sharp tongue is the only edged tool that grows keener by constant use. For a long while he used to console himself, when driven from home, by frequenting a kind of perpetual club of the sages, philosophers, and other idle personages of the village, which held its sessions on a bench before a small inn, designated by a rubicund portrait of his majesty George the Third. Here they used to sit in the shade, of a long lazy summer’s day, talking listlessly over village gossip, or telling endless sleepy stories about nothing. But it would have been worth any statesman’s money to have heard the profound discussions which sometimes took place, when by chance an old newspaper fell into their hands, from some passing traveler. How solemnly they would listen to the contents, as drawled out by Derrick Van Bummel, the schoolmaster, a dapper, learned little man, who was not to be daunted by the most gigantic word in the dictionary; and how sagely they would deliberate upon public events some months after they had taken place.
  In old times, say the Indian traditions, there was a kind of Manitou or Spirit, who kept about the wildest recesses of the Catskill Mountains, and took a mischievous pleasure in wreaking all kinds of evils and vexations upon the red men. Sometimes he would assume the form of a bear, a panther, or a deer, lead the bewildered hunter a weary chase through tangled forests and among ragged rocks; and then spring off with a loud ho! ho! leaving him aghast on the brink of a beetling precipice or raging torrent.   67
  The favorite abode of this Manitou is still shown. It is a great rock or cliff on the loneliest part of the mountains, and, from the flowering vines which clamber about it, and the wild flowers which abound in its neighborhood, is known by the name of the Garden Rock. Near the foot of it is a small lake, the haunt of the solitary bittern, with water snakes basking in the sun on the leaves of the pond lilies which lie on the surface. This place was held in great awe by the Indians, insomuch that the boldest hunter would not pursue his game within its precincts. Once upon a time, however, a hunter who had lost his way, penetrated to the Garden Rock, where he beheld a number of gourds placed in the crotches of trees. One of these he seized, and made off with it, but in the hurry of his retreat he let it fall among the rocks, when a great stream gushed forth, which washed him away and swept him down precipices, where he was dashed to pieces, and the stream made its way to the Hudson, and continues to flow to the present day; being the identical stream known by the name of Kaaterskill.
 See also the The Karl Katz version of the tale:

In the midst of the Hartz* forests there is a high mountain, of which the neighbors tell all sorts of stories: how the goblins and fairies dance on it by night; and how the old Emperor Redbeard holds his court there, and sits on his marble throne, with his long beard sweeping on the ground.

A great many years ago there lived in a village at the foot of this mountain, one Karl Katz. Now Karl was a goatherd, and every morning he drove his flock to feed upon the green spots that are here and there found on the mountain’s side. …  having looked carefully over the old walls, he found a narrow doorway, through which it seemed that his favorite made her way. Karl followed, and found a path leading downwards through a cleft in the rocks. On he went, scrambling as well as he could, down the side of the rock, and at last came to the mouth of a cave, where he lost sight of his goat. Just then he saw that his faithful dog was not with him. He whistled, but no dog was there; and he was therefore forced to go into the cave and try to find his goat by himself.

He groped his way for a while, and at last came to a place where a little light found its way in; and there he wondered not a little to find his goat employing itself, very much at its ease in the cavern, in eating corn, which kept dropping from some place over its head. He went up and looked about him, to see where all this corn, that rattled about his ears like a hail-storm, could come from: but all overhead was dark, and he could find no clew to this strange business.

At last, as he stood listening, he thought he heard the neighing and stamping of horses. He listened again; it was plainly so; and after a while he was sure that horses were feeding above him, and that the corn fell from their mangers. What could these horses be, which were thus kept in the clefts of rocks, where none but the goat’s foot ever trod? There must be people of some sort or other living here; and who could they be? and was it safe to trust himself in such company? Karl pondered awhile; but his wonder only grew greater and greater, when on a sudden he heard his own name, “Karl Katz!” echo through the cavern. He turned round, but could see nothing. “Karl Katz!” again sounded sharply in his ears; and soon out came a little dwarfish page with a high-peaked hat and a scarlet cloak, from a dark corner at one end of the cave.

