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A goblin with no body and a monster with no face. A resourceful samurai and a faithful daughter. A spirit of the moon and a dragon king. This collection of 15 traditional Japanese folktales transports readers to a time of adventure and enchantment. Drawn from the works of folklorists Lafcadio Hearn and Yei Theodora Ozaki, these tales are by turns terrifying, exhilarating, a A goblin with no body and a monster with no face. A resourceful samurai and a faithful daughter. A spirit of the moon and a dragon king. This collection of 15 traditional Japanese folktales transports readers to a time of adventure and enchantment. Drawn from the works of folklorists Lafcadio Hearn and Yei Theodora Ozaki, these tales are by turns terrifying, exhilarating, and poetic. • Striking illustrations by contemporary Japanese artist Kotaro Chiba • Special gift edition features an embossed, textured case with metallic gold ink, and a satin ribbon page marker • Part of the popular Tales series, featuring Nordic Tales, Celtic Tales, Tales of India, and Tales of East Africa Fans of Ghostly Tales, and Japanese Notebooks will love this book. This book is ideal for: • Fans of fairytales, folklore, ghost stories, Greek mythology, roman mythology, Chinese mythology, and Celtic mythology • Anyone interested in Japan's history books and culture studies • People of Japanese heritage • Collectors of illustrated classics


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A goblin with no body and a monster with no face. A resourceful samurai and a faithful daughter. A spirit of the moon and a dragon king. This collection of 15 traditional Japanese folktales transports readers to a time of adventure and enchantment. Drawn from the works of folklorists Lafcadio Hearn and Yei Theodora Ozaki, these tales are by turns terrifying, exhilarating, a A goblin with no body and a monster with no face. A resourceful samurai and a faithful daughter. A spirit of the moon and a dragon king. This collection of 15 traditional Japanese folktales transports readers to a time of adventure and enchantment. Drawn from the works of folklorists Lafcadio Hearn and Yei Theodora Ozaki, these tales are by turns terrifying, exhilarating, and poetic. • Striking illustrations by contemporary Japanese artist Kotaro Chiba • Special gift edition features an embossed, textured case with metallic gold ink, and a satin ribbon page marker • Part of the popular Tales series, featuring Nordic Tales, Celtic Tales, Tales of India, and Tales of East Africa Fans of Ghostly Tales, and Japanese Notebooks will love this book. This book is ideal for: • Fans of fairytales, folklore, ghost stories, Greek mythology, roman mythology, Chinese mythology, and Celtic mythology • Anyone interested in Japan's history books and culture studies • People of Japanese heritage • Collectors of illustrated classics

30 review for Tales of Japan: Traditional Stories of Monsters and Magic

  1. 4 out of 5

    Mila

    I really wanted to enjoy this short story collection but unfortunately, a lot of them fell flat for me and either the narration style or the translation didn't work out and left an awkward feeling in a lot of the stories. A big thank you to the publisher and the Edelweiss+ website for providing me with an early copy! I really wanted to enjoy this short story collection but unfortunately, a lot of them fell flat for me and either the narration style or the translation didn't work out and left an awkward feeling in a lot of the stories. A big thank you to the publisher and the Edelweiss+ website for providing me with an early copy!

  2. 5 out of 5

    Els

    Reasons to read this utterly gorgeous edition of Japanese folk tales: • breathtaking illustrations • translation notes + academic overviews (which you can skip! They’re in the footnotes! I just... like those things! • a lovely collection of non-westernized fairytales! Also did I mention that it is BEAUTIFUL

