Japanese Fairy Tales

Title

Japanese Fairy Tales

Identifier

http://hdl.handle.net/1959.1/1402571

Date

1885 - 1925

Description

The Ogres of OyeyamaEffectively ending their self-isolation from the western world in 1853, Japan inevitably became the object of fascination for much of the English speaking world. Innovative publisher and book importer, Hasegawa Takejiro, took advantage of this interest, producing the attractive and collectable, Japanese Fairy Tale Series. Initially, these ‘fukuro toji’, or, bound-pocket books were produced for improving English literacy among the Japanese, however, the series became hugely popular in the West. The influx of 'Yatoi' or foreigners employed by the Japanese government, saw Hasegawa develop key relationships with Western intellectuals, academics, and entrepreneurs.

There are a number of intriguing elements to these ‘East’ meets ‘West’ publications, and the influence of the West on Hasegawa’s publications is evident. They open in the ‘Western style’ and are read from left to right. Although the bulk of Hasegawa’s “Fairy Tale” titles were in English, a number of selected tales were issued in French, German, and Dutch.

Another distinct characteristic of Hasegawa’s series is its use of crepe paper. The “Fairy Tale” series can be found in several variations, from the original ‘washi’, or plain handmade paper, to the ‘chirimen-bon’. ‘Chirimen-bon’ is the crinkling of ‘washi’ to give it a distinct texture, that we now recognise as crepe paper. To achieve this, paper is placed into a specialised mould then both pressure and moisture are applied. The end result is not only more durable (an important factor in children’s books), but arguably a spectacular one as well.



Items in the Japanese Fairy Tales

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Chin Chin Kobakama
"A lazy maiden was married to a warrior, whose duties on the battlefield kept him away from home. One such night, the bride was awakened by a clatter, and saw hundreds of little men, dressed just like Japanese warriors but only about an inch high,…

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The Old Woman Who Lost Her Dumpling
A funny old woman, while she is preparing some dumplings, drops one of them down a hole. Trying to reach it, she falls down through it and finds herself in a strange new country.

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The Enchanted Waterfall
"A hardworking son who lived with his aged parents grieved that he was unable even to give his father sake to drink because they remained poor no matter how hard he worked. One day, when he was cutting down trees in the forest, he heard the sound of…

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The Ogres of Oyeyama
"The warrior Minamoto - no - Raiko was ordered by the Emperor to rescue people who had been captured by the ogres on Oyeyama Hill and to vanquish the ogres. He organized and headed a band consisting only of Watanabe - no - Tsuna and his three…

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Schippeitaro
"A young warrior spent the night at a dilapidated temple in the forest. In the middle of the night, he heard a commotion outside, and saw a bunch of phantom cats dancing while singing "Tell it not to Schippeitaro!" The next morning, the warrior…

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My Lord Bag - O'Rice - T. Hasegawa version
"Once upon a time, there lived a brave warrior called "Tawara - no - Toda," or "My Lord Bag - o' - Rice." One day, when he was about to cross a bridge over a river flowing down from a lake, he saw a big serpent lying in his path. He calmly stepped on…

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My Lord Bag - O'Rice - Griffith Farran & Co. version
"Once upon a time, there lived a brave warrior called "Tawara - no - Toda," or "My Lord Bag - o' - Rice." One day, when he was about to cross a bridge over a river flowing down from a lake, he saw a big serpent lying in his path. He calmly stepped on…

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The Princes Fire - Flash and Fire - Fade
"Prince Fire - fade, who was skilled at hunting, lost the fishhook that belonged to his older brother, Prince Fire - flash, who was skilled at fishing. As Prince Fire - fade grieved that Prince Fire - flash was beside himself with anger, the Wise Old…

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The Silly Jelly - Fish - Griffith Farran & Co. version
"The Dragon King sent a jellyfish to Monkeyland to get a monkey whose liver could be used to cure the young Dragon Queen's illness. Read to find out how the monkey tricked the jellyfish, and why jellyfish have no bones today.(The International…