The dwarf nodded, and beckoned him to follow. Karl thought he should first like to know a little about who it was that thus sought his company. He asked: but the dwarf shook his head, answering not a word, and again beckoned him to follow. He did so; and winding his way through ruins, he soon heard rolling overhead what sounded like peals of thunder, echoing among the rocks; the noise grew louder and louder as he went on, and at last he came to a courtyard surrounded by old ivy-grown walls. The spot seemed to be the bosom of a little valley; above rose on every hand high masses of rock; wide-branching trees threw their arms overhead, so that nothing but a glimmering twilight made its way through; and here, on the cool smooth-shaven turf, Karl saw twelve strange old figures amusing themselves very sedately with a game of nine-pins.

for in the church of the town, whither he went every week to market there was an old monument, with figures of queer old knights upon it, dressed in the very same fashion. Not a word fell from any of their lips. They moved about soberly and gravely, each taking his turn at the game;

but the oldest of them ordered Karl Katz, by dumb signs, to busy himself in setting up the pins as they knocked them down. At first his knees trembled, as he hardly dared snatch a stolen sidelong glance at the long beards and old-fashioned dresses of the worthy knights; but he soon saw that as each knight played out his game he went to his seat, and there took a hearty draught at a flagon, which the dwarf kept filled, and which sent up the smell of the richest old wine.

Which was tired first, he or the knights, Karl never could tell; or whether the wine got the better of his head: but what he knew was, that sleep at last overpowered him, and that when he awoke he found himself stretched out upon the old spot within the walls where he had folded his flock, and saw that the bright sun was high up in the heavens. The same green turf was spread beneath, and the same tottering ivy-clad walls surrounded him. He rubbed his eyes and called his dog; but neither dog nor goat was to be seen; and when he looked about him again, the grass seemed to be longer under his feet than it was yesterday; and trees hung over his head, which he had either never seen before, or had quite forgotten. Shaking his head, and hardly knowing whether he was in his right mind, he got up and stretched himself: somehow or other his joints felt stiffer than they were. “It serves me right,” said he; “this comes of sleeping out of one’s own bed.” Little by little he recollected his evening’s sport, and licked his lips as he thought of the charming wine he had taken so much of. “But who,” thought he, “can those people be, that come to this odd place to play nine-pins?”

His first step was to look for the doorway through which he had followed his goat; but to his astonishment, not the least trace of an opening of any sort was to be seen. There stood the wall, without chink or crack big enough for a rat to pass through. Again he paused and scratched his head. His hat was full of holes: “Why, it was new last Shrove-tide!” said he. By chance his eyes fell next on his shoes, which were almost new when he last left home; but now they looked so old, that they were likely to fall to pieces before he could get home. All his clothes seemed in the same sad plight. The more he looked, the more he pondered, the more he was at a loss to know what could have happened to him.

At length he turned round, and left the old walls to look for his flock. Slow and out of heart he wound his way among the mountain steeps, through paths where his flocks were wont to wander: still not a goat was to be seen. Again he whistled and called his dog, but no dog came. Below him in the plain lay the village where his home was; so at length he took the downward path, and set out with a heavy heart and a faltering step in search of his flock.

“Surely,” said he, “I shall soon meet some neighbor, who can tell me where my goats are?” But the people who met him, as he drew near to the village, were all unknown to him. They were not even dressed as his neighbors were, and they seemed as if they hardly spoke the same tongue. When he eagerly asked each, as he came up, after his goats, they only stared at him and stroked their chins. At last he did the same too; and what was his wonder to find that his beard was grown at least a foot long! “The world,” said he to himself, “is surely turned upside down, or if not, I must be bewitched”: and yet he knew the mountain, as he turned round again, and looked back I on its woody heights; and he knew the houses and cottages also, with their little gardens, as he entered the village. All were in the places he had always known them in; and he heard some children, too (as a traveler that passed by was asking his way), call the village by the very same name he had always known it to bear.

