Japanese Fairy Tales (A Giant Golden Book)


As I promised yesterday, today I have another book of Japanese folk tales to share with you. This one also came from the library. It's a Giant Golden Book from 1960.

Japanese Fairy Tales (A Giant Golden Book)
translated by Mildred Marmur, illustrated by Benvenuti.
Golden Press, 1960.

The lush illustrations are by an Italian artist who sometimes worked for Golden, Benvenuti. I think he's the same guy who did this book, but the style is so different. Amazon search for "Benvenuti Golden" turns up these results. (Oooo, Russian Fairy Tales.)

I must apologize for the photo quality. I had some major trouble with this one. The pages are faded and yellowing on this library copy, and it's too large for my scanner. I thought I'd post the best of the ones I took, but I'm disappointed. They don't do the book justice.


Several of the stories in this one can also be found in A Treasury of Japanese Folk Tales: "Urashima," "Hime," "The Sparrow," "The Man Who Made the Trees Bloom." I haven't had a chance to compare any except "The Story of Hime" ("Kaguya Hime"), but I was struck by how much more complete that story felt. The book only credits Mildred Marmur as translator. I'm not sure what her exact source material was.

Let's look at some pictures now, okay?

"The Story of Issoumbochi"

"The Legend of Urashima"

"The Legend of Urashima"

"Sima Who Wore the Big Hat"

I almost missed our Kaguya story! In this book, the tale is called "The Story of Hime." This one is much more detailed than the version in yesterday's book. We read it at bedtime the other night, and it gave me the same sleepy, sad feeling at the end that we felt from the movie.

"The Story of Hime"

"The Story of Hime"

"The Sparrow Whose Tongue Was Cut Out"

"The Magic Veil"

From left to right: "The Wicked Polecat," "The Dancing Teapot," and two illustrations from "The Man Who Made the Trees Bloom."

I would love to have this book in my collection, along with other Giant Golden Books of fairy tales. Hmmm. Perhaps one day...


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Comments

  1. I MUST OWN THIS. must must must. What a treasure!!! Oh how I love it! Thank you for sharing this!!!

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    1. You're welcome - I had to! It's too beautiful not to share! And yes, I really, really want one of my own.

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  2. Oh wow!!!! these illustrations are AMAZING. Love this!~

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    1. They're so beautiful. And there's a Russian Fairy Tales by the same illustrator, too! I must track these down to own.

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  3. Our family had this book back in the 1960s when we lived in Shaker Heights, OH. My mom *LOVED* the illustrations. The only story that I ever read in its entirety was "The Legend of Urashima". (Anime and Manga and a desire for knowledge about Japanese culture and history weren't as large a factor in my life as they are now.) Sadly, we lost it when we moved to California. Luckily, I just found a copy of it on Amazon and bought it as a slightly late birthday present. (And, yes, we also had the "Russian Fairy Tales" book.)

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    1. You know, I still haven't hunted down a used copy for myself. Thank you for the reminder. I want the Russian one, too. Thank you so much for your comment. I'm glad you found a replacement copy! I'm going to hunt one for myself now. ;)

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  4. I grew up with "Russian Fairy Tales." I have my original copy of the book in my bookcase and was looking at it tonight. It's one of the most beautiful books anywhere. The illustrations are just breathtaking. Find a copy if you can. I wish someone would republish these!

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    1. I am so jealous!!! I would love to find a copy of that one. I agree, I wish they were back in print.

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  5. I once owned this book, and somehow it disappeared. I have been mourning it's loss ever sense. I read it to my children so much that the binding broke apart, but it was a treasure I never would have intentionally parted with. The stories are brilliant, and the illustrator is beyond genius . I finally found a place to order another one.

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    1. I need to order myself a copy to keep. I'm glad the library had this one and we were able to enjoy it for a while, though!

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