BN.com Gift Guide

Myths and Legends of Japan [NOOK Book]

Overview

"Myths and Legends of Japan," written in 1913, was an immediate best-seller when it was first released. With the Meiji Restoration, Japan began a period of modernization in the late 19th century that would open up the country to the rest of the world for the first time. This allowed historians like F. Hadland Davis, the author of "Myths and Legends of Japan" an unprecedented opportunity to study and introduce Japanese culture to Western audiences. Stories about creation, mystical creatures, and ghosts, as well as stories about Buddhism, folk
... See more details below
Myths and Legends of Japan

Available on NOOK devices and apps  
  • NOOK Devices
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 NOOK 7.0
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 NOOK 10.1
  • NOOK HD Tablet
  • NOOK HD+ Tablet
  • NOOK eReaders
  • NOOK Color
  • NOOK Tablet
  • Tablet/Phone
  • NOOK for Windows 8 Tablet
  • NOOK for iOS
  • NOOK for Android
  • NOOK Kids for iPad
  • PC/Mac
  • NOOK for Windows 8
  • NOOK for PC
  • NOOK for Mac
  • NOOK for Web

Want a NOOK? Explore Now

NOOK Book (eBook)
$6.99
BN.com price
(Save 12%)$7.99 List Price

Overview

"Myths and Legends of Japan," written in 1913, was an immediate best-seller when it was first released. With the Meiji Restoration, Japan began a period of modernization in the late 19th century that would open up the country to the rest of the world for the first time. This allowed historians like F. Hadland Davis, the author of "Myths and Legends of Japan" an unprecedented opportunity to study and introduce Japanese culture to Western audiences. Stories about creation, mystical creatures, and ghosts, as well as stories about Buddhism, folk tales, and other amazing tales grace the pages of this anthology. The information stored in this collection is not just entertaining, but also well-researched and accurate. Davis included anthropological tidbits as well about how the stories were representative of Japanese culture. Students of Japanese history or those wishing to learn more about Japanese culture will be delighted with this comprehensive collection of Japanese folklore.
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781420947694
  • Publisher: Digireads.com Publishing
  • Publication date: 1/1/2013
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • File size: 38 MB
  • Note: This product may take a few minutes to download.

Read an Excerpt

The Transformation of Issunboshi, and Kintaro, the Golden Boy

A Prayer to the Empress Jingo

An old married couple went to the shrine of the deified Empress Jingo[71] and prayed that they might be blessed with a child, even if it were no bigger than one of their fingers. A voice was heard from behind the bamboo curtain of the shrine, and the old people were informed that their wish would be granted. In due time the old woman gave birth to a child, and when she and her husband discovered that this miniature piece of humanity was no bigger than a little finger, they became extremely angry, and thought that the Empress Jingo had treated them very meanly indeed, though, as a matter of fact, she had fulfilled their prayer to the letter. "One-Inch Priest"

The little fellow was called Issunboshi ("One-Inch Priest"), and every day his parents expected to see him suddenly grow up as other boys; but at thirteen years of age he still remained the same size as when he was born. Gradually his parents became exasperated, for it wounded their vanity to hear the neighbors describe their son as Little Finger, or Grain-of-Corn. They were so much annoyed that at last they determined to send Issunboshi away.

The little fellow did not complain. He requested his mother to give him a needle, a small soup-bowl, and a chop-stick, and with these things he set off on his adventures. Issunboshi becomes a Page

His soup-bowl served as a boat, which he propelled along the river with his chop-stick. In this fashion he finally reached Kyoto. Issunboshi wandered about this city until be saw a large roofed gate. Without the least hesitation he walked in, and having reached the porch of a house, he cried outin a very minute voice: "I beg an honourable inquiry!"

Prince Sanjo himself heard the little voice, and it was some time before he could discover where it came from. When he did so he was delighted with his discovery, and on the little fellow begging that he might live in the Prince's house, his request was readily granted. The boy became a great favorite, and was at once made the Princess Sanjo's page. In this capacity he accompanied his mistress everywhere, and though so very small, he fully appreciated the honour and dignity of his position.

An Encounter with Oni

One day the Princess Sanjo and her page went to the Temple of Kwannon, the Goddess of Mercy "under whose feet are dragons of the elements and the lotuses of Purity." As they were leaving the temple two oni (evil spirits) sprang upon them. Issunboshi took out his needle-sword from its hollow straw, and loudly denouncing the oni, he flourished his small weapon in their evil-looking faces.

One of the creatures laughed. "Why," said he scornfully "I could swallow you, as a cormorant swallows a trout, and what is more, my funny little bean-seed, I will do so!" The oni opened his mouth, and Issunboshi found. himself slipping down a huge throat until he finally stood in the creature's great dark stomach. Issunboshi, nothing daunted, began boring away with his needle-sword. This made the evil spirit cry out and give a great cough, which sent the little fellow into the sunny world again.

The second oni, who had witnessed his companion's distress, was extremely angry, and tried to swallow the remarkable little page, but was not successful. This time Issunboshi climbed up the creature's nostril, and when he had reached the end of what seemed to him to be a very long and gloomy tunnel, he began piercing the oni's eyes. The creature, savage with pain, ran off as fast as he could, followed by his yelling companion.

Needless to say, the Princess was delighted with her page's bravery, and told him that she was sure her father would reward him when he was told about the terrible encounter.