Karl Katz looked at the old woman again, and shuddered, as he knew her to be one of his old gossips; but saw she had a strangely altered face. All wish to ask further questions was gone; but at last a young woman made her way through the gaping throng, with a baby in her arms, and a little girl of about three years old clinging to her other hand. All three looked the very image of his own wife. “What is thy name?” asked he wildly. “Liese!” said she. “And your father’s?” “Karl Katz! Heaven bless him!” said she; “but, poor man! he is lost and gone. It is now full twenty years since we sought for him day and night on the mountain. His dog and his flock came back, but he never was heard of any more. I was then seven years old.”

Poor Karl could hold no longer: “I am Karl Katz, and no other!” said he, as he took the child from his daughter’s arms and kissed it over and over again.

All stood gaping, and hardly knowing what to say or think, when old Stropken the schoolmaster hobbled by, and took a long and close look at him. “Karl Katz! Karl Katz!” said he slowly: “why it is Karl Katz sure enough! There is my own mark upon him; there is the scar over his right eye, that I gave him myself one day with my oak stick.” Then several others also cried out, “Yes, it is! it is Karl Katz ! Welcome, neighbor, welcome home!” “But where,” said or thought all, “can an honest steady fellow like you have been these twenty years?” (Source: Karl Katz, DonaldSauter.com)

:::

Is the archetypical tale of Rip van Winkle / Urashima Taro of eastern or western origin?

One possible centre of origin is the Urals – the Eurasian “Treasurebox” Mountains – the Ural mountains is a mountain range containing the Virgin Komi Forests, in ancient times was known as the Riphean Mountains. There are many deposits of silver, iron, and coal here, and gems such as topaz can be found. Bordering Kazakhstan, its highest point is Mount Narodnaya. This mountain range, is often cited as the divider between Europe and Asia (source: www.aegisquestions.com)

According to  Ruth B. Bottigheimer in Fairy Tales: A New History Rip Van Winkle is a Celtic tale overlaid with indigenous elements from local European tales, we suggest looking for common origins or center of dispersion in the oldest European centers.

Zharnikova in “On the possible location of Holy Hara and Meru in Indo-Iranian (Aryan)mythology“, it is proposed that Hara, (ie Hartz-Elburz), Meru, Ripei mountains, Hyperborea … all point to the same location – the Ural mountains, and the homeland of the Indo-Iranian body of myths.

A second possible origin of the Rip van Winkle tale is associated with the related and close version of the Karl Katz tale, and its origin being part of the Hartz Legends, pinpoints an origin in the Hartz mountains. See Karl Katz – a mystery solved by Donald Sauter:

I have a book called Grimms’ Fairy Tales. It has a green cover and 317 pages. It was published by Grosset & Dunlap. It has brittle, brown pages and everything about it seems very old. There is no publication date, but I think it can be dated to 1918-1919. A note on the title page says the book was “produced under wartime conditions, in full compliance with government regulations for the conservation of paper and other essential materials.” I couldn’t find any other books with a similar statement, but a web search does turn up WWI-era sheet music published in a reduced size and displaying a similar notice.

It has a story called Karl Katz which is Rip Van Winkle down cold. This intrigued me, and delving all the resources at hand, including the internet, I failed to find any mention of Washington Irving’s “Rip Van Winkle” being a direct reworking of the Grimm Brothers’ fairy tale “Karl Katz”.

What that tells me is that the first printing of this, what we might call the “totally revised” edition of German Popular Stories, came out around 1838, since the first volume of the first edition of German Popular Stories, which introduced Grimm tales in English, appeared in 1823. Due to the popularity of that, a second volume came out in 1826. (“Volume” is my terminology; the editors called it the second “series”. I think it’s easiest to use the same title German Popular Stories for the two original volumes, the totally revised edition, and all reissues and reprintings thereof, and add modifiers as needed.)

The Karl Katz in German Popular Stories is almost letter-for-letter identical to the one in my green book. (I found one alternate spelling, “clew” vs. “clue”, and a few extra paragraph breaks in the green book.) Of interest is the lengthy footnote given on the first page of the one in German Popular Stories. It begins,

Freely translated from the “Ziegenhirt” of Ottmar’s “Volks Sagen,” or Hartz Legends.