  3. 4 out of 5

    Jen

    I enjoy learning about cultures different from my own and am rather partial to fairy and folk tales, so this book was right up my alley regarding those interests. I admit to being partial to Japanese history and culture, though I am not a scholar of it by any stretch of the imagination. This book was fascinating, as many of the stories don't end how one would expect, having grown up on Grimms fairy tales. There were brutal stories that took me completely by surprise, though they honestly shouldn I enjoy learning about cultures different from my own and am rather partial to fairy and folk tales, so this book was right up my alley regarding those interests. I admit to being partial to Japanese history and culture, though I am not a scholar of it by any stretch of the imagination. This book was fascinating, as many of the stories don't end how one would expect, having grown up on Grimms fairy tales. There were brutal stories that took me completely by surprise, though they honestly shouldn't have, the brothers Grimm were rather, well, grim, but there were other stories that did not follow the pattern of bad guys getting a brutal, violent come-uppance. There was mercy, forgiveness and genuine change from bad to good. I was stunned by it to be honest with you. I don't recall many Grimm stories having those qualities. Don't get me wrong, not all of the stories ended all sunshine and roses, there were some REALLY violent stories, but they were tempered by the ones with mercy. The stories in this book were gathered from two sources in the public domain, which I now need to hunt down and read in full. I'm a completionist and am curious about what didn't make the cut. For those wondering about those two sources, here you are. 1) Lafcadio Hearn, Kwaidan Stories and Studies of Strange Things, Houghton Mifflin 1911 2) Yei Theodora Ozaki, Japanese Fairy Tales, Grosset and Dunlap 1908 I wasn't crazy about all of the stories, but the stories of mercy. I teared up a bit. So 3.5 stars, rounded up to 4. Recommended if you enjoy fairy and folk tales and/or Japanese myths and legends. Very good book. My thanks to NetGalley and Chronicle Books for an eARC copy of this book to read and review.

  4. 4 out of 5

    spring ~♡

    Things I've learnt from Japanese Folklore: - if a ghost tell you to keep a secret, for the love of yokai keep your mouth shut! - All the old man-women are super sad because they have no child. - that reminded me, if you are really old and sad cause you have no child don't worry. You'll get a magical one soon. - Monkeys are evil. Stay away from them. - Jellyfishes are stupid. - Monkeys can breathe underwater but can't swim. - most of the ghosts are also stupid. I admit, I expected more. I thought the Things I've learnt from Japanese Folklore: - if a ghost tell you to keep a secret, for the love of yokai keep your mouth shut! - All the old man-women are super sad because they have no child. - that reminded me, if you are really old and sad cause you have no child don't worry. You'll get a magical one soon. - Monkeys are evil. Stay away from them. - Jellyfishes are stupid. - Monkeys can breathe underwater but can't swim. - most of the ghosts are also stupid. I admit, I expected more. I thought there's going to be a lot of spooky gruesome tales. Stories of Yokai and strange night creatures. There were a few stories I enjoyed, but not as much as I thought I would. Most of them were kind of boring and felt out of place. Maybe it's the translation? Or maybe this book is for younger audience. I don’t know. 2.5 stars.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Darragh

    A beautifully illustrated but poorly edited collection of stories.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Rachel

    I have the previous folk collections published by Chronicle-- they are all beautiful and well curated, and this is no exception. The art is gorgeous and well suited to the stories, which are varied and interesting. Probably not suited to very young children due to the complexity of the language, but it doesn't feel like a small children's book anyway. 3.5. I have the previous folk collections published by Chronicle-- they are all beautiful and well curated, and this is no exception. The art is gorgeous and well suited to the stories, which are varied and interesting. Probably not suited to very young children due to the complexity of the language, but it doesn't feel like a small children's book anyway. 3.5.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Paul Dilley

    One of our favorite collections of folk tales during COVID, and the first one that we decided to finish instead of rotating books each night. The initial ones, like the Dream of Akinosuke, were possibly weirder than anything we'd encountered before, but somehow not that exciting. The Bamboo-Cutter was good but nowhere near as enjoyable as the Princess Kaguya Ghibli movie. We found our stride with the ghost stories. Rokuro-Kubi scared them the most but Mujina was also a favorite: there's somethin One of our favorite collections of folk tales during COVID, and the first one that we decided to finish instead of rotating books each night. The initial ones, like the Dream of Akinosuke, were possibly weirder than anything we'd encountered before, but somehow not that exciting. The Bamboo-Cutter was good but nowhere near as enjoyable as the Princess Kaguya Ghibli movie. We found our stride with the ghost stories. Rokuro-Kubi scared them the most but Mujina was also a favorite: there's something unexpectedly sinister about a face with no eyes (nor nose nor mouth I believe). Plus the raccoons in Pom Poko pretended to be one. Finally, our favorite tale of justice was the Tongue-Cut Sparrow.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Sydney Stories

