Japanese Fairy Tales by Yei Theodora Ozaki

Two open white pages on an orange background.  A black background with a white W.  A black background with a white tentacled cat.

Suggested Price: $1.99

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Japanese Fairy Tales is a collection of short stories translated and compiled by Yei Theodora Ozaki. While liberal with her translations, Ozaki was nonetheless popular and have sustained, even almost 90 years after her passing. Ozaki was the daughter of one of the first Western educated Japanese men, Saburō Ozaki, and Bathia Catherine Morrison. Her parents separated and her mother retained custody of her and her siblings. When she became a teenager, Yei went to live with her father in Japan. Later on, she split her time between Europe and Japan. Interestingly enough, when she lived in Japan, her mail was often mistakenly delivered to Yukio Ozaki, a longstanding Japanese politician who has been called the “father of the Japanese Constitution”. While they shared the same name, they were unrelated. They met each other in 1904 and later got married. The two remained together until Yei’s death in 1932.

Japanese Fairy Tales consists of 22 supernatural stories that involve monsters such as goblins, ogres, sea serpents, demons, dragons, and more. Interestingly, there are some commonalities between Japanese Fairy Tales as well as the Grimms’ Fairy Tales, such as the evil stepmother (apparently a common, worldwide trope). Also similar to Grimms’ Fairy Tales is the morality of the stories. It appears that despite the dichotomy between traditions, one commonality between Eastern & Western cultures is that fairy tales (typically directed towards children, but commonly enjoyed by adults) are moralistic tales in nature.

You can buy a hardcover or an illustrated version of the tales at the corresponding links.