The next paragraph says,

The author of The Sketch-Book [Washington Irving] made use of this tale in his “Rip van Winkle.”

the title of the 1864 printing is German Fairy Tales and Popular Stories, but otherwise, the books appear to be identical, content-wise. Even the Prefaces are identical, all four beginning:

Nearly fifteen years ago the English public had its first regular introduction to the curious and amusing popular Tales circulating among the Germans, as collected, and so admirably edited, by the learned and excellent MM. Grimm, brethren not only in kindred but in literary taste and industry.

Another race of that class of readers [i.e., another generation of children] for whose entertainment such stories are more peculiarly adapted has since arisen, and the Translators have been induced once again to resort to the sources from whence they drew their former supply, for the purpose of re-arranging, revising, and adding to their budget, so as to produce it in a new form, and with the omission of those parts for which it is probable least interest will be felt.

What that tells me is that the first printing of this, what we might call the “totally revised” edition of German Popular Stories, came out around 1838, since the first volume of the first edition of German Popular Stories, which introduced Grimm tales in English, appeared in 1823. Due to the popularity of that, a second volume came out in 1826. (“Volume” is my terminology; the editors called it the second “series”. I think it’s easiest to use the same title German Popular Stories for the two original volumes, the totally revised edition, and all reissues and reprintings thereof, and add modifiers as needed.)

The Karl Katz in German Popular Stories is almost letter-for-letter identical to the one in my green book. (I found one alternate spelling, “clew” vs. “clue”, and a few extra paragraph breaks in the green book.) Of interest is the lengthy footnote given on the first page of the one in German Popular Stories. It begins,

Freely translated from the “Ziegenhirt” of Ottmar’s “Volks Sagen,” or Hartz* Legends.

The next paragraph says,

The author of The Sketch-Book [Washington Irving] made use of this tale in his “Rip van Winkle.”

That sounds ambiguous, but “this tale” has to refer to Der Ziegenhirt (The Goatherd), not Karl Katz. Here is the chronology:

In 1800 “Der Ziegenhirt” appears in Ottmar’s “Volks-Sagen”.

In 1811 “Der Ziegenhirt” appears in Bu”sching’s “Volks-Sagen, Ma”rchen und Legenden.”

Between 1812 and 1819 the first two editions of both volumes of the Grimm tales appear – with no “Ziegenhirt” story in any of them.

In 1819 Washington Irving, who has been living in England since 1815, has “Rip Van Winkle” published in America.

In 1823 the first English translations of Grimm tales appear in a book called German Popular Stories.

In 1826 the second volume of German Popular Stories appears, and “Peter the Goatherd”, based on “Der Ziegenhirt”, is included.

About 1838, Edgar Taylor produces a second, totally revised, edition of German Popular Stories. He beefs up the “Peter the Goatherd” story even further into “Karl Katz”.

So, besides being solved, the original Karl Katz mystery is flip-flopped. Instead of asking, “Where did Washington Irving hear of Karl Katz?”, one might wonder, “Did Edgar Taylor’s familiarity with Rip Van Winkle infuse Peter the Goatherd and Karl Katz to any extent?” We’ll see in a section further down that it did, in the case of Karl Katz.

About the Ottmar vs. Bu”sching versions of “Der Ziegenhirt”, they are for all intents and purposes identical, if I can trust my internet sources. I saw a slight difference in some punctuation, and, where Ottmar has “Marie”, Bu”sching has “Maria”.

Another interesting web find is the endnote to Irving’s Rip Van Winkle story. I have about eight or so Rip Van Winkle‘s in my library, but none include the endnote. Irving, in his humorous fashion, strenuously denies that the story was suggested by tales of the Kyffha”user mountain (from whence Der Ziegenhirt story came), thereby trumpeting to all the world, of course it was!

..

*Hartz = Hara??? (Echoes of Hara Benzaiti?) — was the homeland of the myths or center from which these Riphaen/Rip van winkle-like tales of journeying into or lost among the mountain myths dispersed???

