Green Willow and Other Japanese Fairy Tales is a collection of 38 "tales and legends" from the Land of the Rising Sun, published in 1912. Grace James diligently gathered these beautiful stories from various sources, including the Ko-ji-ki, which is the oldest Japanese chronicle of myths that has survived the test of time and human hands to this day.
Warwick Goble, well-known illustrator of his time, enhances the appeal of the anthology by furnishing it with 16 artistic depictions of some of the characters in the stories. As he specialized in Asian themes, particularly Japanese and Indian ones, he is a fitting choice for the creation of this book.
Children and young adults will find these stories a fine introduction to Japanese culture. Despite its translation into a Western language, various Eastern elements remain, such as the names of the characters and places, as well as the designations of certain figures.
Also, certain Asian values, such as profound respect for elders and superiors, help youngsters understand why they are important and how they are supposed to be practiced. However, since the tales date back more than a hundred years ago, some customs featured may be deemed too conservative for modern readers.
These old legends and tales effectively transports one to another era and place. As such, this anthology is a great tool for escaping into a fictional realm while, at the same time, learning or being reminded of timeless moral lessons that remain applicable today.
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