Stories from East Asia

34 stories

Green Willow

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At this moment the moon shone very brightly forth, and by the sudden light Tomodata saw a little hill on his right hand. Upon the hill was a small thatched cottage, and before the cottage grew three green weeping-willow trees.

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How it was Settled who should rule the World

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The good and the bad gods disputed, —the bad gods wanting to be at the head of the government of this world, and the good gods likewise wanting to be at the head.

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How the Moon became Beautiful

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The Moon was sad. So one evening he went to see the beautiful maiden Tseh-N’io. And when he saw her he loved her at once.

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Lazy Taro

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He was not ill; he was merely lazy. No one knew where he came from nor who his parents were, nor did he.

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Little Peachling

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Just as the good old man cut the skin of the peach, it seemed to burst open and there, inside, lay a tiny little baby boy, smiling up at them.

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Lord Bag of Rice

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The soldier drew his great bow and let an arrow fly at the monster’s head. He never missed his aim, and the arrow struck the ugly head of the centipede, but bounced away.

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Momotaro

By

Now, while the old woman was washing the clothes, what should she see but a fine ripe peach that came floating down the stream? The peach was big enough, and rosy red on both sides.

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Oshidori

By

That night Sonjo dreamed a dreary dream. It seemed to him that a beautiful woman came into his room, and stood by his pillow, and began to weep.

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Peach Darling

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As he was going along a dog came up and sniffed hungrily at the dumplings. Peach Darling thought, ‘This poor dog is hungry, and I can do with one less dumpling.’ So he gave a dumpling to the dog.

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The Animals’ Peace Party

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The young pigs and the old ones talked together and the old ones said, ‘Maybe they will have some good things for us to eat at the party. I think we should go.’

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The Baby in the Box

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The husband said to the old man: ‘I come to ask whether you know anything of my little boy, who was placed in a box and set to float down the stream.’ The old man replied: ‘One day, my daughter found a box with a little boy in it.’

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The Black Bowl

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‘Child,’ says the mother, ‘do you know you are as pretty as a princess?’ ‘Am I that?’ says the maid, and goes on with her crying.

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The Bride Bewitched

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And from the window a lovely goddess popped out her head and said: ‘What has happened is in no way your fault. Your beauty has caused a wicked fox to fall in love with you.’

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The Evergreen Tree and the Wilderness Marigold

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These people take our flowers home. Some of us they put in baskets and call basket flowers. Some they put in the maidens’ hair and they call us maiden flowers.

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The First Rabbits

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The star children all began to cry again. Just then the fairy mother of the sky came with a torch to light the star lamps. ‘Crying again?’ she said. ‘What’s the matter now?’

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The Flute

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In the morning O'Yoné came to her father with a little flute. ‘I made it myself.’ she said, ‘As you cannot take me with you, take the little flute, honourable father. Play on it sometimes, and think of me.’

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The Good Thunder

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Rai-Taro grew up straight and strong, the tallest, gayest boy of all that country-side. He was the delight of his foster-parents, and all the neighbours loved him.

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The Hunter in Hades

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The only thing you can do to recover your proper shape is to climb to the top of this pine-tree, and fling yourself down. Then you may, perhaps, become a human being again.

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The Kind Giver and the Grudging Giver

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Though it was a raven, it spoke thus, just like a human being: ‘I am very grateful for having been fed on fish by you. If you will come with me to my old father, he too will thank you.’

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The Moon Maiden

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With that Také Tori takes up the fine shining green jewel in his hands, and it bursts in two with a loud noise, and out of it came a young person.

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