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Story No. 978

Birth and Naming

Book Name:

Aino Folk-Tales

Tradition: Japan, Aino

Before birth, clothes are got ready for the expected baby, who is washed as soon as born [For the only time in its whole life!]. The divine symbols are set up, and thanks are offered to the gods. Only women are present on the occasion. Generally in each village there are one or two old women who act as midwives.

The child may be named at any time. Ishanashte said that it was usually two or three months, Penri said that it was two or three years, after birth. The name chosen is usually founded on some circumstance connected with the child, but sometimes it is meaningless. The parent's name is never given, for that would be unlucky. How, indeed, could a child continue to be called by such a name when its father had become a dead man, and consequently one not to be mentioned without tears?


Written down from memory. Told by Penri and Ishanashte, July, 1886.


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