    3.4☆/5☆ I really enjoyed the fairy tale and folklore feeling of these stories. While not all of them were amazing, each one gave me valuable insight into the life of Japanese people and culture back then, which I appreciated seeing what folk stories they would have. I really liked seeing how the characters acted and how that gave insight on how people may have acted back then. The writing was comforting and the storied enjoyable. 1. The Dream of Akinosuké 3☆ 2. The Jellyfish and the Monkey 3☆ 3. Mo 3.4☆/5☆ I really enjoyed the fairy tale and folklore feeling of these stories. While not all of them were amazing, each one gave me valuable insight into the life of Japanese people and culture back then, which I appreciated seeing what folk stories they would have. I really liked seeing how the characters acted and how that gave insight on how people may have acted back then. The writing was comforting and the storied enjoyable. 1. The Dream of Akinosuké 3☆ 2. The Jellyfish and the Monkey 3☆ 3. Momotaro 4☆ 4. The Happy Hunter 5☆ 5. The Bamboo Cutter 4☆ 6. The Story of Mimi-Nashi-Hoichi 4☆ 7. Yuki-Onna 2☆ 8. Diplomacy 1☆ 9. Mujina 3☆ 10. A Dead Secret 2☆ 11. Rokuro-Kubi 3☆ 12. The Tongue-Cut Sparrow 3☆ 13. The Farmer and the Badger 3☆ 14. The Story of the Old Man 3☆ 15. The Mirror 4☆

  9. 5 out of 5

    Marzie

    3.5 Stars This is a beautifully illustrated new edition of classic Japanese folktales and myths. Some of the stories are quite dark and might be too much for younger children as bedtime stories, though they have just the right amount of monsters and journeys for children who love scary stories. While the edition is lovely, I felt that the unevenness in the quality of the stories made the compilation feel somewhat hit and miss. If you are a collector of Chronicle's beautiful series of folk and fai 3.5 Stars This is a beautifully illustrated new edition of classic Japanese folktales and myths. Some of the stories are quite dark and might be too much for younger children as bedtime stories, though they have just the right amount of monsters and journeys for children who love scary stories. While the edition is lovely, I felt that the unevenness in the quality of the stories made the compilation feel somewhat hit and miss. If you are a collector of Chronicle's beautiful series of folk and fairytales from around the world, this will be a handsome addition to your collection. The illustrations alone draw the reader into these classic stories. I received a Digital Review Copy of this book from Chronicle via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Bonnie

    This collection of lore contains many stories about fairy-folk and monsters, virtuous people who outshine the wicked, and life-changing magic. The last story reminds me a bit of Cinderella, but with a fascinating twist.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Amanda

    I loved this collection and the artwork is beautiful!

