a woman wearing a crown and feathery cape

Asian fantasy and folklore are two genres that are growing steadily in the western world right now. Asian fantasy refers to the genre of fantasy set in an Asian-inspired world, while Asian folklore is a genre of storytelling that draws on Asia’s traditional folklore.

Is there a difference between Asian Fantasy and Folklore?

Technically speaking, from my view point, yes. But their is a small difference. That fantasy is something that originates from one’s imagination, whereas a folktale is a tale or story that is part of a people’s or a place’s oral tradition. Both the genres have a wide and loyal fanbase. There are many popular Asian fantasy and folklore stories adapted into movies, TV shows, and comics. Some of the most popular Asian fantasy and folklore stories include The Monkey King, Journey to the West, and Mulan.

Asian fantasy and folklore are both rich and varied that offer something for everyone. If you’re a fan of either genre, check out some of the most excellent Asian fantasy and folklore stories out there!

European vs Asian Folklore

People have passed Asian fantasy and folklore down through generations, and are an integral part of Asian culture. From ancient tales of dragons and gods to modern stories of magical creatures and heroic journeys, these stories have captivated audiences of all ages. While there are many differences between Asian fantasy and European fantasy, one of the most noticeable is the focus on family and community in the Asian stories. In many Asian tales, the hero or heroine is not an individual, but part of a larger group, working together to achieve a common goal. This emphasis on community reflects Asian values of cooperation and interdependence.

Examining my corpus of Central Asian wonder tales and heroic tales indeed nets a considerable number of stories that feature women and girls who are at least as capable as their male counterparts intellectually and physically.”

From: the Fate of Magically Strong Heroines
in Central Asian Folktales by washington ellison center

Another key difference is the relationship between humans and nature in Asian fantasy. In Europe, nature is often seen as something to be conquered, while in Asia, nature is respected and often seen as an ally. This is reflected in Asian fantasy stories featuring magical creatures who live in harmony with humans.

Asian fantasy and folklore have been a source of inspiration for many stories and films. From the ancient epic of the Monkey King to the more modern film, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, these tales have captured people’s imaginations across the globe.

Asian fantasy and folklore have many other elements. One of the most common is the use of animals. In many stories, animals are used to represent different aspects of human nature. For example, in the Monkey King story, the main character is a monkey who gains superpowers. He utilizes his powers to help others and fight evil. This is a common theme in Asian folklore, where animals are used to symbolize strength, wisdom, and other positive qualities.

Full of rich and fascinating stories, Asian fantasy and folklore use magical objects. These stories have inspired many films and books. Asian stories use magical objects to help heroes and heroines overcome difficult challenges. If you’re looking for an exciting source of inspiration, be sure to check out these tales from Asia.

Amazing Asian Fantasy Books You Should Read

Descendant of the Crane

In New York Times and Indie bestselling author Joan He’s debut novel, Descendant of the Crane, a determined and vulnerable young heroine struggles to do right in a world brimming with deception. This gorgeous, Chinese-inspired fantasy is packed with dizzying twists, complex characters, and intricate politics.

Kaikeyi: A Novel

“With a graceful, measured elegance” (New York Times), this lyrical novel reimagines the life of the infamous queen from the ancient epic the Ramayana, giving voice to an extraordinary woman determined to leave her mark in a world where gods and men dictate the shape of things to come.

Wicked Fox

Eighteen-year-old Gu Miyoung has a secret–she’s a gumiho, a nine-tailed fox who must devour the energy of men in order to survive. Because so few believe in the old tales anymore, and with so many evil men no one will miss, the modern city of Seoul is the perfect place to hide and hunt.

Thanks for reading and remember:

Live. Laugh. Love.

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