The following districts (Kreise) fall wholly or partly within the Harz: Goslar and Osterode am Harz in the west, Harz and Mansfeld-Südharz in the north and east, and Nordhausen in the south. The districts of the Upper Harz are Goslar and Osterode (both in Lower Saxony), whilst the Lower Harz is on the territory of Harz and Mansfeld-Südharz districts (both in Saxony-Anhalt). The Upper Harz is generally higher and features fir forests, whilst the Lower Harz gradually descends into the surrounding area and has deciduous forests interspersed with meadows.

The dividing line between Upper and Lower Harz follows approximately a line from Ilsenburg to Bad Lauterberg, which roughly separates the catchment areas for the Weser (Upper Harz) and Elbe (Lower Harz). Only on the southeastern perimeter of the Upper Harz, which is also called the High Harz (Hochharz)

These Indo-European lineages probably represent PIE migrations from the same Riphaen mountains in the High Hara mountain that spawned the myths of Urashima, Pandora, etc.

Evidence is found in the names –

Just as Hara Benzaiti represents the highest peak for the Aryans (Indo-Iranians), the incoming Germanic migrants settling the Saxony lands, nostalgic for their Aryan homeland, named the highest peaks of the  in Harz is the highest mountain range in Northern Germany Harz. The name Harz derives from the Middle High German word Hardt or Hart (mountain forest), but probably originated from Hara-(Benzaiti).

They named their districts within the Harz: Goslar and Osterode am Harz in the west, Harz and Mansfeld-Südharz in the north and east, and Nordhausen in the south. The districts of the Upper Harz are Goslar and Osterode (both in Lower Saxony), whilst the Lower Harz is on the territory of Harz…the Upper Harz is generally higher and features fir forests, whilst the Lower Harz gradually descends into the surrounding area and has deciduous forests interspersed with meadows…reminscent of the Takamagahara (lit. High Hara) plains. On the southeastern perimeter of the Upper Harz, which is also called the High Harz (Hochharz). (see Wikipedia article Harz)

Similarly, the setting for the Peter the Goatherd tale was Kyffhäuser (etymology: from the word “cuffese” meaning head, dome or peak)

The Kyffhäuser (German pronunciation: [ˈkɪfˌhɔʏzɐ]) is a range of hills located on the border of the German state of Thuringia with Saxony-Anhalt. It stands on the southern edge of the Harz. The range has a length of 19 kilometres (12 mi) and a width of 7 kilometres (4.3 mi). It reaches its highest point at the Kulpenberg (473.4 metres (1,553 ft)), situated in Thuringia. The Kyffhäuser has significance in German traditional mythology as the resting place of Emperor Frederick Barbarossa, who drowned on June 10, 1190 in the Göksu River near Silifke during the Third Crusade.

He was by inheritance Duke of Swabia (1147–1152, as Frederick III). He was the son of Duke Frederick II of the Hohenstaufendynasty. His mother was Judith, daughter of Henry IX, Duke of Bavaria, from the rival House of Welf, and Frederick therefore descended from Germany’s two leading families source: House_of_Welf

Suebi=Swabians =Serbian=???  it is of Sarmatian (Iranian) tribal origin. In this hypothesis, the Proto-Slavic *Sьrbji “Serbs” (Srbi in modern Serbian) could come from the Sarmatian *sœrb “freeman”, which is cognate with the Proto-Slavic *sębrъ.[43]

Two thousand years ago, the Suebi or Suevi were an Elbe Germanic tribe whose origin was near the Baltic Sea, which was thus known to the Romans as the Mare Suebicum (today, the term “Swabian Sea” is applied to Lake Constance) Two thousand years ago, the Suebi or Suevi were an Elbe Germanic tribe whose origin was near the Baltic Sea, which was thus known to the Romans as the Mare Suebicum (today, the term “Swabian Sea” is applied to Lake Constance). They migrated to the southwest, becoming part of the Alamannic confederacy. The Alamanni were ruled by independent kings throughout the fourth and fifth centuries. Also, a number of Suevi (20,000–50,000) reached the Iberian Peninsula under king Hermeric and established an independent kingdom in 410 in what is now northern PortugalGalicia, and western regions of Asturias and most of León (in northwest Spain). Their kingdom was known as Galliciense Regnum and endured until 585. Its political center was Braccara Augusta (present-day Braga, Portugal).