  12. 4 out of 5

    Anna Tan

    The stories in Tales of Japan: Traditional Stories of Monsters and Magic were sourced from two 20th-century texts: Kwaidan by Lafcadio Hearn and Japanese Fairy Tales by Yei Theodora Ozaki (both in public domain), with each story accompanied by beautiful illustrations by Kotaro Chiba. Just the cover itself is fantastic! It's no secret that I love fairytales and folktales, especially those of Asian/East Asian origin. These fit right in with the stuff I'm looking for--my only gripe is that the The stories in Tales of Japan: Traditional Stories of Monsters and Magic were sourced from two 20th-century texts: Kwaidan by Lafcadio Hearn and Japanese Fairy Tales by Yei Theodora Ozaki (both in public domain), with each story accompanied by beautiful illustrations by Kotaro Chiba. Just the cover itself is fantastic! It's no secret that I love fairytales and folktales, especially those of Asian/East Asian origin. These fit right in with the stuff I'm looking for--my only gripe is that the translator(s) sometimes sound a little too apologetic about their use of Japanese terms which aren't directly translatable. Honestly, I don't mind. That's the charm of reading stories from other cultures, isn't it? There's also the occasional stiltedness of language, but overall, these traditional Japanese stories are highly enjoyable, written in that timeless fairy tale style. Journeys The Dream of Akinosuke: I'm not sure if there's an English fairy tale equivalent for this. When Akinosuke takes a break under a tree he is caught up in an elaborate dream where he is swept off at the behest of the Tokoyo no Kokuo (the ruler of an unknown country; or the King of Fairyland). Is it all a dream or is it a true fairy encounter? The Jelly Fish and the Monkey: An origin story of the jellyfish, in the vein of Rudyard Kipling's Just So Stories. Also a fascinating first look at the mythology surrounding Ryn Jin, the Dragon King of the Sea. Momotaro, or the Story of the Son of a Peach: In this Thumbelina/Tom Thumb-esque story, a childless couple cut open a giant peach to find a little child. Years later, Momotaro leaves his adopted parents to save a northeastern Japanese island from a band of devils. This gains some Bremen Town Musicians undertones with various animals joining him to help him in his quest. The Happy Hunter and the Skillful Fisher: A lost fishing hook sends Hohodemi, the Happy Hunter, to Ryn Jin's realm. Ultimately a good brother vs bad brother story, where the older brother uses the excuse of the lost fishing hook to send Hohodemi away so he can usurp the throne. It's never explained why the younger brother is the Mikoto though and not the older? Also likely an origin story of why Hohodemi is said to control the tides. The Bamboo-Cutter and the Moon-Child: This reminds me of Chinese tales of women (and bunnies) on the moon. No bunnies here, though. Also an amusing look at males who are so enamoured of a woman's beauty they say they would do anything to marry her... but then lie and cheat their way with the minimum of effort. Ghosts and Monsters The Story of Mimi-Nashi-Hoichi: This takes a dark turn, where a blind lute-priest is seen entertaining spirits. Yuki-Onna: This story feels vaguely familiar--I probably came across it while writing When Winds Blow Cold--but it also follows the vein of traditional Chinese myths with mysterious (usually not so benign) female spirits/creatures who choose to stay with/marry a human man. The enchantment breaks and the spirit leaves when the man breaks their vow of secrecy. Diplomacy: How do you make sure a vengeful ghost doesn't haunt you? Apparently by distracting them. Mujina: Creepy faceless people story. I... dunno. A Dead Secret: Still on the theme of ghosts, this dead woman won't leave until her secret is destroyed. Rokuro-Kubi: Samurai-priests and headless goblins! It should be slightly macabre, but it's also quite hilarious. Justice The Tongue-Cut Sparrow: This follows the classic good hapless man, evil shrew wife. A good man gets rewarded by fairies, the evil wife tries to get more but meets her just rewards. I suppose there are similar themes no matter where you come from. The Farmer and the Badger: An Aesop-like story, where the wicked badger tricks the farmer but then his neighbour the kind rabbit helps the farmer take revenge. The Story of the Old Man Who Made Withered Trees to Flower: Childless couple takes care of beloved dog Shiro, who is magical and brings them good fortune! The evil neighbour who hates dogs tries to get Shiro to also bless him, but whatever he does turns to bad instead. The Mirror of Matsuyama: Evil stepmother story. I said last week that evil stepmothers don't seem as prevalent outside Eurocentric stories, but here's one from Japan. Actually, the beginning as quite Beauty and the Beast; I was expecting the girl to be exchanged for something, but no. LOL. I received a complimentary copy of this book from Chronicle Books via Edelweiss. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Nathan

    A fantastic arrangement of stories that hinge upon supernatural elements. Each tale is at once engrossing, profound, and, like many myths and fables, worthy of discussion. There's humor to also be found in a story or two, and several function as potent ghost stories. Some of the legends might feel familiar: I noticed that the Tales from the Darkside movie pulled from the Yuki-Onna story for one of its vignettes, for instance. Kind of an obscure link, but, hey, each has their own. Each tale is pre A fantastic arrangement of stories that hinge upon supernatural elements. Each tale is at once engrossing, profound, and, like many myths and fables, worthy of discussion. There's humor to also be found in a story or two, and several function as potent ghost stories. Some of the legends might feel familiar: I noticed that the Tales from the Darkside movie pulled from the Yuki-Onna story for one of its vignettes, for instance. Kind of an obscure link, but, hey, each has their own. Each tale is prefaced by a beautiful illustration to kind of give you an idea of what lies ahead. It's additionally separated into categories: Journeys, Ghosts and Monsters, and Justice. Finally, if you're still clamoring for more, the book directs you to further readings. I grew up loving collections such as this one, and I'd fully recommend handing this over to a young person who's into such material. It stokes the imagination and, as is its intention, plays as an effective assistant in developing and teaching about other cultures. Many thanks to NetGalley and Chronicle Books for the advance read.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Nikki "The Crazie Betty" V.

