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Under the Cherry Blossom Tree: An Old Japanese Tale
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Under the Cherry Blossom Tree: An Old Japanese Tale

3.75  ·  Rating details ·  118 ratings  ·  30 reviews
Spring had finally come and everyone in the village was happy, despite being poor - everyone except the miserly landlord. Mumbling and grumbling, he sat all alone eating a bowl of cherries and glaring as the villagers sang and danced in the meadow. Then, quite by accident, he swallowed a cherry pit. The pit began to sprout. Soon the landlord was the wonder of the village - ...more
Paperback, 32 pages
Published May 31st 2005 by HMH Books for Young Readers (first published 1974)
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Average rating 3.75  · 
Rating details
 ·  118 ratings  ·  30 reviews

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May 28, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: anyone who's likely to ever swallow a cherry pit
I first read this story featured in a reading textbook when I was 6, and it's been a part of my inner mythos ever since. Is that the right phrase? Inner mythos? Anyhow, when my daughter swallowed a cherry pit, this story and the pictures in it immediately came to mind. I was pleasantly surprised to find this book available from my library as an ebook, but I absolutely have to own a copy for myself.

The story is a classic Japanese tale about grumbly old man who finds a cherry tree growing out the
Grace Noto
Title: Under the Cherry Blossom Tree
Author: Allen Say
Illustrator: Allen Say
Genre: Myth
Theme(s): Chinese culture, fantasy, nature
Opening line/sentence: “There were eggs in every bird’s nest, the air buzzed with honeybees, and cherry trees bloomed all at once.”
Brief book summary: In Under the Cherry Blossom Tree, everyone in the village is happy that spring has arrived, except for the grouchy landlord. One day while eating cherries, he swallowed a pit, leading a cherry tree to grow out of the top
Sierra Dirksen
Aug 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: traditional
This book was strange from start to end. It is about a grumpy, old man man that one day swallowed a cherry pit and had a tree grow from his head. He got tired of people talking about his tree so he ripped it from his head. This lead him to having a whole in his head, which filled with water and fish. One day boys decided to fish from his head. As he was chasing the boys away, the old man tripped and became a pond in the ground. I loved how unique this story was. It was well written and well draw ...more
Kristin Fisher
Sep 21, 2017 rated it really liked it
I had never heard of this story before and found it to be very funny. From this story, children can be taught a lesson of treat others the way that you would want to be treated and be nice and caring of all people. In this story a landlord is extremely rude to his tenants. He accidentally swallows a cherry pit and then everything goes downhill for him from there. Children and adults will find great humor in this story.
I always thought this was an interesting story. I remember my dad reading me this story when I was younger. My brothers would always tell me not to eat the seeds because you'll have that fruit growing in your tummy! I was always nervous to eat seeded watermelon when I was younger! I like how the theme of this story is be happy!
Torrie Heller
Oct 24, 2016 rated it it was ok
Shelves: books-21-30
Type: fiction
Genre: fairy tail
Awards: none
Summary: In this book there is a really mean landlord that owns the majority of a village in Japan. Every month this man raises rent on the people that live in the areas he owns. One day he swallows a cherry blossom tree seed. He decides its fine, and chooses to ignore it. One day a sprout pops out of his head that grows into a large tree popping out of the top of his head. The children love the tree and always want to play in it. One day the landlord ge
Jun 16, 2017 rated it it was ok
We read this aloud as a family, but no one really liked it much. It could be because our children aren't familiar with Japanese folk tales, but I'm not sure. Their thoughts were that it was kind of weird.
Jul 10, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I loved this book as a kid — I remember my parents checking it out multiple times from the library for me. Now, through the powers of NoveList and interlibrary loan, I was able to find a copy of it! It's just as strange and fun as I remembered.
Always nice to read another culture‘s folktales.
Dec 31, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Great illustrations and nice story
Feb 23, 2019 rated it really liked it
i love old Japanese stories , and this one here is so funny and beautiful .
Sep 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: traditional
This book is very far fetched, but hat is why I love it. This book starts out with a grumpy man who grows a cherry tree out of his head.
Chris Lutz
Mar 01, 2016 rated it liked it
Title: Under the Cherry Blossom Tree, and Old Japanese Tale
Author: Allen Say
Genre: Non-European Folktale, Japanese Folktale
Theme(s): Treat others how you want to be treated, what goes around comes around, fiction
Opening line/sentence: There once lived an old landlord in a small village in Japan.
Brief Book Summary: A wicked landlord takes advantage of his residents. Once strange things begin to happen to him, he doesn’t like it when the others begin to take advantage of him though.
Christy Bower
Jan 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: graphic-novels
When I was a child there was one book I would check out from the library. Over and over, I’d bring home Once Under the Cherry Blossom Tree. And that was back in the day when you’d write your name on the book’s library card. It was mostly my name. I remember sitting at my grandparents kitchen table, reading that book and laughing every time. Then I’d read it to anyone who would listen. I’d talk about all the absurd possibilities this book brought to mind.

