This source list was compiled with books chosen for the purpose of enabling a deeper understanding of Japan’s cultural concepts, traditions, the historical context and heritage, as well as to avail ourselves to the rich and often ancient traditions of Japanese folktales, mythology and human stories.

Suitable for ages 5-9:

*The Crane Wife, Odds Bodkins. A Japanese Tale with beautiful illustrations.

The Crane Wife by Molly Bang. New York: W. Morrow, 1983. In this adaptation of a shipbuilder marries a mysterious woman who makes him promise never to look at her while she is weaving.

The Crane Girl by Veronika Marenova Charles

The Grateful Crane. Quackenbush, Hiroko C. New York: Kodansha International, 1993.

The Crane Wife. Yagawa, Sumito. tr. Katherine Paterson. il. Suekicki Akaba. New York: Mulberry Books, 1979.

The Crane Wife. Folk Tales of Japan. Seki, Keigo, ed.

The Dancing Kettle and Other Japanese Folk Tales, retold by Yoshiko Uchida.

The Snow Country Prince by Brian Wildsmith and Daisaku Ikeda / Characters in the tale, Mariko and Kazuo nurse an injured swan back to health

*The Stonecutter: a Japanese folk tale McDermott, Gerald.. 1st ed. New York: Viking Press, 1975. Not even the mightiest mountain is immune to a determined stonecutter.

The Farmer and the Poor God: A Folktale from Japan Retold by Ruth Wells and Illustrated by Yoshi. An unhappy, struggling farmer and his family blame their poverty on a poor god, an unlucky spirit that dwells in their attic. 1996, Simon & Schuster, Ages 5 to 12, $16.00.

Tales of the sea:

Okino and the Whales by Arnica Ester and Marek Zawadki. A Picture book in which a Japanese mother tells her son the story of a little girl who visited the palace of the whales. ISBN: 3-215-11197-7. For the first time Okino’s little son Takumi is allowed to go to the sea with his mother to wait for the return of the whales. When the first whales surface in the waves and they observe the play of the huge animals, Okino tells her son a story and leads him into the dream realm of great Iwa, the Mother of the Ocean, in whose underwater world a little girl once disappeared. A mixture of airbrush and coloured pencil-illustrations reflect the mysterious atmosphere of the underwater world.

*The Sea of Gold and Other Tales from Japan Uchida, Yoshiko. (1965).New York, NY: Charles Scribner’s Sons. All the heroes in these 12 tales inhabit a homely world into which the miraculous enters! Yoshiko Uchida has retold these ancient tales quite beautifully. –This text refers to the Paperback edition. New York Times Book Review.

The Magic Listening Cap. Uchida, Yoshiko. (1954). New York, NY: Harcourt, Brace & World, Inc

*Man with the Wen (Japan)

An Endless Story (Japan)

*Jelly-fish and the Monkey

The Inch Boy, Junco Morimoto. Viking, 1986

Little One Inch Brenner, Barbara. New York: Coward, McCann & Geoghegan. Although he is only an inch tall, Issun Boshi cleverly defeats several demons.

Momotaro and the Island of Ogres by Stephanie Wada, Kano Naganobu
A Japanese folktale, retold, with a postscript, by Stephanie Wada; paintings by Kano Naganobu. The amazing adventures of Momotaro, a boy found inside a peach and raised by an elderly couple, is one of Japan’s most popular folktales. One of the finest illustrated versions of the tale known today appears in an exquisite handscroll painted by Kano Naganobu (1775-1828), in the Spencer Collection of The New York Public Library; those illustrations are reproduced here in their entirety. The story follows Momotaro’s journey to the terrifying Island of Ogres where, with the aid of some animal friends, he lays siege to the demons’ ill-gotten treasures. One of the first Japanese folktales to have been translated into English, Momotaro is a delightful and lively voyage of the imagination that can be enjoyed by young and old alike. A postscript looks at the tradition of illustrated folk stories in Japan, with examples of Momotaro pictures and related imagery in various forms of art, including painting and woodblock printing. – NYPL

Momotaro, the Peach Boy: a traditional Japanese tale. Shute, Linda. 1st ed. New York: Lothrop, Lee & Shepard, 1986. Found floating on the river inside a peach by an old couple, Momotaro grows up and fights the terrible demons who have terrorized their village for years. 1986

Momotaro Peach Boy. Tabrah, Ruth, ed. Il. George Suyeoka. Aiea,HW: Island Heritage, 1994.

*Kodansha Nihongo folk tales series has these staple titles and more:

1. Momotaro = The peach boy

2. Omusubi kororin = The runaway rice ball

3. Tsuru no ongaeshi = The grateful crane

Tokyo; New York; London : Kodansha international, 1993. East Asian Library, Holding : vol.1-3. The Kodansha Nihongo series is designed to help students learn modern Japanese and some aspects of Japanese culture through reading. The stories are rewritten in simple conversational-style Japanese, using hiragana script only. The book also provides English translation and four pages of cultural and explanatory notes.

*Bamboo Hats and a Rice Cake. Tompert, Ann. il. DEMI. New York: Crown Publishers, 1993.

