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The nymph and fisherman.


The Hagoromo Legend (羽衣 – Feather Robe) is a well established legend/folktale known throughout Japan. The story was later adapted into a Noh Play of the same name.

The story states that there was a celestial nymph (tenyo) who was bathing in the sea. A fisherman comes across her and steals her garment refusing to give it back. She needs to garment to be able to return to Heaven and so she is forced to stay with the fisherman and marry him.

Eventually she manages to get a hold of her garment and finally ascend back to Heaven.1

More specifically, the fisherman takes her dress as he desires her. She also bears him children before getting him to return the dress. When he does so, before returning to Heaven, she thanks him with a dance.2


1. Kodansha. (1993) ”Japan: An Illustrated Encyclopedia”. Tokyo: Kodansha Ltd.
2. Louis Frederic, translated by Kathe Roth (2002) “Japan Encyclopedia”. London: Harvard University Press.

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