Tasty Baby Belly Monkeys Analysis

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found, the author writes “a melon came floating along, tsunbara, tsunbara…He was just getting ready to cut it open when he heard a crying noise, boro, boro.” The incorporation of these Japanese words strengthens the connection between the book and Japanese, even though the true essence of the culture and its values were stripped, thus perpetuating the lack of understanding of Japanese culture in America. Another classic Japanese folktale that has made its way to the United States is The Crab and the Monkey, but the American version has experienced some dramatic changes. The original story focuses on the importance of family and respect in Japanese culture, starting with a cunning monkey that tricks a crab into trading his rice ball for a…show more content…
Sierra, however, adds onomatopoeic phrases throughout the story, but only to improve the flow of the book and not for their actual onomatopoeic effect. This is an example of what Hill would refer to as indirect “borrowings-as-theft,” because Sierra “reshape[s] the meaning of the borrowed material into forms that advance their own interest, making it useless or irrelevant, or even antithetical, to the interests of the donor community.” Similarly, The Crab and the Monkey falls victim to many of the same things as Tasty Baby Belly Buttons. Although the American version of The Crab and the Monkey does not directly borrow specific Japanese words, it does borrow the story and changes it. This is another example of “borrowings-as-theft,” as once again the story is borrowed, but the meaning is reshaped to teach kids about a disagreement between two animals instead of the original lessons on respect and honor. Both American versions are guilty of linguistic appropriation by Hill’s definition, as they “use appropriated words and ways of speaking to make claims on a wide range of desirable qualities” , but the motives behind examples like this are unclear and much
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