Japanese tale #65 – The old charcoal burners

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Once upon a time, an old man and his beloved wife lived a humble life on a distant mountainside.

For years, they had made their living of charcoal making.

Every morning, the man climbed the steep slopes of the forest to cut thick oak trees. He then brought lumbers down to the clearing where their kilns stood, and he and his wife transformed wood over the course of long tedious workdays.

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Japanese tale #32 – The spinner and the tanuki


Once upon a time, there was a woodcutters couple who spent all the good season up high in the mountains.

The lumberjack worked hard all day long, cutting trees and burning wood to make charcoal. And his wife sat dutifully in front of her spinning wheel, her nimble fingers coiling fine glossy threads.

Everyday, after her man had left for the woods, a tanuki came sniffing around the camp. Searching for food, the beast lazed around, rummaging through the woodcutters’ belongings.

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Japanese tale #19 – The Demon and the Waterfall


Once upon a time, deep in the heart of Japan, was a village hidden in a mighty forest. Everywhere, tiny houses were surrounded by huge ferns and tall cedars reaching for the sky.

People there lived a quiet life, mostly hunting small game and gathering mushrooms and wild plants.

The forest was both their blessing and their curse. It was so rich they could find everything they needed to survive. But it was also such a wide and unfathomable land that travelers seldom dared cross it.

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