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The Silly Jelly - Fish - T. Hasegawa version
"The Dragon King sent a jellyfish to Monkeyland to get a monkey whose liver could be used to cure the young Dragon Queen's illness. Read to find out how the monkey tricked the jellyfish, and why jellyfish have no bones today.(The International…

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The Cub's Triumph
"Hunters had slain almost all of the animals in the forest. All that were left were one badger and a mother fox with one little cub. At the end of his rope after their food ran out, the badger worked out a plan. First, the mother fox assumed human…

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The Hare of Inaba
This is the story of eighty one brothers who wish to be King and their encounters with a hare without fur in need of help.

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The Matsuyama Mirror
This fairy tale tells the story of a young girl whose mother gives her a special mirror.

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The Serpent With Eight Heads - 1917 version
This Japanese tale retails the story of a fairy, guardian of the sea, who is expelled from the fairy-land and encounters an eight - headed serpent to save a young girl.

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The Serpent With Eight Heads - 1886 version
This Japanese tale retails the story of a fairy, guardian of the sea, who is expelled from the fairy-land and encounters an eight - headed serpent to save a young girl.

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Urashima, The Fisher - Boy
"When he found a tortoise on his line, the fisher - boy named Urashima unhooked it and threw it back into the sea. Thereafter, the tortoise, disguised as the daughter of the Sea - God, guided him to the Dragon Palace, where the two married and lived…

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The Old Man & the Devils - T. Hasegawa version
"An old man with a big lump on his right cheek was caught in a rainstorm in the mountain and took refuge in the hollow of an old tree. Before long, a great crowd of devils came along and began to enjoy a feast accompanied by a lot of songs and…

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The Old Man and the Devils - Griffith Farran & Co. version
"An old man with a big lump on his right cheek was caught in a rainstorm in the mountain and took refuge in the hollow of an old tree. Before long, a great crowd of devils came along and began to enjoy a feast accompanied by a lot of songs and…

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The Mouse's Wedding
"A wealthy mouse named Kanemochi picked Hatsuka, daughter of a relative, to be the bride of Fukutaro, his only son. He had a go - between arrange a formal meeting between the two with a view to marriage. The meeting went well, and the two then…

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Kachi - Kachi Mountain - Griffith Farran & Co. version
"An old man captured a mischievous badger and hung it to a rafter by the feet. While the old man was away, the badger tricked his wife into undoing the cord, and then killed her. Later, as the old man lamented his wife's death, a hare came forward…

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Kachi - Kachi Mountain - T. Hasegawa version
"An old man captured a mischievous badger and hung it to a rafter by the feet. While the old man was away, the badger tricked his wife into undoing the cord, and then killed her. Later, as the old man lamented his wife's death, a hare came forward…

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The Old Man Who Made the Dead Trees Blossom - Griffith Farran & Co. version
"When a dog began scratching at a certain spot, a kind - hearted old man, the master of the dog, dug there and found a quantity of gold. A neighboring greedy old couple borrowed the dog, which began scratching at another spot. But when they dug…

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The Old Man Who Made the Dead Trees Blossom - T. Hasegawa version
"When a dog began scratching at a certain spot, a kind - hearted old man, the master of the dog, dug there and found a quantity of gold. A neighboring greedy old couple borrowed the dog, which began scratching at another spot. But when they dug…

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Battle of the Monkey and the Crab
"Battle of the Monkey and the Crab tells how the monkey tricked the crab, and how the crabs got revenge with the help of rice - mortar, pounder, bee, and egg." (The International Children's Digital Library,…

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The Tongue - Cut Sparrow
"A sparrow kept by a kind - hearted old woman licked some starch at the house of a cross old woman who lived next door. In a rage, the cross old woman cut out the tongue of the sparrow before it managed to fly away. Hearing of this incident, the kind…

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Momotaro
"An old couple find a large peach in a river. When they cut it open, a child emerges. They name him Momotaro, or Little Peachling. The child grows up and decides to set off on an exciting adventure." (The International Children's Digital Library,…