The Snow Woman and Other Yokai Stories from Japan (9784805317587)

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Tuttle Publishing
Date Published:
77 folk tales; with 32 b&w illustrations

An extraordinary collection of Japanese ghost stories, many in English for the first time!

This spine-chilling anthology of 77 spooky stories from the Japanese collection Tales from Shinshu is compiled and edited by award-winning author Noboru Wada. It features traditional tales of yokai, ghosts, mountain witches, demons and apparitions frequently sighted in and around the mountainous Shinshu region in central Japan.

The terrifying tales in this collection include:

  • The Legend of the Snow Woman: A beautiful woman appears at Minokichi's door one night in a snowstorm. They marry and live happily, until one day her terrible secret is revealed.

  • Kappa Taro: A legendary yokai terrifies villagers by luring them into a pond, where they drown. Can Suwa Yorito, famed for his strength, successfully challenge this terrifying demon?

  • The Yamamba Witch's Daughter: Who would ever dream of marrying a mountain witch? Can the Yamamba's daughter find the love and happiness she seeks?

These stories have been passed down for generations from grandparents to their grandchildren, sitting around the hearth on cold and snowy winter nights. They are well-known throughout Japan and are believed by the inhabitants of Shinshu to have actually occurred in the distant past.

About the Author:
Noboru Wada was born in Nagano, in central Japan. He graduated from Shinshu University and worked as a school teacher for 31 years. In 1977, he received the first Kenjiro Tsukahara Literary Award for his work The Fortress of Sorrow, which depicts Korean slave laborers forced to build a bunker for Japanese military officials during World War II. In 2005, he won the Sankei Award for his book Weapons Can't Save the Earth. In addition to anti-war and anti-discrimination children's books, he has written biographies, ghost stories and science fiction for children. From 2011 - 2017 he was director of the Kurohime Fairy Tales Museum in Nagano. Many of his books are illustrated by his daughter, Haruna Wada. The Snow Woman and Other Yokai Tales is his first work to be published in English.

William Scott Wilson holds BAs from Dartmouth and The Monterey Institute and an MA from the University of Washington. His first trip to Japan in 1966 was to undertake a kayak trip funded by National Geographic Magazine, paddling 1200 miles through the Inland Sea from Shimonoseki to Tokyo. The story appeared in the September, 1967 issue. He has worked as a translator and cultural advisor for the Japanese Consul-General in Seattle, a teacher of Japanese language and social studies, and a guide for Japanese tourists. He has written over 20 books that have been translated into 21 languages. His first book, a translation of an 18th century treatise on Samurai philosophy, the Hagakure, was featured in the film Ghost Dog by director Jim Jarmusch. He was awarded a Commendation from the Foreign Ministry of Japan in 2005 and inducted into the Order of the Rising Sun in 2015.