ABC-CLIO

Folktales from the Japanese Countryside

by Hiroko Fujita and Fran Stallings

 

From one of Japan's most popular and respected storytellers, more than 40 traditional Japanese stories—animal tales, tales of supernatural beings, stories about village characters and priests and their apprentices, and more.

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Cover image for Folktales from the Japanese Countryside

November 2007

Libraries Unlimited

Pages 236
Volumes 1
Size 7x10
Topics Children's and Young Adult Programs/Storytelling, Resources and Collections
  Folklore/General
  • Hardcover

    978-1-59158-488-9

    $40.00

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  • eBook

    978-0-313-09571-9

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  • International Pricing

    Hardcover: £31.00/34,00€/A$52.00

From one of Japan's most popular and respected storytellers, this collection introduces readers to more than 40 wonderous tales from rural Japan—many that have not previously been seen or heard—from animal tales and tales of supernatural beings to stories about village characters and priests and their apprentices. It's a fascinating assortment that will delight young listeners, intrigue older readers, and offer scholars new insights. Background on the country and Japanese culture, notes on the tales, a glossary, recipes, games and crafts, and color photos and illustrations enhance the collection. All levels.

As in many countries, storytelling is a revered art in Japan, and traditional tales have been carefully preserved for centuries. Yet only a small portion of Japan's tales has been shared with English-speaking audiences. From one of Japan's most popular and respected storytellers, this collection introduces readers to more than 40 wondrous tales from rural Japan—stories that have not previously been seen or heard—from animal tales and tales of supernatural beings to stories about village characters and priests and their apprentices.

Features

  • These are tales from the Japanese countryside, representative of the country's rich folklore, and preserved and retold by a ohanashi obaasan (storytelling granny). You'll find such stories as Sky Watcher, Mouse Teeth, Owl's Paintshop, Radish Bath, and Snow Woman's Baby. Tales are organized into broad thematic categories-animal tales, stories of village people, priests and their apprentices, strange happenings, yamanbas, and supernatural tales. It's a fascinating assortment that will delight young listeners, intrigue older readers, and offer scholars new insights. Background on the country and Japanese culture, notes on the tales, a glossary, recipes, games and crafts, and color photos and illustrations enhance the collection.
Table of Contents

PrefaceA Brief History of Japan by Harold WrightStorytelling in Japan by Miki SakuraiAbout These StoriesPart I: Stories of AnimalsPart II: Stories of Village PeoplePart III: Stories of Priests and ApprenticesPart IV: Stories of Strange HappeningsPart V: Stories of YamanbasPart VI: Stories of Supernatural CreaturesFoods, Games, and CraftsComments and NotesGuide to Words in This BookBibliographyIndexAbout the Editor and Contributors

Reviews/Endorsements

Reviews

"Storytellers should find much here which will be fun to use. Fran has done an impeccable job of producing scholarly tale notes for the stories, giving Japanese Ikeda numbers as well as Stith Thompson Motif numbers. Fran discusses the tale motifs and Hiroko comments on the tale, placing it in cultural context. The book also includes games, crafts, recipes, and a chapter on storytelling in Japan today by Mikki Sakurai, president of The Japan Storyteller's Association. Though there are many Japanese folktale collections on our shelves, this is the first one directly from the mouth of a practicing teller with a background in traditional lore. Don't miss this one!"In The Wind

"This volume, really a collaboration of four experts, contains an excellent collection of authentic tales, color photos, interesting drawings, and background information. Along with its companions, this volume is an excellent source for tellable tales when authentic cultural perspectives are needed....Bottom line: Highly recommended for both elementary and secondary library collections."Teacher Librarian

"So often when I pick up a book of folktales from a specific geographic location I discover I already have many of the tales in other collections. Looking through the tales in this book I found only one tale I already had, and that one was a distinct variation. Given I possess twelve folktale collections from Japan in my library this was a delightful change."Storylines

"A lovely, hardbound edition that contains more than the stories: it has a brief history of Japan and a discussion of storytelling in Japan, and it also includes recipes (including ones for Mochi and Botamochi), games, and crafts, and notes on each story in the book. This book is a wonderful resource that will enrich the repertoire of any storyteller as well as providing information for scholars of Japanese folk traditions. Parents and grandparents will find wonderful short stories to learn and tell to their children. This book is a bargain at $40. The binding and paper is very high quality, and the contents are priceless!"Storytell

"...a useful work for research. However, its primary purpose is to encourage the understanding of Japanese oral literature through the oral telling of the tales to schoolchildren. This is a good book worthy of consideration by both the scholar and the general reader."Folklore

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