Otogizōshi: The Fairy Tale Book of Dazai Osamu

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Zip Otogizōshi: The Fairy Tale Book of Dazai Osamu Dazai Osamu retells four classic Japanese fairy tales, in a way only he could tell them. He takes these classic stories and reimagines them into delightfully fun fables as he works with his audience to decipher a meaning. He gives the once simple characters life by applying to each a fascinating personality. The old man with the wen is a happy go lucky drunk with the most solemn son one could ever imagine having. The protagonist of 'The Tongue-Cut Sparrow' now spends his days silently in a lazy unmoving stupor because he's fed up with the lies people speak. The narratives are quite clever and full of humor, some of which comes from Dazai's self depreciating comments spoken by him, the narrator, directly to us, his audience. There is also a touch of sadness behind them, knowing that Dazai ended his life far too soon. Anyone previously familiar with these tales should seek out this short, but wonderful, little book. You're in for quite a unique treat.. Otogizōshi: The Fairy Tale Book of Dazai Osamu is a Books Dazai Osamu wrote The Fairy Tale Book Otogiz shi in the last months of the Pacific War The traditional tales upon which Dazai s retellings are based are well known to every Japanese schoolchild, but this is no children s book In Dazai s hands such stock characters as the kindhearted Oji san to Oba san Grandmother and Grandfather , the mischievous tanuki badger, theDazai Osamu wrote The Fairy Tale Book Otogiz shi in the last months of the Pacific War The traditional tales upon which Dazai s retellings are based are well known to every Japanese schoolchild, but this is no children s book In Dazai s hands such stock characters as the kindhearted Oji san to Oba san Grandmother and Grandfather , the mischievous tanuki badger, the fearsome Oni ogres, the greedy old man, the tongue cut sparrow, and of course Urashima Taro the Japanese Rip van Winkle become complex individuals facing difficult and nuanced moral dilemmas The resulting stories are thought provoking, slyly subversive, and often hilarious.In spite of the gloom and doom atmosphere always cited in reviews of The Setting Sun and the later No Longer Human, though, Dazai s cutting wit and rich humor are evident in the entire body of his work His literature depicts the human condition in painfully blunt and realistic terms, but, like life itself, is often accompanied by a smile.. Osamu DAZAI , real name Sh ji TSUSHIMA was a Japanese author who is considered one of the foremost fiction writers of 20th century Japan A number of his most popular works, such as Shay The Setting Sun and Ningen Shikkaku No Longer Human , are considered modern day classics in Japan.With a semi autobiographical style and transparency into his personal life, Dazai s stories have intrigued the minds of many readers His books also bring about awareness to a number of important topics such as human nature, mental illness, social relationships, and postwar Japan.. Popular Kindle Otogizōshi: The Fairy Tale Book of Dazai Osamu “Why can’t people get along without criticizing one another?” Urashima shakes his head as he ponders this rudimentary question. “Never have the bush clover blooming on the beach, nor the little crabs who skitter o’er the sand, nor the wild geese resting their wings in yonder cove found fault with me. Would that human beings too were thus! Each individual has his own way of living. Can we not learn to respect one another’s chosen way? One makes every effort to live in a dignified and proper manner, without harming anyone else, yet people will carp and cavil and try to tear one down. It’s most vexing.”Rating: 4 / 5Otogizōshi: The Fairy Tale Book of Dazai Osamu is a collection of four fairy tales written by renowned Japanese author, Dazai Osamu. In literary terms, this also falls into Japanese literature, and Japanese culture. Otogizōshi is a collection of fairy tales that Dazai wrote during the last years of the Pacific War.Despite the gloom and suicidal overtones of books such as No Longer Human and The Setting Sun, Dazai shows his wit and humour in this book and I’m welcome to a wonderful change from his works. Since reading Schoolgirl and Blue Bamboo, I just had to read this one as well.Thanks to Scribd, I got to read this for free because of my 30 day free trial (please note a 30 day free trial only gives you three book credits and allows you to only read three full books).The Stolen WenThis is the story of an old man with a wen on his cheek, and how he cares and loves for it. His family have no care for him, and Ojii-san, a drunkard, needs a change of pace. This was a wonderful story. I really enjoyed it, after I got through Dazai’s constant breaks of ‘so I couldn’t do this with this story because of this and that’. These were quite annoying, in all honesty, to read in the middle of the story. It was very distracting and it was hard to get back into it after having to trudge through it, especially when you’re enjoying the story as much as I was. Dazai has a peculiar way of writing, and within his stories, this shows and it aids them. When he writes like this, I feel that, personally, it takes away from the story. It’s not as smooth as usual, when he breaks the fourth wall, and as much as I love that in things such as Deadpool, I don’t think fourth wall breaks works so well within this piece. I feel like I definitely could have enjoyed this a lot more than I did, had Dazai left out his narrations until the end. A shame, really. If this was a stand alone book, I would only give it 2.5 stars.Urashima-SanWhat if Westerners were to get wind of this and run around claiming that Japan’s fairy tales are more brutal or gruesome than their darling Greek myths? - Dazai, calling out the Whites. I love it.I found this story to be quite educational, actually. Dazai teaches us of tortoises in a passage (in another author note, fourth wall break), and I found I didn’t know of the things he wrote before reading this. I wasn’t enjoying this when I first started reading it. I found Dazai’s constant annotations, as in the previous story, very off putting. However, as I continued reading into Dazai’s writing in this, I became entranced, and ended up extremely glad I didn’t DNF this book as a whole. The descriptions in this are just marvellous, and Dazai has created a remarkable fantasy land that I just wish to escape to and hole up for a while, despite the time limitation. This is a wonderful story that has just sparked my imagination in the most wonderful way. Reading this allowed me to adjust to Dazai’s writing of annotations within his stories as well, and for that, I’m grateful as I can read freely without the interruptions.This was a remarkable story and dissection of social standing and how humans view each other and the world. I found myself to be quite taken aback, realising that every word that Dazai wrote is true; it’s how humans perceive and how we act. It was a bit down putting, really, to realise how much we do out of good practice that is really no good at all. This has definitely given me a new outlook on life, and many things to ponder on in my behaviour and to wonder if they’re worth changing or not.I have to say though – it was weird as hell learning all of this from a damn tortoise!Click-Clack MountainI finally understand the fourth wall break! It’s Dazai discussing the stories of the child’s book he’s using as a prompt for the whole story. That took me too long. I really enjoyed this story actually. It’s a story of too much revenge for one small act but I found it really sweet to read. It was evil, and definite overkill. The rabbit in this is wonderfully wicked, and I found I really enjoyed her character. She’s a devious little minx and I couldn’t help but feel a tiny bit of love for her. We’re meant to feel sorry for the tanuki in this but honestly? I just wanted him gone. He annoyed me no end and I’m actually glad he got the ending he did. Whoops.This was a brilliant story and Dazai did this wonders. The Sparrow Who Lost Her TongueI cried reading this. I legit cried. I felt so bad for the sparrow, I just wanted to give her a hug. I think this was a really strong story about trusting the people you’re supposed to love in the things they say, in my interpretation. The things that are said within this by one of the main characters really made me think about humankind and the way we do things. It’s strange to learn these things through the way they have been taught but they have seriously made me think about the things that humans do in social standing and have really helped me to outlook on my own life.Overall, I think this was a really sweet book. I really enjoyed reading it, despite it taking me too long to get through. I was put off, at first, by Dazai’s constant authors notes, but when I reached “Click-Clack Mountain”, I realised that he was, in fact, explaining his decisions and thoughts on the stories that he was rewriting from a children’s book whilst stuck in a bomb shelter. I think this is pretty ingenious. It allows us a look into his mind as he writes, and allowed me, a foreigner, to understand the traditional children’s tales a lot more.This was a great little read, and I recommend it to anyone who loves fantasy and faerie tales.

