My research looks at fairy tale retellings in Japanese and English. Having published a monograph on new versions of Hans Christian Andersen’s “The Little Mermaid”, I am now shifting my focus from “imaginary” to “real” animals. Whereas many fairy tale studies focus on the anthropomorphic, symbolic aspect of animal characters, I am interested in how fairy tales can reflect actual animal behaviours and characteristics, as well as the realities of human-animal relationships in particular societies at particular times. I also hope to explore how fantastical and magical representations of animals can–like more “realistic” depictions–encourage human readers to connect more closely with other species.
Research interests / activities