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Japanese Fairy Tales

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3.74 of 5 stars 3.74  ·  rating details  ·  1,373 ratings  ·  86 reviews
English translation of 22 tales include ghouls, goblins and ogres; sea serpents and sea kings; kindly animals and magic birds; demons and dragons; princes and princesses. Some are "Momotaro, "The Son of a Peach", "The Jellyfish and the Monkey", "The Mirror of Matsuyama", "The Bamboo Cutter and the Moon Child", "The Stones of Five Colors and the Empress Jokwa."
Paperback, 256 pages
Published May 15th 2007 by Tuttle Publishing (first published 1903)
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Taro Shijuukara
Things I learnt from Japanese Fairy Tales
-Never trust a monkey.
-Never trust a stepmother.
-Never trust a stepmother with your monkey.
-Almost every boy in Japan is named Taro, or a variant of that name: Kintaro, Urashima Taro, Momotaro...
-If an old man wants to wrestle your teenage son in the woods (because the old man was watching the boy earlier and saw that he was big and strong), it's perfectly fine to send your son to the capital alone with the old man.
-Take care of your elders.
-Something som
...more
Paquita Maria Sanchez
I've actually been chipping away at these for too long, but I finally concluded them, and feel like I've essentially read the Disney catalog in original form. Evil stepmothers slash stepchild-hating-wives, beat-to-shit-daughters, kind fathers, good intentions, Eveeeel, and MAGIC! abound because we are dealing with fairy tales. The good people are treated like bad people, then discovered to be magical lotus flowers of awesome sunbeam zen, while the bad peoples' heels bleed and they get punched in ...more
aljouharah altheeyb
وانتهت هذه الرحلة الممتعه مع واحد وعشرين قصه من القصص الشعبية اليابانية المعروفه ..
بالطبع كُنت أعرف بعضاً من هذه القصص لكني تمتعت جداً بالإستماع إليها مكتوبة بصيغة مبسطه كهذه تجعل حتى الغير مهتمين بالحضارة اليابانيه يفهمون مُصطلحاتها ..

قصه الرجل ذو الندبة على خده لا تنفك أبداً على إضحاكي !
حتى لإنها كانت موضوع أحد أقدم أفلام الأنمي القصيره بالعالم لكن بدلاً من أن يجد نفسه بحضور عصبة من الشياطين “ oni” وجده نفسه بين مجموعه من غربان الآلهة kras ..
القصص ممتعه جداً وجميله، وكعادة كُل القصص الشعبي
...more
Amber
This was a pretty interesting collection of Japanese fairy tales and my favorite story in the collection was My Lord bag of Rice though they all were good to read. Check it out.
An Odd1
Re-reading these five, with drawings, raised my overall rating. I first started text-only ebook called "Japanese Fairy Tales" not "Book" that has 22 tales
http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/4018

Why is editor Smith listed alone on the outer cover and inner title page, not the original author? Ozaki gets tiny print on copyright page. She has other books at gutenberg. Her full bio shows influences of two countries, Japan and England, depending where born, educated, married twice. Am reading yet anothe
...more
Lamski Kikita
I listened to these tales while working out, and they were really entertaining. I guess what this book gave me was kind of an awakening into Japanese culture, somewhat. I say somewhat because many aspects of these stories do not reflect anything about the way modern Japan is, but many other aspects explain the anime, the manga, the hello kitty peace ambassadors, the still sexist image of women, and many other things.
The more fairy tales I read, the more I see in common between different nations
...more
Sonja Arlow
In comparison to the Grimm Fairytales these stories almost seem to have no point or proper ending to them, with some just ending abruptly.

Whether this is is a case of the essence being lost in translation I cannot say for sure but I found this collection of short stories not nearly as charming as I hoped they would be.

My overall rating and enjoyment was also influenced by the fact that 1) I tend to be overly critical of audio-books (much more so than when I do the reading myself, 2) I have been
...more
Camille
I like fairy tales in general, I've always been attracted to them.
This selection was interesting, as I don't know much about Japanese Fairy Tales. However, I was bothered by the writing style - it has been written for Occidental children who know little to nothing about Japan, so a lot is explained, which annoyed me when reading.
Other than than, it's an enjoyable short read.
MoonTea
I was pleased to find the most popular stories here, along with a few new ones. There is that dream-like fairytale appeal, where things just happen and you don’t really question why a chestnut is talking or weather pulling out all of the rabbit’s fur was a suitable punishment. I feel the details of each are carefully preserved here, along with somewhat unnecessary amount of violence that seems to be present in old tales. But they’re quirky, cute, and offer a peek into the seams of Japan~ a found ...more
Stephanie R.
Mar 01, 2015 Stephanie R. rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: children, people who like short stories, good for reading aloud
These stories are great. I recommend reading one or two at a time. They are short enough to read out loud, which is another bonus. The stories generally fall into two possible paths. Some of them are about people (or talking animals) who do brave deeds or live a good, hardworking life and then they are rewarded for it. The others are about people or animals who do wicked things and then receive their just deserts. Almost all the stories have happy endings (but not necessarily happy beginnings or ...more
Amélie
Quite interesting read. To me they are more myths than fairy tales though.

