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The Fisher-Boy Urashima   By: (1843-1890)

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The Fisher-Boy Urashima is a mesmerizing tale that takes readers on a captivating journey into the mystic and enchanting world of Japanese folklore. Although the author of this ancient tale remains unknown, their ability to weave a narrative full of wonder and imagination is truly remarkable.

The story follows the life of a young fisherman named Urashima, whose humble beginnings are contrasted with his exceptional fishing skills. However, it is the unexpected encounter with a mystical turtle that sets the stage for Urashima's extraordinary adventure. In recognition of his compassionate nature, the turtle rewards Urashima with a trip to the underwater kingdom of the sea god Ryujin.

As Urashima explores the awe-inspiring realm beneath the surface, readers are transported into a realm where time is distorted and reality is blurred. The vivid descriptions of the underwater landscapes and the magical creatures that inhabit them leave an indelible impression on the imagination. The author's ability to create such surreal environments effortlessly immerses readers into the heart of the story.

Throughout the book, themes of love, sacrifice, and the passage of time are delicately intertwined. Urashima's encounters with the beautiful princess Otohime evoke a sense of bittersweet longing and make the reader reflect on the fleeting nature of happiness. The exploration of mortality and the consequences of one's actions are treated with sensitivity and introspection, making this ancient tale resonate with readers even after centuries.

Furthermore, the prose style maintains a consistent flow, expertly translated to capture the essence of the original text. The simplicity yet elegance of the language allows the story to unfold gracefully, carrying the reader through each twist and turn. The narrative pacing strikes a harmonious balance, creating moments of anticipation, excitement, and poignant reflection.

The Fisher-Boy Urashima is a timeless piece of Japanese folklore that continues to captivate audiences today. While the author's identity may remain a mystery, their skill in crafting this tale is undeniable. This book is a must-read for anyone fascinated by folklore, mythology, and the power of storytelling to transport readers to otherworldly realms. It is a testament to the enduring power of myths and legends to touch the depths of our souls and remind us of the beauty and fragility of the human experience.

First Page:

Transcriber's Note: Text is heavily illustrated, so the illustration tags within have been removed to avoid congestion.







Long, long ago there lived on the coast of the sea of Japan a young fisherman named Urashima, a kindly lad and clever with his rod and line.

Well, one day he went out in his boat to fish. But instead of catching any fish, what do you think he caught? Why! a great big tortoise, with a hard shell and such a funny wrinkled old face and a tiny tail. Now I must tell you something which very likely you don't know; and that is that tortoises always live a thousand years, at least Japanese tortoises do. So Urashima thought to himself: "A fish would do for my dinner just as well as this tortoise, in fact better. Why should I go and kill the poor thing, and prevent it from enjoying itself for another nine hundred and ninety nine years? No, no! I won't be so cruel. I am sure mother wouldn't like me to." And with these words, he threw the tortoise back into the sea.

The next thing that happened was that Urashima went to sleep in his boat; for it was one of those hot summer days when almost everybody enjoys a nap of an afternoon... Continue reading book >>

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