Posts Tagged ‘Japanese Fairy Tales’

This week I started Gulliver’s Travels but due to lots of busy time I’ve fallen behind in reading it, so I had to read something else instead – this is becoming a pattern 🙂

Book 31 – Japanese Fairy Tales by Yei Theodora Ozaki. This is as the title describes, a collection of Japanese fairy tales. The ideas and meanings behind them are very much as with all fairy tales – morality, sin, punishment, repentance and so on – but with a distinct flavour. There are sea dragons, underwater castles, magical cranes made of paper and so much more.  But equally, there are very common themes from fairy tales I heard as a child; things like evil stepmothers, fairies, magic trees and deception.

I’ve talked about fairy tales before, and I think they have a great influence on the way I viewed the world growing up – I’ve always believed there’s more to life than what we see, as though there’s a hidden world just out of the reach of our perception.  As an adult I guess that’s spirituality or fate, but as a child I think fairy tales spun their own magic in my imagination.  It’s really lovely to revisit that feeling and the sense that what was good, and right, was passed on through the storytellers (even if our morality is a little different nowadays!).

This was not like reading a novel, but I would say that the content of the stories was equivalent to the Brothers Grimm or Hans Christian Anderson in tone.   I could imagine these stories being read to a child even now.  I am glad I read them – I have read folklore and fairytales from many cultures but never Japanese before so it was an interesting exercise in comparative myth and storytelling.

If you enjoy this kind of reading, or are looking for something for a child (some stories are probably less appropriate than others!) this is definitely worth a visit.

Until next time,

Happy reading,



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