Murai Mayako


The visual recasting of fairy tales by Yanagi Miwa (1967–) reverses, blends, and dissolves the binary oppositions well established in traditional European fairy tales, which are often typified by the opposition between the princess and the witch. Although her fairy-tale reimagining can be seen as a feminist reinterpretation of the Freudian uncanny (unheimlich), the same image may reveal itself as just another artifice that can constrict women’s lives and imaginations. Yanagi also dismantles the quintessential storytelling space of the fireside—a symbol of the homely and the familiar (heimlich)—to which women and children have traditionally been confined in a patriarchal society.