The Danube Swabians (Donauschwaben) is a collective term for the German-speaking population who lived in various countries, especially alongside the Danube River valley. Because of different developments within the territory settled, the Danube Swabians cannot be seen as a unified people. They include the Germans of HungarySatu Mare Swabians, the Banat Swabians, and the Vojvodina Germans in Serbia’s Vojvodina who called themselves Schwowe in a Germanized spelling or “Shwoveh” in an English spelling, and Croatia‘s Slavonia (especially in the Osijek region)

Urals the Treasure Box of minerals from the Bronze Age
Riphean Mountains is cognate with the Urals region and the Ural mountains where circum-Pontic and Eurasia-wide metallurgical networks thrived, see The Urals and Western Siberia in the Bronze and Iron Ages, p. 33 by Ludmila Koryakova, Andrej Epimakhov.
These networks expanded and replicated themselves. They had a sacral and mysterious secret nature to them, with many mythical  traditions.  Two major centres have been identified –  associated with the Abashevo cultural area, one in the Don River and another in the Urals’ Balanbash site.
In Greco-Roman antiquityPliny the Elder thought that the Urals correspond to the Riphean Mountains  mentioned by various authors, including Arabic sources of the 10th century. As attested by Sigismund von Herberstein, in the 16th century Russians called the range by a variety of names derived from the Russian words for rock (stone) and belt. The modern Russian name for the Urals (Урал, Ural), which first appeared in the 16th-17th century, was initially applied to its southern parts and gained currency as the name of the entire range during the 18th century. It might be a borrowing from either Turkic (Bashkir, where the same name is used for the range), or Ob-Ugric.  From the 13th century, in Bashkortostan there has been a legend about a hero named Ural. He sacrificed his life for the sake of his people and they poured a stone pile over his grave which later turned into the Ural Mountains.
The Urals have been viewed by Russians as a “treasure box” of mineral resources, which were the basis for its extensive industrial development. In addition to iron and copper the Urals were a source of gold, malachitealexandrite, and other gems such as those used by the court jeweler Fabergé. As Russians in other regions gather mushrooms or berries, Uralians gather mineral specimens and gems.Dmitry Mamin-Sibiryak (1852–1912) Pavel Bazhov (1879–1950), as well as Aleksey Ivanov and Olga Slavnikova, post-Soviet writers, have written of the region. See Urals and Western Siberia in the Bronze and Iron Ages
Alternatively, the Riphaen mountains are identified with Nortmannia’s stony mountains in In Northern Mists (Volume 1 of 2) by Nansen:
“”In many parts of Nordmannia and Suedia people even of the highest rank are herdsmen,[185] living in the style of the patriarchs and by the labour of their hands. But all who dwell in Norvegia are very Christian, with the exception of those who live farther north along the coast of the ocean [i.e., in Finmark]. It is said they are still so powerful in their arts of sorcery and incantations, that they claim to know what is done by every single person throughout the world. In addition to this they attract whales to the shore by loud mumbling of words, and many other things which are told in books of the sorcerers, and which are all easy for them by practice.[186] On the wildest alps of that part I heard that there are women with beards,[187] but the men who live in the forests [i.e., the waste tracts ?] seldom allow themselves to be seen. The latter use the skins of wild beasts for clothes, and when they speak to one another it is said to be more like gnashing of teeth than words, so that they can scarcely be understood by their neighbours.[188] The same mountainous tracts are called by the Roman authors the Riphean Mountains, which are terrible with eternal snow. The Scritefingi [Skridfinns] cannot live away from the cold of the snow, and they outrun the wild beasts in their chase across the very deep snowfields. In the same mountains there is so great abundance of wild animals that the greater part of the district lives on game alone. They catch there uri [== aurochs; perhaps rather ‘ursi’ == bears ?], bubali [antelopes == reindeer ?], and elaces [elks] as in Sueonia; but in Sclavonia and Ruzzia bisons are taken; only Nortmannia however has black foxes and hares, and white martens and bears of the same colour, which live under water like uri (?),[189] but as many things here seem altogether different and unusual to our people, I will leave these and other things to be related at greater length by the inhabitants of that country.”
“[iv. 30.] “Nortmannia [Norway], as it is the extreme province of the earth, may also be suitably placed last in our book. It is called by the people of the present day ‘Norguegia’ [or ‘Nordvegia’] … This kingdom extends to the extreme region of the North, whence it has its name.” From “projecting headlands in the Baltic Sound it bends its back northwards, and after it has gone in a bow along the border of the foaming ocean, it finds its limit in the Riphean Mountains, where also the circle of the earth is tired and leaves off. Nortmannia is on account of its stony mountains or its immoderate cold the most unfertile of all regions, and only suited to rearing cattle. …  They live at peace with their neighbours, namely the Sveones, although they are sometimes raided, but not with impunity, by the Danes, who are equally poor. Consequently, forced by their lack of possessions, they wander over the whole world and by their piratical expeditions bring home the greater part of the wealth of the countries.”
The folktale travels along coasts and crosses seas – a maritime dispersal
There is a Rip van Winkle version that is of Indian Vedic provenance, the Vedic period was when the Indo-Aryans with whom the Vedic civilization is associated, settled into northern India, bringing with them their specific religious traditions.
Muchukunda(son of King Mandhata of the  Ikshvaku-Vansh dynasty, or Suryavansh Dynasty of Kshatriyas in Vedic civilization in ancient India) came out of the cave. He was astonished to see the size of various beings. The size of all creatures had shrunken due to evolution during the longtime that he was alseep. Then Muchukunda went to north to Gandamadana Mountain and from there to Badrika Ashrama. The difference between Rip Van Winkle’s story and Muchukunda’s story is that Rip Van Winkle escaped fighting the war for independence as he was asleep, but Muchukunda slept after having participated in the war. Another difference is that Rip Van Winkle was separated from his family and friends due to the sleep. Muchukunda was separated from his family and friends due to war. Finally, Rip Van Winkle did not plan for the sleep. On the other hand, Muchukunda’s sleep was voluntary.

