Learn Japanese and enjoy folktales at the same time with this whimsically illustrated multicultural children's book!
This bilingual edition of A Treasury of Japanese Folktales
—presented in both English and Japanese—contains 12 of the best Japanese legends and fairy tales, told to generation after generation of Japanese children. Originally written in English by Yuri Yasuda, based on her interpretations of traditional Japanese tales, these charming stories of rich imagination are now accompanied by Japanese text by Yumi Matsunari and Yumi Yamaguchi. The Japanese text includes basic kanji
accompanied by furigana
to help beginning learners to recognize and learn the characters.
Adventures carry us, on turtle-back, to the splendors of the underwater palace of the dragon princess, to the beautiful hills where Kintaro plays with his animal friends, and to a temple where we discover a "tea kettle" that is really a cunning badger in disguise.
Executed with great skill and imagination, the 98 color illustrations bring to life the charming characters of these heart-warming tales of old Japan, which include:
- Shitakiri Suzume, the Tongue-Cut Sparrow
- Kintaro, the Strong Boy
- Kaguya Hime, the Luminous Princess
- Momotaro, the Peach Boy
- Bunbuku Chagama, the Lucky Cauldron
Yuri Yasuda was born in Tokyo, but her earliest recollections are all of that picturesque country, England, where she attended kindergarten and elementary school. She is a graduate of the English Department, International School of the Sacred Heart, Tokyo. Since childhood she has written stories for her own amusement, and she began to tell folk and fairy tales to her two sons and two daughters as soon as they were able to understand the words. In the midst of a busy family life, she finds time to write as well as take part in the civic life of her community.
Yumi Matsunari is a professional translator and interpreter living in Fukui, Japan. She studied English in Cambridge, translation in London and textile design in Kyoto. Yumi enjoys singing, traveling and scuba diving. Among her works are Circus Day in Japan and Japanese Made Easy, both available from Tuttle Publishing. She read the folk tales in this book as a child and enjoys reading them now with her two young sons.
"These are charming tales, most skillfully rendered. I recommend them warmly to children of all ages and congratulate Mrs. Yasuda on her mastery of the English language, so gracefully displayed in this volume." —Lady Gascoigne, Wife of former British Ambassador to Japan
"The stories and illustrations in this oversize volume were originally published in Old Tales of Japan (1953). A new Japanese translation accompanies this version. […] Many of the illustrations stand the test of time, as the folktales are old stories of Japan, and maintain their charm, as does the text." —School Library Journal
"The tales told in this book…are now retold here by Mrs. Yasuda with exquisiteness…They will be, I am sure, read by Western children with the same delight and the thrill as by the children of this country." —Shinzo Koizumi, Advisor for the Education of the Crown Prince of Japan
"With her extraordinary command of English and great love of children, no one could have been better suited for the work than Mrs. Yasuda, and I know lovers of fairy tales all over the world…will welcome her contribution to their collection." —Mrs. Takakichi Aso, Daughter of Mr. Shigeru Yoshida, former Prime Minister of Japan
"In these delightful folk stories as told by the gifted author Yuri Yasuda, there are revealed for our better understanding the old traditions and customs, the aspirations and innermost feelings of the Japanese." —Dr. Francis B. Sayer, former U.S. Undersecretary of State
"The Old Tales of Japan translated by Mrs. Yasuda bring back many endearing memories of childhood to each and all of us in Japan. I hope that these tales we love may be shared and enjoyed by our little friends of other countries." —Her Imperial Highness Princess Chichibu
"Here are old Japanese tales translated and delightfully retold for English-speaking children by Mrs. Yasuda…They will all find their way into the hearts of a new generation of children." —Elizabeth Gray Vining, former tutor to the Crown Prince of Japan
"These old tales of Japan, charmingly recounted, especially for children…are just as significant to grown ups…I hope many children of other nations will read these well-told tales…" —Mrs. Joseph C. Grew, Wife of former American Ambassador to Japan