Since moving to Germany in the early 1980s, Tawada Yōko has used elements of both Japanese folktales and German legends in her work. Many of her novels, short stories, and plays deal with the anxiety of being caught between different languages and cultures. Tawada also explores the slipperiness of words and the fundamental untrustworthiness of language. Both of these aspects of her writing are present in her tale “Futakuchi otoko” (The Man with Two Mouths), which follows a group of Japanese tourists who, while on a tour of Lower Saxony, encounter the infamous medieval trickster Till Eulenspiegel. In the excerpts presented here, the first to be published in English, the tourists are treated to a number of tricks and jests, including, in at least one adventure, Till’s ability to speak through two mouths.


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pp. 321-329
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