Japanese Tales

35mm original

I have always been fascinated with Japanese woodcuts, such as this one. The hapless turtle-rider, Urashima-Taro, is returning from a stay in the Kingdom

of the Sea, only to find that years not days have passed… Like Oisin, he will turn to dust when he sets foot on the beach. Not a story I tell!

But I do tell Lord Straw Stalk, which you can find here http://japanfolklore.blogspot.co.uk/2008/08/warashibe-choja.html and, with many others, including Urashima-Taro, here http://web-japan.org/kidsweb/folk/

I also tell The Spider’s Thread by Ryunosuke Akutagawa, which can be found here http://www.edogawa-u.ac.jp/~tmkelly/research_spider.html#rendnote3. Perhaps I should include it in my Text to Tale section, but it seems itself so much like a transcribed and ornamented folktale that I shall leave it here.

A story I first heard from Giles Abbott is Yuki-Onna, The Spirit of the Snow-Storm, which I naturally adapted to my own style, taking some details from other versions I found, such as the one here http://www.sacred-texts.com/shi/kwaidan/kwai12.htm


I have also invented a Japanese Tale of my own, The Mask of Shikyo, which I wrote down after telling it, so it could appear in Facts and Fiction.

Here are two other good source books:




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