Japanese Stories for Kids

Japanese Stories For Preschoolers To Strengthen Intercultural Competence

Introduce young minds to the wonders of Japan through captivating folktales. 'Folk Tales From Japan' is perfect for preschoolers, offering myths and stories that celebrate and explain Japanese traditions and festivals.

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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.

Japanese Stories For 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.

Japanese Stories for Kids

Suki’s Kimono
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 One-Inch boy

Issun Boshi: The One-Inch Boy
By Ichinori

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

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

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!

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Transform storytime into a springboard for discovery. Discuss the story with your child to uncover their interests and learning needs.


Dive into play-based learning with activities from our learning kits that relate to your child’s favorite stories. Foster a deeper connection and understanding through fun!


Watch as your child’s comprehension grows with every story. Our learning kit activities deepen their insight, making each reread a new adventure.

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