About Author

  • Osamu Dazai Joel Cohn Ralph F. McCarthy Post author

    Osamu DAZAI , real name Sh ji TSUSHIMA was a Japanese author who is considered one of the foremost fiction writers of 20th century Japan A number of his most popular works, such as Shay The Setting Sun and Ningen Shikkaku No Longer Human , are considered modern day classics in Japan.With a semi autobiographical style and transparency into his personal life, Dazai s stories have intrigued the minds of many readers His books also bring about awareness to a number of important topics such as human nature, mental illness, social relationships, and postwar Japan.

One thought on “Otogizōshi: The Fairy Tale Book of Dazai Osamu

  • Why can t people get along without criticizing one another Urashima shakes his head as he ponders this rudimentary question Never have the bush clover blooming on the beach, nor the little crabs who skitter o er the sand, nor the wild geese resting their wings in yonder cove found fault with me Would that human beings too were thus Each individual has his own way of living Can we not learn to respect one another s chosen way One makes every effort to live in a dignified and proper manner, withou [...]


  • Dazai Osamu retells four classic Japanese fairy tales, in a way only he could tell them He takes these classic stories and reimagines them into delightfully fun fables as he works with his audience to decipher a meaning He gives the once simple characters life by applying to each a fascinating personality The old man with the wen is a happy go lucky drunk with the most solemn son one could ever imagine having The protagonist of The Tongue Cut Sparrow now spends his days silently in a lazy unmovi [...]


