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Japanese Fairy World Stories from the Wonder-Lore of Japan   By: (1843-1928)

Book cover

First Page:

JAPANESE FAIRY WORLD TRANSCRIBER'S NOTES MACRONS

The use of the macron above the letter "O" in names throughout the book is inconsistent. The same name may appear either with or without a macron or the macron may appear above different letters when the same name is printed in different places through the book. This has been left as printed in the original book.

In the plain text version, macrons are indicated by [=o] in place of the letter "O" with the macron above it. Macrons do not appear above any letter other than "O".

For further transcriber's notes, please see the end of the text.

[Illustration: HOW THE SUN GODDESS WAS ENTICED OUT OF HER CAVE.]

JAPANESE

FAIRY WORLD.

STORIES FROM THE WONDER LORE OF JAPAN.

BY

WILLIAM ELLIOT GRIFFIS,

AUTHOR OF "THE MIKADO'S EMPIRE."

ILLUSTRATED BY OZAWA, OF TOKIO.

LONDON:

TRÜBNER & CO., LUDGATE HILL.

1887.

PREFACE.

The thirty four stories included within this volume do not illustrate the bloody, revengeful or licentious elements, with which Japanese popular, and juvenile literature is saturated. These have been carefully avoided.

It is also rather with a view to the artistic, than to the literary, products of the imagination of Japan, that the selection has been made. From my first acquaintance, twelve years ago, with Japanese youth, I became an eager listener to their folk lore and fireside stories. When later, during a residence of nearly four years among the people, my eyes were opened to behold the wondrous fertility of invention, the wealth of literary, historic and classic allusion, of pun, myth and riddle, of heroic, wonder, and legendary lore in Japanese art, I at once set myself to find the source of the ideas expressed in bronze and porcelain, on lacquered cabinets, fans, and even crape paper napkins and tidies. Sometimes I discovered the originals of the artist's fancy in books, sometimes only in the mouths of the people and professional story tellers. Some of these stories I first read on the tattooed limbs and bodies of the native foot runners, others I first saw in flower tableaux at the street floral shows of Tokio. Within this book the reader will find translations, condensations of whole books, of interminable romances, and a few sketches by the author embodying Japanese ideas, beliefs and superstitions. I have taken no more liberty, I think, with the native originals, than a modern story teller of Tokio would himself take, were he talking in an American parlor, instead of at his bamboo curtained stand in Yanagi Cho, (Willow Street,) in the mikado's capital.

Some of the stories have appeared in English before, but most of them are printed for the first time. A few reappear from The Independent and other periodicals.

The illustrations and cover stamp, though engraved in New York by Mr. Henry W. Troy, were, with one exception, drawn especially for this work, by my artist friend, Ozawa Nankoku, of Tokio. The picture of Yorimasa, the Archer, was made for me by one of my students in Tokio.

Hoping that these harmless stories that have tickled the imagination of Japanese children during untold generations, may amuse the big and little folks of America, the writer invites his readers, in the language of the native host as he points to the chopsticks and spread table, O agari nasai W.E.G. SCHENECTADY, N.Y., Sept. 28th, 1880.

CONTENTS.

I. The Meeting of the Star Lovers.

II. The Travels of Two Frogs.

III. The Child of the Thunder.

IV. The Tongue cut Sparrow.

V. The Fire fly's Lovers.

VI. The Battle of the Ape and the Crab.

VII. The Wonderful Tea Kettle.

VIII. Peach Prince and the Treasure Island.

IX... Continue reading book >>




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