It was interesting to see how some ideas/tropes that you find in western myths/tales are found also in these ones (though that might be due to the choice of stories), like the pattern of "good guy does one thing and gets good things in return, jealous bad guys tries same thing and gets bad things in return", or the "supernatural children found in plants or vegetables".

I'd definitely read more !
lita
Aug 12, 2011 lita rated it 3 of 5 stars
Shelves: e-book
Ternyata isi kumpulan dongeng ini pernah saya baca terjemahannya saat masih SD dulu, karena secara terpisah dimuat di majalah Bobo. Ada beberapa dongeng dalam buku ini yang memberi pengaruh kuat pada saya, misalnya "Burung Gagak yang Digunting Lidahnya". Sejak dibacakan - dan kemudian membaca sendiri - dongeng ini, bila ada orang menawarkan suatu benda pada saya, saya selalu memilih yang paling kecil.(lits)
Perry Whitford
The compiler and translator of these Japanese fairy tales married her near-namesake and prominent liberal politician Yukio Ozaki (he opposed his countries entry into WWII) when they met up after their mail had been misdelivered for years. That's an exquisite story in itself, as are the twenty two stories in this celebrated collection.

I was familiar with two of these stories beforehand. One of these, 'The Mirror of Matsuyama', is a truly delightful story, an ancient and homespun example of practi
...more
Monica Davis
Fairy tales filled with lessons of honor, repentance, justice, compassion. Seems that every culture has a tale in which an innocent character is warned:..."whatever happens don't go near or look into the inner room". And what always happens? Of course they look! Well, no good has ever come from that...

Yei Theodora Ozaki, the author/translator, states that "This collection of Japanese fairy tales is the outcome of a suggestion made to me indirectly through a friend by Mr. Andrew Lang." But unlike
...more
Maria
Wonderful read. Everywhere fairy tales have the same core elements, it seems. In terms of evil stepmothers, good brothers and jealous/evil brothers, virtuous wifes, magic plans and divine help. Although I don't actually have a thing for Japan nor Japanese culture, I was pleased to read these stories because it was nice to see some elements were particularly Japanese (or Eastern?), e.g. dragons, emperors, turtoises, sun and moon as living beings, cunning monkeys. The stories are Japanese, but I t ...more
An Odd1
.. to finish later when I get paper illustrated version
http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/4018
After enjoying "Japanese Fairy Tales", the paper version of excerpted 5 tales, I will ask inter-library for "Japanese Fairy Book", paper version of ebook misnamed "Japanese Fairy Tales". The drawings bring magic animals to life, so I enjoy re-reading. 22 tales, may not list all titles, will give you sample, just review first story for now. Warrior, dragon, peasant, princess, goblin, talking animal - magic
...more
Charlie
It turns out that fairy stories around the world are really very similar. I don't know why I expected the Japanese take on them to be very different. I recognised so many themes and stories in really surprisingly subtle new guises. In fact, I don't think there were any that blew me away and shouted "you wouldn't find this in a European tale".

I recognised the land I know as Fairy (here, the dragon king's palace under the sea) which has the power to change perception of time passing, longevity, va
...more
PurplyCookie
Originally published in 1903, Yei Theodora Ozaki's translation of Sadanami Sanjin's collection of Japanese fairy tales has been the introduction of many a young child into the legends and fables of old Japan across the years.

Many of the stories here are familiar with anyone even slightly interested in Japanese folklore. "Momotaro, or the Story of the Son of a Peach, "The Story of Urashima Taro, the Fisher Lad", "Kintaro the Golden Boy" and "The Ogre of Rashomon". Along with these, there are rar
...more
Kay
Typos are disappointing; clearly, the editor fell asleep on this one. However, the stories themselves are really interesting. Quite a few of them seem to end rather abruptly, and I can't decide if details were left out because of language barriers or if that's just the way Japanese fairytales go. It makes them jarring, even for short stories (which I dislike to begin with, because I always want them to last so much longer).