What was this book?

Once Under the Cherry
Nov 06, 2016 rated it it was amazing
-Type of book & Literary Genre: fiction, folktale
-Summary: A old grumpy landlord is taking advantage of his residents, who are very poor, by raising their rent. The landlord swallows a cherry pit and a tree starts to grow from his head. He pulls the tree out in anger because his resident's enjoyed it and he was a grumpy old man. Once the tree is gone, it leaves a hole. When it rains, a puddle grows on his head with fish swimming around. The residents children tried to fish from his head
Apr 27, 2010 rated it did not like it
This certainly is a very odd story, though I did like it. A Japanese landlord who is crabby nearly beyond belief swallows a cherry pit one day; as a result, a little tree takes root in his head and the following spring, the tree begins to blossom.

Tired of all the questions about the tree sprouting from his cranium (I can imagine that questions of this nature would not be few and far between in such a scenario), the mean man rips it right out of his head. This spontaneous uprooting leaves a ho
Jo Miller
Jun 18, 2016 added it
Shelves: traditional
On old grumpy landlord is taking advantage of his residents but once the landlord swallows a cherry pit strange things started happening to him. First a tree starts to grow from his head, he pulls it out in anger as the residents were enjoying it. Then a puddle is on the top of his head and fish are swimming around. The residents children tried to fish from his head and again he gets upset. He does not like that they were taking advantage of him, but he was taking advantage of the residents by r ...more
Rachel Otting
A rude old man who jacked up peoples rent accidentally ate a cherry pit one day. The next day a cherry blossom tree grew from his head. He pulled the tree out and was left with a hole in his head. The hole filled dup with water and then he had fish. One boy and his friends would fish out of the old mans head when the man was sleeping. One day they got caught and when the man went to chase after the boys he fell and became a pond.
Brittany Cullen
This book was really cute with great pictures. all the villagers just dance their time away but one day a man eats a cherry pit and then becomes the most like man in the village because a cherry tree is growing on top of his head. It was a funny story and had neat pictures to go with the story. it is a different tale that would be fun for students to hear.
May 03, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: juvenile
A Japanese folktale brought to life by Allen Say's beautiful pen and ink drawings.
The inspiration for the cranky old man is a equally real-life cranky old landlord whose Say's family lived with for several years.
Barkshire Woods
Mar 24, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Read this to pre-k to 2nd graders under the Cherry Blossoms on the National Mall while picnicking in front of the tidal basin. Perfect book for such an occasion! Great discussions with the kids too. And the simple but to the point illustrations were a plus.
Oct 12, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: ehon, asia-japan
Lesley Looper
I enjoyed this humorous story about a grumpy landlord, and how the people of the town react to his various "conditions" (including having a cherry tree grow out of his head!).
Samantha Tai
Funny tale about a miserly man who accidentally swallows a cherry pit and wakes up the next morning with a cherry tree growing out of his head.
May 24, 2014 rated it really liked it
Love the illustrations and the humor!
Abby Huhe
This was a tale about an old man who was alway angry. He ended up with a cherry tree growing from his head, then a pond, and then a fish. Each time the town wouldn't leave him be.
Apr 05, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: kids
Really absurd in the very best way.
Jun 08, 2010 rated it it was ok
Shelves: childrens, japan
This book actually creeped me out. The mean old man ends up having a cherry tree growing out of his head. Ew.
Sharon Bender
rated it liked it
Oct 19, 2010
Beck Frost
rated it really liked it
Feb 02, 2014
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Allen Say is one of the most beloved artists working today. He is the recipient of the Caldecott Medal for GRANDFATHER'S JOURNEY, and also won a Caldecott Honor and the Boston Globe-Horn Book Award for THE BOY OF THE THREE-YEAR NAP (written by Dianne Snyder). Many of Allen’s stories are derived from his own experiences as a child. His other books include THE BICYCLE MAN, TEA WITH MILK, and TREE OF ...more

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