The Muchukunda story is a classic European faerie tale of a man who is actually rewarded for helping the faeries move their barrel. They advance him to a time in life where he is free of his nagging wife and it now old enough for it be respectable for him to take it easy and play with children, working when he wants to instead of when he has to, supported by his loving, grown, children.

These Indo-European fairytales suggest that the folklore originated in very ancient, and dispersed overland from inland mountains, both westwards to the Irish isles and eastwards to Japanese isles.

A Tibetan tale of two brothers, alternatively titled the Lost Prince, is said to be derived on Indian sources:

Prince Kshemankara was a kind and generous person. His younger brother, Papankara, was more suspicious and also jealous brother by nature. Kshemankara decided to take a fleet of ships and search for riches in other lands and he stumbles upon the Island of Jewels, and loads up his ship with all manner of jewels and turns to go home. Papankara went along with him but plots to take away his brother’s life. Now, Prince Kshemankara had made fast to his girdle some large jewels of great value. On the way back,  the ship was rendered useless in consequence of an injury inflicted by a sea monster (some versions say a storm capsized their ship). Kshemankara managed to get his unconscious brother to the shore, before he too collapsed. Papankara threw his arms round the neck of Kshemankara, and after great exertion brought him ashore. Exhausted by the burden, Kshemankara fell asleep. As he lay sleeping, Papankara caught sight of the jewels fastened to his girdle, and thought, “Ought I to return with empty hands while he comes back with such jewels?”

Then he took away the jewels from his soundly sleeping brother, put both his eyes out with a thorn, and left him sightless on the ocean shore.

Many months later, Papankara returned home alone and was made king. After some time, he sought the hand of a neighboring king’s daughter in marriage. However, the story ends with the daughter falling in love with the lute playing of the blind Kshemankara and the blind Kshemankara’s eyes being restored their sight as the princess and prince swear that their statements are true.

Originally of Indian origin, the tale of the two brothers (similar to a number of tales involving truth and falsehood) travelled with Buddhist monks to monastries in Tibet. Source: The two brothers; Tibetan tales, derived from Indian Sources, translated from the Tibetan of the Kah-gyur, Source: F. Anton von Schiefner; done into English from the German by W. R. S. Ralston (London: Trübner and Company, 1882), no. 18, pp. 279-85.

