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Hunter Brother of a Dreamer

Holding my lantern high, I ran out into the forest through the terrible storm. "My brother! My brother!" I called. I found an old temple, climbed the steps, and burst through the golden doors. 'Where are you, my brother?" I was soaked but I threw my long hair back and...

Golden Comb

I had been placed at the bottom of an ancient chest, a bride box, lovingly prepared by the mother of two girls, Aiko and her sister Aiyamé.  On a languid summer afternoon, the cover was opened and the ladies started to dig things up. Aiko said, “My mother, I pray you...

Troubled Wise Man of Japan

I ventured alone in my frail boat and fell asleep. The boat drifted east, to the shore of the sweetest spot in the world. In the bright morning light, I found myself in the shadow of Fusan, the Wonder Mountain, and I knew I had come to Horaizan, the Isle of the Blest....

Tall, Tall Ferryman

I work hard, here at the end of the world. Every day, I do the same thing. I take people on my shoulders and carry them over the lake to the other side. I don't need a ferry boat, because I am a tall, tall man. But I've never been able to enjoy my own life because...

Cupid

I was singing by the water and smoothing the feathers on the shafts of my arrows when the princess found me. I said, "Are you surprised to find me with my eyes open? I'm not always blind, you know!" Anyway, I don't need eyes to know what she is seeking. I let one of...

Broom-maker

My brother is a goldsmith, and he's very rich. Me, I just make brooms. Today, when I went into the forest to collect wood, a golden bird flew out of the bushes. I threw a stone at it, and it got away, but it left behind a golden feather. I picked the feather up and...

Magpie

The Water Lily has been singing her sad song endlessly. Alas! bewitched and all forsaken, ‘Tis I must lie for ever here! My beloved no thought has taken To free his bride, that was so dear. The Thrush sang: "How stupid men are!...

Spinning Nun

When my mother died, she gave me an apple that would enable a woman to have a child. I kept it for a long time. Then, when the aging queen realized that she might never have an heir, I gave her the apple. After, I returned to the convent where I live. It is located...

White Wolf

Last night, a woman came to my door. She sat outside and told her story. I crept to the door and listened. She said she had fallen in love fell with a prince who was a wolf by day and a man by night. Then a servant threw his wolf-skin into the fire, and he disappeared...

Ball-Carrier

My people say that a witch lives on the other side of the wood, near the great river. She steals children. She flings her ball in the direction of a child's home, and when the child starts to chase it, she reels in her prey. The child is never seen again. It is all...

Tiniest Mouse of All

The cat has caught the king of mice, and he isn't going to let him go until we find the magic ring. I'm the tiniest mouse in the castle but I stepped forward and I said, "I know where the ring is because I live in the room of the princess. Every night, she takes the...

Wrongly Accused Sister

I killed my brother! I didn't mean to. He was sitting at the door, looking quite white, and holding an apple. He wouldn't give it to me so I went to my mother and I told her that my brother was sitting at the window, looking quite white, and he wouldn't give me the...