The further in I get, the more difficult it becomes to pay attention. Som
...more
Anne Jeppesen
This book, more than anything illustrates the difference between storytelling traditions around the world. From a European perspective the tales lack purpose, morale, struggle etc. I found the tales flat and uninspiring. Probably because I'm raised with the tales of European tradition. With set rules and all with a purpose to illustrate the struggles in life - or how far you can go if you really put an effort in.
Anushka Aritri
I initially started reading this book in order to get a better handle on what kind of morals and stories Japanese children build their axioms on. I had wished for better results, but I was very slightly disappointed. While the stories had their own twists, I will have to say that it wasn't the best reading experience for me.

So many sexist references! Warriors often deemed valiant, even though their actions or techniques weren't always the most noble?

So many things popped up to me, that it made
...more
An Odd1
I read ebook without pictures, would be delightful extra, will search libraries. Too many tales 22 to list titles. Warrior, dragon, peasant, princess, goblin, talking animal, magic throughout. Although the titles recall the tales, I re-read them repeatedly, like all classics.

From the first "My Lord Bag of Rice", the phrasing is simple but rhythmic and traditional: "Long, long ago there lived", "there is a very interesting story", "One day he sallied forth", "Crunch, crunch", "tramp, tramp". The
...more
L. Shosty
Great collection of folktales. Some of them involve samurai, which pleased the six year-old. However, "The Farmer and the Badger" is so inappropriate that we nearly quit the book entirely. It's filled with horrific, violent images, such as the badger murdering a character and cooking said character in a pot of soup, a character being burned horribly (then having hot chili sauce poured on his burns), and murder by drowning. This is otherwise a five-star collection. I'd recommend it to anyone who ...more
Mohamed Alwakeel
A great collection of ancient fairy tales from the land of Japan :) Though a normal reader may find them a little childish and too imaginary, but what do you expect from a "fairy tale"?
I consider it a very important reference for whoever is interested in Japanese culture. Certainly you will pass by many names and heroes mentioned here wherever you will read/listen/watch about japanese culture. More importantly, there are about 3 stories in this book which events occur in China, not Japan. Not s
...more
Amanda
While the stories within were quite good, spanning a nice range of themes and characters, the overall quality was disappointing. The translation was adequate at best and obviously simplified and condensed for the sake of being "kid-friendly", I suppose. The use of notes was inconsistent (especially when things that really should have been footnotes were just placed in brackets in the middle of the text) and the constant explanation of basic Japanese terms (like samurai) which are common knowledg ...more
Michael
Sep 12, 2014 Michael is currently reading it
My Lord Bag Of Rice - 4 Stars - Read August 2014
The Tongue-Cut Sparroe 4.5 Stars - Read September 7, 2014
THE STORY OF URASHIMA TARO, THE FISHER LAD - 4 Stars - Read September 12, 2014

Neowuf
Some stories are nice, most not have a good plot, but, I learn a little about the Japanese culture and a little of their mythology, for that the book worth read, also have a lot of talking animals.
Alisa
Many of the fairy tales I remember from childhood are in this book. As well as some stories I hadn't heard before. Perhaps it's because some of the stories I knew from the Japanese's children's TV show "Nihonmukashibanashi" edited the stories to make it more child friendly, but there were several fairy tales that weren't exactly how I remembered them. Also the translations and the romaji in the text seemed off.

For a free public domain book, it wasn't bad at all. But I hope the more recent transl
...more
Doc
A short collection of Japanese fairy tales, which I found and read on the Guttenburg site.
The tales shared many of the same elements as European fairy tales: valiant princes, beautiful princesses, magical items and creatures, &c.
John Fair
Interesting how common themes to western euro tales are similar.
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346387
Yei Theodora Ozaki was an early 20th century translator of Japanese short stories and fairy tales. Her translations were fairly liberal but have been popular, and were reprinted several times after her death.

According to "A Biographical Sketch" by Mrs. Hugh Fraser, included in the introductory material to Warriors of old Japan, and other stories, Ozaki came from an unusual background. She was the
...more
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“There is a proverb which says "As the soul is at three so it is at one hundred,” 0 likes
“Then they all surrounded the poop little animal and pulled out all his fur. He cried out loudly and entreated them to spare him, but with each tuft of fur they pulled out they said: "Serve you right!” 0 likes
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