10 of the Best Stories from Kenji Miyazawa and Nankichi Niimi
Nankichi Niimi & Kenji Miyazawa are undoubtedly two of Japan's most highly regarded writers of fantasy fiction. Book 5 of Tales from Japan contains all stories from Books 1 - 4, five stories by Kenji, including Gauche the Cellist and The Restaurant of Many Orders (along with his famous poem Ame-ni-mo makezu) and five stories from Niimi, including Gon the Fox. More
Tales from Japan Book 5 combines all of the works from Tales from Japan, Books 1 - 4. The Tales from Japan series was produced by Little J Books to provide readers with a sample of the best works of Nankichi Niimi & Kenji Miyazawa, authors of fantasy fiction that has been loved by children and adults throughout Japan for more than 70 years. Both of these authors have had a significant influence on the fiction and animation that was produced in Japan post-WWII. Ame-ni-mo-makezu, a prayer composed as a poem, and The Restaurant of Many Orders are two of Kenji's most famous works, while Gon the Fox and Buying Mittens are two standout stories from Nankichi Niimi.
Gauche the Cellist
Gauche is a hopeless musician and he's always being yelled at by the conductor. It's not because he doesn't try, it's just that there is something lacking in his music. With a big concert approaching, Gauche receives some special music lessons from his closest neighbors.
Wild Pear (Yamanashi)
A surreal tale about a family of crabs on the bottom of the river. The amazing descriptions of life under the water will leave you with a truly new perspective on the world. An extremely well-crafted fable, with a profound underlying message.
The Restaurant of Many Orders
This is perhaps the most famous of Kenji's short stories and one of his personal favorites, as it was the title story of his one and only self-published collection of short stories. Two hunters go on a hunting trip in the country and end up completely lost. Luckily they come across what appears to be an extremely popular restaurant…but everything is not as it seems.
Perhaps the most famous Japanese poem of the modern age, it was written by Kenji while lying on his death bed and was never seen by anyone else until after his death. This significance of this poem has increased greatly for the Japanese people following the Great East Japan Earthquake, with many people using it to reflect on what truly is important in their lives.
Gon the Fox
Gon is a cheeky fox that loves to play pranks on people, but one day he plays a prank that has unexpected consequences, so he decides to make amends.
Niimi wrote this story when he was only seventeen years of age, and now more than seventy years after his death it remains one of the best known and loved Japanese stories of all time.
When the Thieves Came to Hananoki Village
What could be a better hunting ground for a thief than a village where people don't even bother with proper locks? The only trouble is that these thieves have no idea what they are doing, and it is up to the boss to train them. But just when the boss appears to have made a wonderful score, the story takes an unexpected turn.
Buying Mittens by Nankichi Niimi
Mama fox only wants the best for her little one, so when the cold winter arrives and her precious boy needs some mittens, then she knows what she must do. The only problem is that she is afraid and her legs won't take her any further. So her son must go on his own. The highlight of this delightful children's story is the beautiful description of the foxes' journey through the snow covered woods during the middle of the night.
The Nighthawk Star
Kenju's Forest Playground
The Story of the Giant