    Some of these were better than others, but I fear that is more because I don’t fully understand the folklore behind the tales. I honestly expected a little more horror but instead got more of the mundane. I think if I had a better inkling of what I was getting into I would’ve enjoyed this more, but as it stands, this is getting 3 stars for being just ok for me. Received via Netgalley. All reviews and opinions are expressly my own

  15. 5 out of 5

    Larry

    This is an anthology of tales from Japan. It is an altogether brilliant, enjoyable read. As with the other works in this series, the tales have a tone and style akin to the ethnic tradition from where they come. Here there is an interesting tale in the world that is unique to me, filled with sea dragons, old couples that are childless, good creatures, as well as wicked creatures and people. Often, regardless of what section the story finds itself placed, there is a journey towards justice and no This is an anthology of tales from Japan. It is an altogether brilliant, enjoyable read. As with the other works in this series, the tales have a tone and style akin to the ethnic tradition from where they come. Here there is an interesting tale in the world that is unique to me, filled with sea dragons, old couples that are childless, good creatures, as well as wicked creatures and people. Often, regardless of what section the story finds itself placed, there is a journey towards justice and normality after whatever happenings occur that have disrupted the normality and goodness of the world and people. Often things are not as they originally seem and what might seem simple has a further depth that is delightful . . . It is hard to articulate. While most any story in this collection was enjoyable I particularly liked “The Bamboo-cutter and the Moon Child” as there’s a sort of other worldly style about this happening. I sort of wonder why there hasn’t been a Disney adaptation as of yet as I could see people loving this tale if they knew it, and it fits well with the magic of the Disney verse. Here the magic is moon magic and the girl is both a human girl, briefly adopted into the human world, and a celestial being from heaven, a moon maiden. I also really enjoyed “the mirror of matsuyama” as it served as a good reminder that the people we love best never truly leave us, they live on in us for ever, and then in the people we touch, reflected in the mirror of our souls. “The dream of akinosuke” is a good opening piece. It sort of opens the book and the world within by guiding the reader into the dream world within the book where one may slumber and live a royal life only to awaken and see the natural world with new eyes, where even insects can be so much more than that. In any event, i don’t think of read much Japanese folk tales/fairy tales ever before. This book made me want to find and read more. I highly recommend it. Not sure how it stacks up against similar Japanese works though.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Haruko reads

    This short story collection gathers 15 translations of Japanese folk tales from two books in the public domain: Kwaidan by Lafcadio Hearn and Japanese Fairy Tales by Yei Theodora Ozaki. Both translations are from the early 20th century, which is probably why some of the writing feels awkward or overly apologetic about using Japanese terms (for instance, one story can't decide if it wants to use the word "Mikoto" or "Augustness" and ends up switching back and forth and defining the term multiple This short story collection gathers 15 translations of Japanese folk tales from two books in the public domain: Kwaidan by Lafcadio Hearn and Japanese Fairy Tales by Yei Theodora Ozaki. Both translations are from the early 20th century, which is probably why some of the writing feels awkward or overly apologetic about using Japanese terms (for instance, one story can't decide if it wants to use the word "Mikoto" or "Augustness" and ends up switching back and forth and defining the term multiple times over just a few pages, which is distracting from the main story). Overall, this is an enjoyable, quick read. The collection is arranged in three categories: Journeys, Ghosts and Monsters, and Justice. I'm not sure this categorization enhanced my reading experience at all, and there's definitely a decent amount of overlap between the stories and these categories, but I guess I did tend to prefer Journeys and Justice - what can I say, I love a road trip and a happy ending. My favorite stories include: Momotaro (a classic I grew up with - this version is pretty solid) The Bamboo-Cutter and the Moon Child (why hasn't this been adapted over and over like Cinderella? Its story beats and imagery would lend well to many retellings) The Story of Mimi-Nashi-Hoichi (a blind lute player must find a way to evade spirits) Rokuro-Kubi (samurai and headless yokai!) The Mirror of Matsuyama (isn't it nice when an evil stepmother sees the error of her ways?)