  • Although Dazai is better known for his downbeat works such as No Longer Human, this short book is at the same time amusing and thought provoking Written in the aftermath of WW2, these re imagined traditional folktales are humorous and wry by turns, thanks in great part to the amazing skill of the translator Ralph McCarthy uses accessible, contemporary language without falling into the trap of making it too colloquial or Americanised There are only four tales in this short work, and the author pl [...]




  • 3.5 5Aunque la producci n literaria de Osamu Dazai se halla un tanto desperdigada por el panorama editorial de nuestro pa s, no se me ocurre un sello mejor que Satori para emplazar esta estupenda colecci n de cuentos populares o de cabecera que reescribe el incomprendido autor japon s con su particular estilo y su heterodoxa versi n de las ense anzas que pretenden transmitir sus hom logos originales Concebida como una antolog a de cinco relatos breves, finalmente son cuatro los cuentos que se ha [...]


  • All the stories are decent, I enjoyed them It is always interesting to read anything Osamu Daizi write Urashima san s story was my favorite, the Dragon Palace is so whimsical.


  • Mi nico acercamiento a Dazai hab an sido las versiones animadas de Ningen Shikkaku y Hashire Melos de la serie animada Aoi Bungaku De entrada, Ningen Shikkaku obra casi autobiogr fica se convirti en mi favorita de toda la serie Nunca esper encontrar una obra de Dazai en espa ol y menos una de esta naturaleza En Cuentos de cabecera Dazai sigue siendo Dazai Una persona tremendamente misogina, pesimista, pero ante todo ir nica frente a la vida Estos son valores raramente asociados a cuentos tradici [...]


  • Written around the end of World War 2, this book is Dazai s retelling of 4 Japanese fairy tales The basic idea here is that, rather than telling the stories in basic, direct, fairy tale style, Dazai interposes his own narrative voice to expand upon the story and to speculate on the meaning of the story, the inner thoughts and motivations of the characters The results are often slyly comic for instance, in one story the main character is given a ride to an undersea palace on the back of a turtle, [...]


  • I went into this expecting something like the Japanese equivalent of the Canterbury Tales In this I was mistaken, but in the most fortunate way possible This book is an overwhelmingly enjoyable, witty, striking commentary on what the author describes as the tragicomedy of life That word, tragicomedy , I believe sums up the overarching tone of the book The setting is framed around a father the author sitting in a flimsy air raid bunker in his backyard, with nothing but a child s picture book to k [...]


  • Before I read this book, I tried to familiarize myself with the stories retold here Then I ended up reading the whole fairy tales story book I had to say that Dazai san picked the most intriguing stories.Although I had the same take with him on the old men with hen s story, I didn t understand his take on Urashima Taro s story Not to say that I didn t like it And I had to say, Japanese fairy tales are quite gory compared to the ones I read when I was younger No wonder with novels then


  • I picked this up because the last book I read spoke endlessly about the author and it made me curious This is a rebelling of 4 everyday Japanese fairytales A father in an air raid shelter with his family during WWII puts a spin on the tales He reads like a Japanese semi serious Terry Pratchett.






  • None of them did anything wrong And yet, although not a single instance of wrongdoing occurs in the story, people end up unhappy Hilariously and wondrously written Japanese fairy tales from a master of Japanese lit a master whose famous dark and brooding stories make it surprising that this collection is so jolly and wise cracking Not that it s all roses indeed, there s torture and other cruelties, but the author makes a point to discuss these aspects of the tales and to wonder aloud about them [...]


  • This book of Dazai was written in the spring and early summer of 1945 The story opens up with the narrator,Dazai himself, reading the story of the folktales to his children when the air raid is happening and they are in the confines of the bomb shelter There are four stories in this book of fairy tales The Stolen Wen, Urashima san, Click Clack Mountain and The Sparrow Who Lost Her Tongue, in which Dazai attacks and analyzes the characters, the plot and the relevance of the story and the impact o [...]


  • Una recopilaci n y reinterpretaci n de algunos cuentos cl sicos japoneses vistos desde la perspectiva de Osamu Dazai, un autor que se destaca por tener con un humor negro En este libro podemos disfrutar de los cuentos originales que recomiendo leer primero ya que est n al final del libro y de las interpretaciones de Dazai los mismos cuentos pero modificados por Dazai donde expone temas pol micos como la vanidad, el orgullo y el sexismo entre otros.Recomendado para todos los que les gusten los cu [...]


  • In his typical sarcastic and pessimistic fashion, Dazai retells famous Japanese fairy tales in his own way, adding to the characters and situation as he sees fit I especially enjoyed his explanations of why he changed them the way he did, and his critical observation of these tales A nice read, but it helps to at least know the fairy tales in their original form before reading this book.





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