The Magic Mallet

On their way home the Princess happened to pick up a small wooden mallet. "Oh!" said she "this must have been dropped by the wicked oni, and it is none other than a lucky mallet. You have only to wish and then tap it upon the ground, and your wish, no matter what, is always granted. My brave Issunboshi, tell me what you would most desire, and I will tap the mallet on the ground."

After a pause the little fellow said: "Honourable Princess, I should like to be as big as other people."

The Princess tapped the mallet on the ground, calling aloud the wish of her page. In a moment Issunboshi was transformed from a bijou creature to a lad just like other youths of his age.

These wonderful happenings excited the curiosity of the Emperor, and Issunboshi was summoned to his presence. The Emperor was so delighted with the youth that he gave him many gifts and made him a high official. Finally, Issunboshi became a great lord and married Prince Sanjo's youngest daughter.

Kintaro, the Golden Boy

Sakata Kurando was an officer of the Emperor's bodyguard, and though he was a brave man, well versed in the art of war, he had a gentle disposition, and during his military career chanced to love a beautiful lady named Yaégiri. Kurando eventually fell into disgrace, and was forced to leave the Court and to become a travelling tobacco merchant. Yaégiri, who was much distressed by her lover's flight, succeeded in escaping from her home, and wandered up and down the country in the hope of meeting Kurando. At length she found him, but the unfortunate man, who, no doubt, felt deeply his disgrace and his humble mode of living, put an end to his humiliation by taking his miserable life.

Animal Companions

When Yaéciri had buried her lover she went to the Ashigara Mountain, where she gave birth to a child, called Kintaro, or the Golden Boy. Now Kintaro was remarkable for his extreme strength. When only a few years old his mother gave him an axe, with which he felled trees as quickly and easily as an experienced woodcutter. Ashigara Mountain was a lonely and desolate spot, and as there were no children with whom Kintaro could play, he made companions of the bear, deer, hare, and monkey, and in a very short time was able to speak their strange language.

One day, when Kintaro was sitting on the mountain, with his favourites about him, he sought to amuse himself by getting his companions to join in a friendly wrestling match. A kindly old bear was delighted with the proposal, and at once set to work to dig up the earth and arrange it in the form of a small dais. When this had been made a hare and a monkey wrestled together, while a deer stood by to give encouragement and to see that the sport was conducted fairly. Both animals proved themselves to be equally strong, and Kintaro tactfully rewarded them with tempting rice-cakes.

After spending a pleasant afternoon in this way, Kintaro proceeded to return home, followed by his devoted friends. At length they came to a river, and the animals were wondering how they should cross such a wide stretch of water, when Kintaro put his strong arms round a tree which was growing on the bank, and pulled it across the river so that it formed a bridge. Now it happened that the famous hero, Yorimitsu, and his retainers witnessed this extraordinary feat of strength, and said to Watanabe Isuna: "This child is truly remarkable. Go and find out where he lives and all about him."

A Famous Warrior

So Watanabe Isuna followed Kintaro and entered the house where he lived with his mother. "My master," said he "Lord Yorimitsu, bids me find out who your wonderful son is." When Yaégiri had narrated the story of her life and informed her visitor that her little one was the son of Sakata Kurando, the retainer departed and told Yorimitsu all he had heard.

Yorimitsu was so pleased with what Watanabe Isuna told him that he went himself to Yaégiri, and said: "If you will give me your child I will make him my retainer." The woman gladly consented, and the Golden Boy went away with the great hero, who named him Sakata Kintoki. He eventually became a famous warrior, and the stories of his wonderful deeds are recited to this day. Children regard him as their favorite hero, and little boys, who would fain emulate the strength and bravery of Sakata Kintoki, carry his portrait in their bosoms.

Read More Show Less

Table of Contents

CHAP.
INTRODUCTION
I. THE PERIOD OF THE GODS
II. HEROES AND WARRIORS
III. THE BAMBO-CUTTER AND THE MOON-MAIDEN
IV. BUDDHA LEGENDS
V. FOX LEGENDS
VI. "JIZO, THE GOD OF CHILDREN"
VII. LEGEND IN JAPANESE ART
VIII. THE STAR LOVERS AND THE ROSE OF FEATHERS
IX. LEGENDS OF MOUNT FUJI
X. BELLS
XI. "YUKI-ONNA, THE LADY OF THE SNOW"
XII. FLOWERS AND GARDENS
XIII. TREES
XIV. MIRRORS
XV. "KWANNON AND BENTEN, DAIKOKU, EBISU, AND HOTEI"
XVI. DOLLS AND BUTTERFLIES
XVII. FESTIVALS
XVIII. THE PEONY-LANTERN
XIX. "KOBO DAISHI, NICHIREN, AND SHODO SHONIN"
XX. FANS
XXI. THUNDER
XXII. ANIMAL LEGENDS
XXIII. BIRD AND INSECT LEGENDS
XXIV. CONCERNING TEA
XXV. LEGENDS OF THE WEIRD
XXVI. THREE MAIDENS
XXVII. LEGENDS OF THE SEA
XXVIII. SUPERSTITIONS
XXIX. SUPERNATURAL BEINGS
XXX. "THE TRANSFORMATION OF ISSUNBOSHI AND KINTARO, THE GOLDEN BOY"
XXXI. MISCELLANEOUS LEGENDS
A NOTE ON JAPANESE POETRY
GODS AND GODDESSES
GENEALOGY OF THE AGE OF THE GODS
BIBLIOGRAPHY
INDEX OF POETICAL QUOTATIONS
GLOSSARY AND INDEX
Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 1 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(1)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 25, 2008

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews

If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
Why is this product inappropriate?
Comments (optional)