  17. 5 out of 5

    Monique

    Review written: April 24, 2019 Star Rating: ★★★☆☆ Heat Rating: N/A An Advanced Reader Copy (ARC) of this book was received free via Netgalley for an honest review. One thing I enjoy is reading fairy tales from around the world so this book sounded right up my alley. I'm glad I picked it up. It was a short but mostly entertaining read. Divided into three sections, each section contained stories with a specific theme. Some of the stories I enjoyed a great deal and some left me rather meh. Overal Review written: April 24, 2019 Star Rating: ★★★☆☆ Heat Rating: N/A An Advanced Reader Copy (ARC) of this book was received free via Netgalley for an honest review. One thing I enjoy is reading fairy tales from around the world so this book sounded right up my alley. I'm glad I picked it up. It was a short but mostly entertaining read. Divided into three sections, each section contained stories with a specific theme. Some of the stories I enjoyed a great deal and some left me rather meh. Overall, they were an interesting mix and I'm likely to go finding more. I enjoyed the journey stories best which doesn't surprise me in the least. I think what was most interesting is that from a thematic standpoint, fairy tales are fairy tales regardless of where they originate. The faceless monsters, the good and kind and humble are rewarded, the greedy are punished, the desire for a child. This review is ©April 2019 by Monique N. and has been posted to Netgalley.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Mare

    Personally, I feel that to know a culture it is necessary not only to be able to identify/talk their language but also to taste their food, know/see their places, know/meet their people, however knowing their stories is the most important for me. Those pieces of text that have so faithfully passed from generations the learning of their ancestors. This part of the folklore of a culture is the piece that I love most. I remember growing up, in my own country, with legends, fables, and tales. There Personally, I feel that to know a culture it is necessary not only to be able to identify/talk their language but also to taste their food, know/see their places, know/meet their people, however knowing their stories is the most important for me. Those pieces of text that have so faithfully passed from generations the learning of their ancestors. This part of the folklore of a culture is the piece that I love most. I remember growing up, in my own country, with legends, fables, and tales. There is a wealth of things to learn from those stories, but there is something simply magical that cannot replace this part of knowing a culture. Tales of Japan is an anthology of Japanese tales. Maybe they are not the most famous, but is a window to knowing how different are these tales from those that come from other countries. I took my time to go back to my childhood, in which I discovered the world of books reading tales. Hope you enjoyed it as well, that way.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Kristine

    Tales of Japan, illustrated by Kotaro Chiba, is a free NetGalley ebook that I read in mid-April. Tales of odysseys, monsters, and fables <- the latter being my favorite, especially that of the tongue-cut sparrow. They're individually and as a group seamlessly true to themselves by not stooping to interpret every unfamiliar term and theme, i.e. time passing like a blowing breeze, fate having the uncanny ability to turn your head and have you look at something with a completely different perspectiv Tales of Japan, illustrated by Kotaro Chiba, is a free NetGalley ebook that I read in mid-April. Tales of odysseys, monsters, and fables <- the latter being my favorite, especially that of the tongue-cut sparrow. They're individually and as a group seamlessly true to themselves by not stooping to interpret every unfamiliar term and theme, i.e. time passing like a blowing breeze, fate having the uncanny ability to turn your head and have you look at something with a completely different perspective and how sort of laughable that can be, how seeking greed and opulence really doesn’t amount to much, amicable cooperation and simple, yet ample rewards for those who are humble and work hard. Oh, and there are beautiful sketched illustrations with motifs of natural elements, steel, and textiles, as well as spooky pulled faces.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Sharon

