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Haunting Tales from Japan

Haunting Tales from Japan

by Carol Kendall

Editorial Reviews

School Library Journal - School Library Journal
Gr 6 Up Kendall has powerfully retold six severe and uncompromising Japanese folk tales, five of which revolve around murder and suicide. They are complemented by full-color woodblock prints by different Japanese artists. While reward for goodness and punishment of evil so prevalent in European folk tales are present in some of these tales, in others the innocent suffer and the guilty are left unpunished. In ``Okiku and the Saucers,'' for example, Okiku, a maid falsely accused of breaking a priceless saucer, commits suicide and then haunts her master. Her mistress, who broke the saucer and then accused Okiku, remains unpunished. Kendall's retelling does not soften the tales. While some versions of ``The Tongue-cut Sparrow'' have the unpleasant wife who cuts the tongue of her husband's pet reform her ways after being frightened by the gruesome monsters her greed brings upon her, here the demons ``devoured her, down to the last shriek.'' These tales should appeal to older children who enjoy grotesque horror stories as well as storytellers looking for ghost stories for older audiences, as the ghastly descriptions are gruesome enough for all but the most jaded horror buffs. Notes on the stories follow the collection. Worth considering for any library in which there is a demand either for Japanese folklore or horror stories. Louise L. Sherman , Anna C. Scott School , Leonia, N.J.

Product Details

Spencer Museum of Art
Publication date:
Edition description:
1st ed
Age Range:
11 - 14 Years

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