Japanese Fairy Tales
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating

Japanese Fairy Tales

3.72 of 5 stars 3.72  ·  rating details  ·  947 ratings  ·  73 reviews
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. She was the daughter of Baron Ozaki, one of the first Japanese men to study in the West, and Bathia Catherine Morrison, daughter of William Morrison, one of their tea...more
Paperback, 200 pages
Published February 29th 2008 by Dodo Press (first published 1903)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.
This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 2,888)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
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
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
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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
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

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
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
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 !
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)
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
.. to finish later when I get paper illustrated version
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.
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
John Fair
Interesting how common themes to western euro tales are similar.
Recurring themes: visits to the dragon king of the sea and his castle (Chinese origin); Chinese emperors; old childless couple finds supernatural being and becomes its caretakers; filial piety; old age security motive for fertility; the youngest son is the most loved and nobler of a set of two brothers; male children displaying superlative strength; beauty and meekness as the most valuable traits for girls and women; malevolent neighbors; malevolent step-mothers; animal fables (monkeys are the m...more
Douglas Cootey
As with most fairytale collections, there are turds mixed in with the gems. However, this collection is fit for a king's ransom with its imaginative storytelling. I found it fascinating how these Japanese tales had more in common with Irish fairytales than Chinese, made all the more apparent with the inclusion of the final Chinese fairytale. This could be due to the narration, but even with the obvious westernizations, I would recommend this book for fans of fairytales. They still have a decided...more
Namitha Varma
The narrative was not at all interesting. Ending a story with "And thus ends the story of xxx of xxx" is just pathetic.

Some of the stories were very similar to English fables/fairy tales, but that of course cannot be the author's fault: folk literature across countries often seems to have familiar themes.

I expected to understand more of Japanese culture through these, but unfortunately, I do not feel like I learnt anything more than their duty to elders and fear of ogres/giants/demons.
Mark Dewey
The fairy tales in this were a lot like the sorts in the fairy books compiled by Andrew Lang. In fact, some of the fairy tales were almost the same ones (given some variation). However, there is a stronger sense of certain Japanese ideals in these tales than in those. A modern westerner might find some of those ideals, or priorities, surprising. Although the ideals weren't new to me, they were cast in a new light.

Anyway, I liked the compilation.
Its interesting seeing the variety of comparisons within these fairy tales and our own Western ones. Evil stepmothers? Check. Evil Neighbors? Check. Evil Monkeys? Um, er. Stories about how animals came to be/got their names? Check. Underwater palaces? Hmm...

You get the idea.

An intriguing, if kind of odd, collection that was definitely directed towards Western audience. Makes me wonder if there was a few abridgments in there..

An entertaining little compendium of fantastic tales that usually revolve around animals.
Mean and petty women also abound, as well as moral stories about filial piety.
Not surprisingly, there are some similarities with Western fairy tales.
These stories, however, will not really give you any insight into Japanese culture. Rather, you should approach this book with at least some basic knowledge about Japanese way of life.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 96 97 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Japanese Tales in English: I Wonder... 1 8 Jul 06, 2013 06:09AM  
  • Traditional Irish Fairy Tales
  • Welsh Fairy Tales
  • English Fairy Tales
  • American Fairy Tales
  • Tales of Old Japan: Folklore, Fairy Tales, Ghost Stories and Legends of the Samurai
  • The Grey Fairy Book
  • Popular Tales from the Norse
  • In Ghostly Japan
  • Chinese Fairy Tales and Fantasies (Pantheon Fairy Tale and Folklore Library)
  • Fairy Tales Every Child Should Know
  • Scottish Folk and Fairy Tales (Penguin Popular Classics)
  • The Heroes, or, Greek Fairy Tales for My Children
  • Romans de la Table Ronde: Erec et Enide, Cligès, Lancelot, Yvain
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
More about Yei Theodora Ozaki...
DONGENG KLASIK JEPANG 47 Ronin and Other Warriors of Old Japan Putri Hase Pangeran Yamato Take Warriors of Old Japan - And Other Stories

Share This Book

“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
More quotes…