    My review is pretty limited; this is my first experience with Japanese folk tales. I read as I think folk tales are a good primer on deep-seated traditions and, yes, biases of any given society. Who deserves a happy ending and who doesn’t? Is the usual point of these, no matter the culture. What defines the happy ending, and what is considered just desserts for the bad? Is a secondary point to folk tales. In these, happy endings come to loyal family members, people who know how to assuage supern My review is pretty limited; this is my first experience with Japanese folk tales. I read as I think folk tales are a good primer on deep-seated traditions and, yes, biases of any given society. Who deserves a happy ending and who doesn’t? Is the usual point of these, no matter the culture. What defines the happy ending, and what is considered just desserts for the bad? Is a secondary point to folk tales. In these, happy endings come to loyal family members, people who know how to assuage supernatural entities, and those who persist through hard travels (literally). Bad siblings and step relatives mostly beg forgiveness by the end,and the animals were usually right. Stand-out stories: The Bamboo Cutter and the Moon-Child; The Jelly Fish and the Monkey; Mimi-Nashi-Hoichi, The Happy Hunter and the Skillful Fisher, and Yuki-Onna.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Joanne

    Thanks to Chronicle Books & Goodreads for the giveaway for Tales of Japan. I rate the book 5 out of 5 stars for its physical beauty and quality, and 4.5 stars for the content. The stories were more captivating than I was expecting. In general they all had a moral that made sense to me & the stories held my interest. Also they seemed just the right length. The only story that didn't work for me was The Bamboo-Cutter and the Moon Child. That one seemed silly and pointless, and took too long to go no Thanks to Chronicle Books & Goodreads for the giveaway for Tales of Japan. I rate the book 5 out of 5 stars for its physical beauty and quality, and 4.5 stars for the content. The stories were more captivating than I was expecting. In general they all had a moral that made sense to me & the stories held my interest. Also they seemed just the right length. The only story that didn't work for me was The Bamboo-Cutter and the Moon Child. That one seemed silly and pointless, and took too long to go nowhere. I thought all the rest were wonderful. This would be a great gift for anyone age 6-ish or older who likes fairy tales. Oh, also, I wish it had a few more of those gorgeous illustrations! One at the beginning of each story wasn't quite enough.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Juha Saxberg

    What a wonderful book! Tales of Japan is an illustrated collection of ancient Japanese folktales. Some of the stories are a bit silly, but some are truly fascinating. The storytelling represent the Japanese logic and imagination, which is quite different from us westerners (think of Hayao Miyazaki and Studio Ghibli’s creations). These fairy tales are a lot of fun, but in my opinion the real gems are the artwork in between the stories. The illustrations are contemporary, but influenced by the cl What a wonderful book! Tales of Japan is an illustrated collection of ancient Japanese folktales. Some of the stories are a bit silly, but some are truly fascinating. The storytelling represent the Japanese logic and imagination, which is quite different from us westerners (think of Hayao Miyazaki and Studio Ghibli’s creations). These fairy tales are a lot of fun, but in my opinion the real gems are the artwork in between the stories. The illustrations are contemporary, but influenced by the classic Japanese woodblock art. The overall design and layout of the book is beautiful, and makes it a perfect gift for anybody who loves Japan.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Jes

    A gorgeously put together collection of Japanese folktales collected from early 1900s translations. While I enjoyed the stories themselves, the illustrations by Kotaro Chiba before each story are the real stand out part of the book for me. While the illustrations themselves are contemporary, the style reminds me of Japanese woodblock prints. Overall this collection is an interest read well worth the time for anyone interested in Japanese folktales. A copy of this book was given to me by Chronicle A gorgeously put together collection of Japanese folktales collected from early 1900s translations. While I enjoyed the stories themselves, the illustrations by Kotaro Chiba before each story are the real stand out part of the book for me. While the illustrations themselves are contemporary, the style reminds me of Japanese woodblock prints. Overall this collection is an interest read well worth the time for anyone interested in Japanese folktales. A copy of this book was given to me by Chronicle Books as part of LibraryThing’s Early Reviewer program. This review is my honest opinion.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Destiny Bridwell

    I received a copy of this book for a fair and honest review. There are some very interesting tales and stories included in this book. I enjoy reading myths and folklore from all over the world but I have been very into the ones from Japan. I am not sure why but they are some eerie ones in here. They are worth the shivers that they have invoked in me. That is the kind of things that I am really into and it makes me feel alive. Another thing I have to say is that the illustrations in this book are I received a copy of this book for a fair and honest review. There are some very interesting tales and stories included in this book. I enjoy reading myths and folklore from all over the world but I have been very into the ones from Japan. I am not sure why but they are some eerie ones in here. They are worth the shivers that they have invoked in me. That is the kind of things that I am really into and it makes me feel alive. Another thing I have to say is that the illustrations in this book are beyond amazing. I think they would make cool wall hangings. 

