How and why do we tell myths?

Hello!!! 😀 For this blog post I will be talking about myths.

At first, you might be wondering what myths are. Myths are a special type of story that can relate to important traditions and beliefs. These myths can be completely fictional or either based on a real experience. But all myths are very old and were thought to be created in past. According to this folklorist called Alan Dundes, he says that myths are a sacred story which explain how the world and humankind were assumed to be formed in this present way. Some myths can be about heros, some could be about gods and some could also be about mythical creatures.

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Usually myths are unrealistic and improssible in our world, but they can have some sort of a purpose or intention. I think this is one of the reason why myths are told by people. Myths don’t always have to be just a story; they can teach you lessons and bring you hope towards the future. Many people in the olden days told myths to help children learn a lesson and realize at why they live in part of this world. In a myth, a character can do something bad and can strongly be pusnished for what he or she did. Children can learn lots of things from these myths and believe in different kinds of things after they are told about the myth by adults. Myths don’t have to have happy endings after all and can have a sad ending unlike fairy tales. Most fairy tales include a hero, heroine and a helper for the hero. Common fairy tales are a story with a princess getting saved by a price and everything going back together. For myths it’s kind of the same, but the endings could be absolutely different with fairy tale stories.

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A picture of Susanoo on the left and Amaterasu on the right ⤴ 

For example, there’s this god in Japan called Amaterasu and Susanoo, along with a short story about them to teach a lesson about being arrogant and respective to all gods. Amaterasu is the goddess of the sun and the universe. On the other hand, Susanoo is the god of sea and storms. These two are sister and brother, but don’t really have a close relationship. The story starts off when Izanagi, the creator god, gives the whole sea to Susanoo, his son. Susanoo didn’t want to have the sea to himself, but he wanted to go to the “Nenokuni”, a world of where Amaterasu and Izanami, the creator goddess lives. But, Izanagi refuses for Susanoo to go there and tells him that he should never live in Japan anymore. He doesn’t listen to Izanagi and goes to “Takamagahara”, the land where Amaterasu had ruled over. Amaterasu heard the ground shake and thought it was Susanoo who was going to take over Takamagahara, so she brought a bow and arrow to protect her land by killing him. She hides into a cave and when several gods show up to help her out, Susanoo gets put in the neather world. This myth is a true mythical story that represents all Japanese myths.  There’s no specific name for this traditional Japanese myth, but it could be called the 『アマテラスとスサノオの誓約』in which means the pledge of Amaterasu and Susanoo.

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All in all, I think that myths aren’t only to entertain people with interesting and fun stories. Myabe myths are told for teaching lessons. This could help people about understanding their own beliefs and knowing about their culture more. Lots of myths are passed on to the future and even now their are myths that we hear and listen to.

Author Visit

Adam Gidwitz

      

Three of the Grimm story books that Adam Gidwitz wrote

My story that I made

Yesterday, the author of the Grimm story books, Adam Gidwitz came to visit YIS from New York. He told us about a story called the “Juniper Tree” and answered many questions from us. After then, we created stories of our own and shared them to each other. He taught us very good ways of writing stories using a variety of techniques. I learned that having some imagination helps make a good story. It was really fun meeting him and I would like to read all of his three books he wrote.