Fairy tales are truly borderless, and this Japanese collection is a good example. The Japanese Fairy Book
by Yei Theodora Ozaki
was published in 1908.
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K. C. Lee
April 17, 2015
Email: kc at Silbird dot comFrom Project Gutenberg: This eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere at no cost and with almost no restrictions whatsoever. You may copy it, give it away or re-use it under the terms of the Project Gutenberg License included with this eBook or online at www.gutenberg.net.
I DEDICATE THIS BOOK TO YOU AND TO THE SWEET CHILD-FRIENDSHIP THAT YOU GAVE ME IN THE DAYS SPENT WITH YOU BY THE SOUTHERN SEA, WHEN YOU USED TO LISTEN WITH UNFEIGNED PLEASURE TO THESE FAIRY STORIES FROM FAR JAPAN. MAY THEY NOW REMIND YOU OF MY CHANGELESS LOVE AND REMEMBRANCE.
Y. T. O.
This collection of Japanese fairy tales is the outcome of a suggestion made to me indirectly through a friend by Mr. Andrew Lang. They have been translated from the modern version written by Sadanami Sanjin. These stories are not literal translations, and though the Japanese story and all quaint Japanese expressions have been faithfully preserved, they have been told more with the view to interest young readers of the West than the technical student of folk-lore.
Grateful acknowledgment is due to Mr. Y. Yasuoka, Miss Fusa Okamoto, my brother Nobumori Ozaki, Dr. Yoshihiro Takaki, and Miss Kameko Yamao, who have helped me with translations.
The story which I have named "The Story of the Man who did not Wish to Die" is taken from a little book written a hundred years ago by one Shinsui Tamenaga. It is named Chosei Furo, or "Longevity." "The Bamboo-cutter and the Moon-child" is taken from the classic "Taketari Monogatari," and is NOT classed by the Japanese among their fairy tales, though it really belongs to this class of literature.
The pictures were drawn by Mr. Kakuzo Fujiyama, a Tokio artist.
In telling these stories in English I have followed my fancy in adding such touches of local color or description as they seemed to need or as pleased me, and in one or two instances I have gathered in an incident from another version. At all times, among my friends, both young and old, English or American, I have always found eager listeners to the beautiful legends and fairy tales of Japan, and in telling them I have also found that they were still unknown to the vast majority, and this has encouraged me to write them for the children of the West.
Y. T. O.