darkestnova (darkestnova) wrote in little_details,
darkestnova
darkestnova
little_details

Japanese folklore and language questions

Hi, all!  Just a couple of quick questions.

I have a character, a young Japanese woman going to college in the United States.  She speaks English fluently, but sometimes slips into her native language when she's upset.  At the moment, I have another character address her by a nickname she hasn't used since childhood, and she answers in Japanese, "That person is dead!"  I want her to say this in the sense of, "I'm a different person now and you're not allowed to call me by that name," while also foreshadowing the upcoming revelation that she's actually a ghost.  But I'm not sure if this can be directly translated.  Would a direct translation sound unnatural to a native Japanese speaker, and if so, is there a better way to say this?  Or should I just have her say it in English?

I have a Japanese textbook handy, but it's beginner level and not very helpful with idiom.  I haven't googled this one because I'm not at all sure what search terms would help.

Second question: this woman froze to death in a blizzard, and returned as a Yuki-Onna.  But because I have animal themes running throughout this story, I've also associated her with the nekomata.  I realize that this is a cat that can transform into human shape, but I'm tweaking a lot of folklore to suit my purposes, and it wouldn't be out of place in this universe for it to be the other way around, with human her natural form.

I've read up on yuki-onna, nekomata, and bakeneko, googled both together and separately, and I couldn't find anything linking the snow woman and the cat creature in any way.  If I were dealing with European folklore, I would have no problem throwing things together, but as I have no personal connection with Japan, I'm a bit concerned with cultural sensitivity.  So I'm just hoping for confirmation that I haven't overlooked any reason not to associate the character with both creatures.

Thanks so much!


Tags: japan: folklore, ~languages: japanese, ~religion: shinto
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