  25. 4 out of 5

    Gregski

    I got this from family as a gift, intending on reading it with my young kids. Definitely not for younger children as there are several stories with pretty gruesome twists. I enjoyed it by myself and liked the variety of stories offered. Like other reviews have mentioned, some stories fall flat and are hard to get through. But others are quite attention grabbing, funny, and well told. I particularly enjoyed the sections on justice and ghosts. A good read for those interested in Japanese culture a I got this from family as a gift, intending on reading it with my young kids. Definitely not for younger children as there are several stories with pretty gruesome twists. I enjoyed it by myself and liked the variety of stories offered. Like other reviews have mentioned, some stories fall flat and are hard to get through. But others are quite attention grabbing, funny, and well told. I particularly enjoyed the sections on justice and ghosts. A good read for those interested in Japanese culture and storytelling.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Molly

    There isn't a whole lot to say about these Chronicle Books collections of stories other than saying, "Bit short, but fun for the whole family." Because that's probably what they're designed to be. A family-friendly introduction to myth, legend, and folk tales. There's instinctively nothing wrong with that, hadn't it been for the fact that almost all collections of these stories (with few exceptions) are just that: Introductions. So if you're looking for something to just consume for fun, this is There isn't a whole lot to say about these Chronicle Books collections of stories other than saying, "Bit short, but fun for the whole family." Because that's probably what they're designed to be. A family-friendly introduction to myth, legend, and folk tales. There's instinctively nothing wrong with that, hadn't it been for the fact that almost all collections of these stories (with few exceptions) are just that: Introductions. So if you're looking for something to just consume for fun, this is good. If you want to go in-depth about these stories, look somewhere else.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Alex

    My favorites were "The Happy Hunter and the Skillful Fisher"--imagining the underwater kingdom while I read was really fun--and "The Story of Mimi-Nashi-Hoïchi"--this one provided some beautiful imagery with a touch of creepiness. 
(I received an electronic #ARC from #NetGalley and #ChronicleBooks in exchange for an honest review.) (full review at https://mydearwatsonbooks.wordpress.c...) My favorites were "The Happy Hunter and the Skillful Fisher"--imagining the underwater kingdom while I read was really fun--and "The Story of Mimi-Nashi-Hoïchi"--this one provided some beautiful imagery with a touch of creepiness. 
(I received an electronic #ARC from #NetGalley and #ChronicleBooks in exchange for an honest review.) (full review at https://mydearwatsonbooks.wordpress.c...)

  28. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer

    This was a pretty cool book filled with stories that I have never read before. I received this book on NetGalley for an honest review. I wanted to read it to learn more about Japanese culture and what their folk tales were about. It was different from a lot of stuff I normally read, but I enjoyed it. The illustrations in this book were really great and definitely an example of what usually comes to mind when I think of Japanese art.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Adam Morris

    This collection is taken from two previous collections that were translated in the early twentieth century. Therefore the content is not original and nothing new is brought out. The stories are standard morality tales and the writing (translation?) is rather flat. The illustrations are nice but also rather mundane and there is only one at the start of each story. It’s an okay book but not a “treasury” one might have hoped for in this kind of publication.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Beth

    Short, simple translations of Japanese folk tales, each accompanied by a lovely illustration. While easy to read and interesting, I would've liked a bit more here - more detail in the stories, more artwork, more information on the history of the tales. Still, it was a nice introduction and enjoyable to read. Short, simple translations of Japanese folk tales, each accompanied by a lovely illustration. While easy to read and interesting, I would've liked a bit more here - more detail in the stories, more artwork, more information on the history of the tales. Still, it was a nice introduction and enjoyable to read.

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