How about changing up your bedtime story with Japanese folktales? ‘Folk Tales From Japan: Fables, Myths, and Fairy Tales for Children‘ by Florence Sakade and illustrated by Yoshio Hayashi is a great book to start diving into eastern stories. All the stories are easy to understand for preschoolers and young kids.
Folktakes From Japan: Fables, Myths and Fairy Tales for Children
By Florence Sakade, Illustrated by Toshio Hayashi
16 Japanese stories for kids! It includes “The Princess and the Herdboy” explaining the origins of the Tanabata Festival and “Urashima Taro” one of the most popular folktales in Japan.
By Chieri Uegaki and Stephane Jorisch
Suki’s Kimono is a great story for teaching how to respect others’ differences and introducing their culture to classmates. The book is about Suki who shares her story in class, what she did during her break, and shares about the festival she took part in.
The story also shows the mean treatment she received from students and how Suki handled the situation. Since many students will be going back to school, it’s never too early to start teaching children how to share their culture and appreciate others.
You can find more activities for this book by clicking here.
Issun Boshi: The One-Inch Boy
This classic Japanese fairy tale tells the story of Issun Boshi, the tiny son of an old, long childless couple. His mother had longed to have a child for so many years that she finally added “even if it is a very small one” to her wish. When the elderly couple did in fact bear a son, he turned out to be only one inch high. He was thus called Issun Boshi, Japanese for one-inch boy. Although his parents raised him very lovingly, Issun Boshi realized one day that he would not grow any taller. He then left his home to set off on a journey to find his place in the world.
Once Upon a Time in Japan
Translated by Roger Pulvers and Juliet Carpenter
The tales in this collection are brilliantly illustrated by a different talented Japanese artist in each story. These retold stories have been shared countless times in Japanese homes and schools for generations. Like good stories from every time and place, they never grow old. Kids (and their parents!) will enjoy hearing these stories read aloud on the accompanying CD.
Yuki In The Snow
By Y.K. Maple, Illustrated by Lilla Vincze
Yuki is a little girl who moved to Japan from Hawaii. This is the story of her first experience with snow and the significance of her name. The book illustrates Japanese culture to the children in the world and introduce Japanese children to English-speaking cultures.
Read stories online at Kids Web Japan
Also, if buying a new book isn’t in your budget right now, check out this website that has a collection of Japanese folktales. You can read these from your smartphone or tablet, pick one from the list, and then click “next” to begin. There’s a collection of 19 stories here for FREE. I highly recommend reading “Kaguya Hime” and “Tanabata”.
They’re many more Japanese stories for kids but that’s all for today!
Sheryll is the proud mom to 3 boys (3, 7, and 14-years-old) and wife to her better half. She is the founder and CEO of TigerKubz and is on a mission to empower parents with tools to easily engage their little learners. When Sheryll is not thinking of creative ways to make learning experiences of everyday life, changing diapers, or chasing after her kids, you may find her in the kitchen trying out new recipes, attempting to fish on a nice day, or jamming out to Disney singalongs with Alexa.