Thursday, May 20, 2010

Monkey & Mizukurage クラゲ

Beached Moon jellyfish, Aurelia Aurita or Mizukurage, a soft-bodied - transparent animal that swims by gently undulating its bell-shaped body. The threadlike tentacles around the edge of the bell can sting, and may occasionally catch small swimming animals for food, but their stings are not powerful enough to pierce human skin. The following Japanese folk story tells of how the jellyfish became a gelatinous pile of goo:

The jellyfish was a staff member at the sea palace, the governing capital of the oceans at the bottom of the sea. The sea princess there became gravely ill and could only be cured by consuming the live liver of a monkey. A tortoise messenger was sent up to the coast to procure a live monkey and upon finding one high up in a pine tree, the tortoise deceived him with an invitation - as an honored guest - to the sea palace. The monkey, being a trusting animal grabbed onto the tortious' shell and together they visited the palace. The monkey found exotic entertainment and foods unmatched in the world above the ocean. However, the jellyfish mocked and laughed at the monkey for being so gullible and eventually admitted the true reason for the lavish feast - to furnish the live monkey liver to save the princess. The monkey, while trusting, was also very cunning and called the tortoise and said that he had forgotten his gift for the princess on his tree back at the shore. The tortoise and monkey hurriedly returned to the shore and once back to his pine tree, the monkey refused to come down. When the tortoise eventually returned, he reported that the monkey was made wise of the plans to take his liver and as punishment for their role all of the jellyfishes' bones were removed.

Unfortunately, I have no idea what happens to the princess. . .


  1. I understood none of that story, but I did imagine the Little Mermaid the entire time! Hope you're having a good time!

  2. I am having a good time - adjusting to the culture is a challenge but it has many things to offer and experience. The person that told me the story seems to have left out a lot of details so I don't fully follow it either. . .