Many of us are familiar with Grimm's Fairy Tales, or children's stories from France, England, China, India and Germany, but are less aware of similar folk tales and children's stories from Japan. Japanese Fairy Tales by Yei Theodora Ozaki captures the exotic flavor, traditions and customs of this ancient land.
Published in 1903 entitled the Japanese Fairy Book, the title was changed in the 1908 edition to Japanese Fairy Tales. Theodora Ozaki was the daughter of a wealthy Japanese aristocrat Baron Ozaki, the first Japanese man to study in the West, and his wife, an American schoolteacher's daughter. The couple separated after a brief marriage and Theodora lived with her father in Japan. She worked as a secretary and spent much of her spare time collecting traditional Japanese stories. She was encouraged to publish the collection by the Scottish writer Andrew Lang, who was himself an accomplished writer of children's literature.
The twenty-two stories contained in this volume include…