Japanese tale #21 – The snake’s bride

snake bride.jpg

Once upon a time, in a peaceful countryside, lived Kenta, a farmer who had three daughters.

It was a simple man who loved his wife and children dearly. The whole family worked hard in their paddy-fields from sunrise to dusk. They plowed and planted, feet all day long paddling in soft mud, their backs bent and broken.

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Japanese tale #20 – A talking kettle


Once upon a time, a man named Jiro and his family lived a very harsh life. For slum dwellers like them, times were difficult: despite all their hard work, money was often short and they didn’t always eat their fill.

One brisk day, as Jiro was rummaging through odds and ends, searching among garbage for things he could resell, a strange furry thing caught his attention.

The man took away some worm eaten planks only to found himself face to face with two scared eyes.

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Japanese tale #17 – A mysterious birth


Once upon a time was a very skilled midwife going by the name of Chiyo. It was a tiny old lady, with a wrinkled face and a crooked back which hurt during rainy days. But her hands were strong and her voice calm and steady.

Nobody had counted how many babies had been delivered thanks to her, but every villagers around knew what to do when expectant mothers faced a difficult childbirth: call for Chiyo.

One night, as Chiyo was sleeping soundly like only elderly persons can, someone came knocking loudly at her door.

– Help, oh please I need your help!

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Japanese tale #14 – The Fox and the Dango


Once upon a time, there was a tiny teahouse up in the mountains. Built just beside the road leading to the harsh mountain pass, the old owner seldom saw travelers and mostly spent his days farming.

One Autumn day though, a weary samurai came to stop. His tattered blue pants and straw shoes, covered with mud and fallen leaves, were a poor sight. Yet the young man had a noble posture and very refined manners. He called gently:

– Hello? Is there somebody here ?

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Japanese tale #13 – Umibozu


Once upon a time, in a small village upon the sea of Japan, lived a fisherman and his only son. The man was old and stern and the young man very shy. Like all their neighbours, they were both very poor and had to work very hard to get their fill.

Everyday, father and son left their home before sunrise, pushing their tiny boat on the deep blue seas and hoping for the best.

And every evening, they sat together in their modest house, to mend their nets and creels before drifting into sleep.

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