This tale, together with the Russian Sadko tale, gives us perhaps, an idea of how somewhere along the route of dispersal of the myth, the lost traveler hunter-farmer-woodcutter tales may have been transformed from a mountain setting later into a more watery Undersea setting with a farmer-fisherman version instead, and a sea monster and dragon, as the tale reached merchant port centres and was spread along merchant sea-routes by sailors.

Bibliographic information on other versions/variants:

 

Many versions of the Japanese tale, commonly known as “Urashima,” “Urashima Taro,” or “Urashima the Fisherman, the sources listed here are mostly from Amanda Jones’ Story Cue Card.”

“Urashima” in Japanese Fairy Tales.  By Lafcadio Hearn.  New York:

Horace Liveright, 1928.

The Fisherman Under the Sea.  By Miyoko Matsutani.  Illustrated by Chihiro Iwasaki.  English version by Alvin Tresselt.  New York: Parents’ Magazine Press, 1969.

“Urashima the Fisherman” in Japanese Tales.  Selected, edited, and translated by Royall Tyler.  New York: Pantheon Books, 1987.  p. 154-107.

“Urashima the Fisherman” in Tales Alive!  Ten Multicultural Folktales with Activities.  Retold by Susan Milord.  Illustrated by Michael A. Donato.  Charlotte, Vermont: Williamson Publishing, 1995.  p. 103-107.

“Urashima the Fisherman” in Wonder Tales from Around the World.  By Heather Forest.  Illustrated by David Boston.  Little Rock: August House Publishers Inc., 1995.  p. 31-34.

“Urashima Taro” by Rafe Martin in Ready-To-Tell Tales.  Edited by David Holand Bill Mooney.  Little Rock: August House Publishers, Inc., 1994.  p. 64-68.

“Urashima Taro” in Folktales of the World.  Edited by Keigo Seki.  Translated by Robert J. Adams.  Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1963.  p. 111-114.

“Urashima Taro” in Mysterious Tales of Japan.  By Rafe Martin.  Illustrated by Tatsuro Kiuchi.  New York: G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 1996.  p. 5-11.

“Urashima Taro” in Old Tales of Japan: Volume 1.  By Yuri Yasuda.  Illustrations by Yoshinobu Sakakura.  Japan: Dai-Nippon Printing Co., 1947.  p. 63-92.

“The Young Urashima” in Japanese Tales and Legends.  Retold by Helen and William McAlpine.  New York: Oxford University Press, 1993.  p. 106-120.

Bibliographic information on other versions/variants, source references and further readings:

Bily, Cynthia “Critical Essay on ‘Rip Van Winkle’.” Short Stories for Students. Ed. David M. Galens. Vol. 16. Detroit: Gale, 2002. Literature Resource Center. Gale. De Anza College. 21 Oct. 2009

Full text of “Rip Van Winkle” – Internet Archive

Rip Van Winkle – Educational Technology Clearinghouse etc.usf.edu/lit2go/171/american-short-fiction/3461/ripvanwinkle/

“The Titan Prometheus (far right) is seated, busy with the crafting of mankind. Behind him stands a goddess (Tones ?), and above the butterfly-winged Psykhe (Soul) and Hermes holding a caduceus wand. In the lower left corner stands Aion (Time personified) holding a band inscribed with the signs of the zodiac. Beside him is seated Gaia (Mother Earth) surrounded by a host of little Karpoi (Fruits) carrying their baskets of fruit. Aion may here be the same as Ouranos (Heaven), the consort of Gaia. The four winged ladies above Aion labelled “Erop-” or “Erot-“(?) are probably the goddesses of the four seasons. Beside them stand figures labelled Georgia (Farmer) and Gripeus (Fisherman). Both wear rustic caps. Along the top are the heads of four blowing Wind-gods and a pair of winged boys named Drosoi (Pure Waters) who pour liquid from pottery vessels. The winds in the top left hand corner are labelled Notos (South Wind) and Euros (East), and those at the top right Zephyros (West) and Boreas (North).”

 

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