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.
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.
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?
Coffee, Dessert, Audio Book Fanatic. Grew up on Graphic Novels (We call those Comic Books where Im from).
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.
Enthusiastic, understandable, albeit monotone.
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.
Awesome book. Japanese Fairy Tales provides cultural exposure and understanding. The stories encourage parent and child discourse. The wisdom and folly of individual characters provide ample teaching opportunities.
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