千疋狼— A Thousand Wolves

This story is also told all over Japan in various forms. In some cases, the wolf is replaced by she-demon (Niigata) or a shape-shifting cat. The wolf version below is largely translated from a collection of folklore entitled, 日本の民話(四国編)(Japanese Folklore - Shikoku) compiled by Marihiko Fujiwara (藤澤衞彦)  and can be purchased in Japanese from various… Continue reading 千疋狼— A Thousand Wolves


狼の眉毛 — The Wolf’s Eyebrow

It was harder than I thought it would be to find an unaltered version of this tale online. Most people seem to feel the main character needs a happier ending. I translated the version below from this site, where the author clearly points out what parts they have altered to make a happier story. I… Continue reading 狼の眉毛 — The Wolf’s Eyebrow


Horafuki Challenge (ほらくらべ)

The story below was translated from this website and features the Tsugaru region. But a similar horafuki story featuring the Tohoku region was collected by the Japanese folklorist Toshio Ozawa. If you search "ほらくらべ" you can find a few more versions. The differences are largely regional, but also differ in character gender and the number… Continue reading Horafuki Challenge (ほらくらべ)


Poison mizuame candy (水飴の毒)

This is a popular story in Japan and can easily be found online in a variety of forms by searching the title (水飴の毒) or 一休ばなし (Ikkyū banashi). The smart apprentice in these kinds of stories is generally named Ikkyū, and you can find several master vs. apprentice type verbal gags by searching 一休ばなし. Once upon… Continue reading Poison mizuame candy (水飴の毒)