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Editor reviews

Yei Theodora Ozaki liberally translated this anthology of Japanese fairy tales with an aim to please English children. And please them she does, though these folk stories aren't necessarily 100 percent faithful to their original versions. Ozaki substitutes unfamiliar vocabulary and even alters unhappy endings at times, but her motives are pure and these colorful, "enhanced" tales offer children a welcoming introduction to Japanese culture.

Leslie Bellair performs the audiobook in a bright and youthful voice that adds vitality to the content. If an imaginative child closes her eyes while she listens, perhaps Bellair's expressive performance can help recreate the beautiful images that accompanied the original text in 1903.

Summary

Here are 22 charming Japanese Fairy Tales, translated by Yei Theodora Ozaki, including "My Lord Bag of Rice", "The Tongue-Cut Sparrow", "The Story of Urashima Taro, the Fisher Lad", "The Farmer and the Badger", "The Shinansha, or the South Pointing Carriage", "The Adventures of Kintaro, the Golden Boy", "The Story of Princess Hase", "The Story of the Man Who Did Not Wish to Die", "The Bamboo-Cutter and the Moonchild", "The Mirror of Matsuyama", "The Goblin of Adachigahara", "The Sagacious Monkey and the Boar", "The Happy Hunter and the Skillful Fisher", "The Story of the Old Man Who Made Withered Trees to Flower", "The Jellyfish and the Monkey", "The Quarrel of the Monkey and the Crab", "The White Hare and the Crocodiles", "The Story of Prince Yamato Take", "Momotaro, or the Story of the Son of a Peach", "The Ogre of Rashomon", "How an Old Man Lost His Wen", and "The Stones of Five Colors and the Empress Jokwa".

Public Domain (P)2012 Audible, Inc.

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What listeners say about Japanese Fairy Tales

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Read in american dialect 👎👎👎

It’s a pity Amazon does not use proper english, as there are many interesting titles like this one.
I hope the future wil bring language options.
New storys might work with amercan, older tales makes me uncomfortable if read with an american dialect. It would be better even in broken UK English just real English.

1 person found this helpful

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Amazing

I really liked this it is amazing if you like fairytales then you would like this all of the stories are very good.

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easy to listen to and well narrated

I highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys poetry and storytelling Japanese poetry based on this book relies on short storytelling.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book and would hope to find more or similar to it.

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Brilliant - ignore the disrespectful reviews!

Despite the awful discriminatory comments on this page, this audible tells Japanese folklore beautifully.

People who say it gives children nightmares are most definitely ignorant to Ancient Greek or Egyptian folklore. Zeus was not a nice guy. Not everything has to be converted into Disney to be appreciated in it's raw form. Even Disney stories originated from some pretty terrifying folklore too.

The narrator also has a calming voice and pronounces Japanese words perfectly - in a way critics of this audible could only dream of. Why does this have to be told in a British accent when it's not even British in origin? So odd.

And why can't any of these 'critics' learn to spell words correctly before criticising a perfectly good narrator? Mystery.

素晴らしいです。

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Gave my children nightmares!

May well be Japanese tales but they can be scsry and gruesome.
I would not recommend as a bedtime listen for children.

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  • Me
  • 12-08-21

awesome stories, voice meh

loved the stories, her voice is too fast and too high, but I've heard worst!

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  • Ben
  • 31-01-17

Nice book, wish the narrator spoke Japanese better

The book seems well written, and carefully keeps Japanese placenames, person names and non-translatable words intact. The narrator speaks well and tries to pronounce carefully, but clearly doesn't have a strong foundation in Japanese language. keeyooshoo (きゅうしゅう). yikes. sadly most vowel combinations and long vowel sounds are a bit mispronounced. Why not have a Japanese native or advanced student doing the reading? or more vocal training?

31 people found this helpful

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  • Brian Scott
  • 23-02-21

decent source material with a bad presentation

as others have said, the pronunciation of japanese names and places is rather poor and distracting and the speaker is monotone. furthermore, they seemed to flip a coin on what language to use with some words like oji-san being used, while other Japanese terms like tanuki and samurai were replaced by badger and knight respectively. who doesn't know what a samurai is?

in the case of widely adapted source material like legends, presentation is everything and this version falls short.

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  • kurt lindner
  • 06-03-18

enjoyable listen

A very enjoyable book, good narration, a few mispronunciations which don't affect the story. Definitely worth a second listen.

7 people found this helpful

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  • daniyel ortiz
  • 24-10-20

whitewashing.

so the "knights take up their rosaries and go to the family shrine and pray to buddha..."

yeahno. not cool.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 07-05-18

The narration ruins it

I tried to. Play that to my kids but they rightfully complained about the narrator who has a very mechanical voice and high pitch that makes it feel like torture after a few minutes. So disappointed cause I wanted to introduce them to Japanese culture.

4 people found this helpful

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  • Hugh
  • 21-02-15

An excellent anthology of Japanese folk stories

What did you love best about Japanese Fairy Tales?
Japanese Fairy Tales contains several stories that provided the ideal material for an environment where the listener is not necessarily seeking an enthralling experience, but soft listening. Each story is similar to the last in theme and cultural traits, of course, but are different enough to create a well rounded collection of Japanese heritage.

What three words best describe Leslie Bellair’s voice?
Enthusiastic, albeit monotone.

Any additional comments?
Yei Theodora Ozaki has written an excellent compilation of Japanese folk tales. While the stories provide an excellent before bed listening, the narrator leaves a little to be desired in way of depth. All in all I recommend this audiobook to any listener who desires to add an excellent anthology of Japanese culture to his or her collection.

4 people found this helpful

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  • Wynfrieda
  • 31-01-22

Poorly translated, poorly narrated.

Don't bother, unless you are comfortable with stilted grammar, uncomfortable narration and lots of unprofessional mispronunciations.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Rincs.Art
  • 29-01-21

A nice informative listen.

It was interesting to listen to, but some of the pronunciations were rather difficult to listen to, if you're well-acquainted with the Japanese language. Still worth a listen.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Allison Stafford
  • 24-07-22

it is with the title says Japanese fairy tales

my favorite one is the hair in the badger .I may illustrate this put me in a painting mood overall a good listen

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  • L. Soltis
  • 23-06-22

Good, but could be better

I enjoyed the fairytales in this collection, but the narrator’s pronunciation of Japanese words leaves much to be desired. My mother grew up in Japan, and while I think she would like that an audiobook of familiar stories I’d available, I think she would cringe if she were to listen to this one.