*The Boy of the Three-Year Nap, Diane Snyder, illus. by Allan Say. Houghton Mifflin, 1988 Very funny and well-done.

The Dancing Kettle and Other Japanese Folk Tales, Yoshiko Uchida, illus. by Richard C. Jones. Harcourt Brace, 1949

The Funny Little Woman, Arlene Mosel. illus. by Blair Lent Dutton, 1972

The Magic Purse, Yoshiko Uchida, illus. by Keiko Narahasi. McElderry, 1993.

A Song of Stars: An Asian Legend, Tom Birdseye, illus. by Ju-Hong Chen. Holiday House, 1990

The terrible EEK: a Japanese tale. Compton, Patricia A. New York: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, 1991. A father’s apparent fear of a “terrible eek” ultimately saves him from a thief and wolf. 1991

*Ooka the wise: tales of old Japan. Edmonds, I.G. Hamden, CT: illustrated by Sanae Yamazaki (Linnet Books, 1994). 17 folktales about the legendary Japanese judge Ooka who faces a variety of challenging and complex situations, and who taps his ingenuity and sense of fairness and justice in solving knotty problems in inventive ways.

The Mud Snail Son. Lifton, Betty Jean. 1st ed. New York: Atheneum, 1971. The old couple was surprised to receive only a mud snail for a son, and everyone thought the beautiful girl mad for marrying him–but, since he was a gift from the water god, perhaps anything was possible.

Samurai tales:

*Revenge of the Forty-Seven Samurai here. Haugaard, Erik Christian. Houghton Mifflin (1995). ISBN-0-395-70809-5. Grades 7 and up. American Library Association Notable Books for Children 1996. Retelling of the true story of the “47 Ronin” from the point of view of a 14-year-old servant of one of the samurai plotting to avenge his lord’s unjust death.

The Samurai’s daughter: a Japanese legend. San Souci, Robert D. 1st ed. New York: Dial Books for Young Readers, 1992. Folk tale about the brave daughter of a samurai warrior and her journey to be reunited with her exiled father. 1992

Lily and the Wooden Bowl. Alan Schroeder, illus. by Yoriko Ito. Doubleday Book for Young Readers, 1994. Long ago in Japan, a dying old woman decided to protect her granddaughter Lily by hiding her beauty from the world. So she placed a large lacquered bowl on Lily’s head, and made her promise never to remove it. A tale of the girl’s trials. Elegant paintings with traditional Japanese motifs complement an inspiring folktale of the rewards of kindness and beauty. Full color.

*Grass Sandals- the Travels of Basho illus. by Demi. A lovely book about a poet who is a giant in Japanese literature.

Cat tales:

In the Eyes of the Cat There are Two Lives illus. by Demi.

On Cat Mountain, Francoise Richard, adapted by Arthur A. Levine, illus. by Anne Buguet. Putnam, 1994

The Loyal Cat, Lensey Namioka, illus. by Aki Sogabe. Browndeer, 1995

How the Witch Was Eaten Up, or The Three Lucky Charms. By Miyoko Matsutani, illustrated by Eigoro Futamata

Kamishibai for Kids, 2002 Ages: 2. 6 (Kamishibai consists of a series of large cards ideal to share the stories with groups of children; on the front, there are illustrations related to the story, on the back are the original Japanese text and an English translation.)

Crow Boy. Yashima, Taro. Viking Press (1955) New York: Puffin. A tale about a bullied child.

Umbrella. Yashima, Taro. New York: Viking Press, 1967.

The Invisible Thread. Uchida, Yoshiko. Englewood Cliffs, N.J.: Julian Messner, 1991.

Readings suitable for older audiences aged 12 to adult:

Under the Blood-Red Sun. 1994 Salisbury, Graham. Fiction about a young Japanese-American boy who lives in Hawaii suffers from harsh treatment and an identity crisis after the bombing of Pearl Harbor.

Mieko and the Fifth Treasure. By Eleanor Coerr. Mieko is injured during the bombing of Nagasaki and is sent to her grandparents to recover. Her spirits are low because she feels she will no longer be able to draw beautiful things.

Great Grandfather’s House. 1993. Rumer Godden. (fiction) A Japanese city girl must spend three months at her grandfather’s country home. She learns from her cousin how to embrace a more serene lifestyle.

One Bird Mori, Kyoko Y (Fiction) 1995. The life of fifteen-year-old Megumi, a Japanese girl, is thrown into chaos when her mother abandons the family and Megumi’s grandmother moves in.

Shizuko’s Daughter. Mori, Kyoko Y Fiction 1993. A Japanese girl comes to terms with her mother’s suicide.

Shabanu: Daughter of the Wind. Staples, Suzanne Fisher. Fiction 1989. Shabanu is reluctantly pledged in marriage to an older man whose riches will bring prestige to the family.

The Friends. 1996. Yumoto, Kazumi. Fiction. Three Japanese boys learn about death when an elderly man they had befriended dies.

Modern Japanese Tales:

Before the Polar Express (by Chris van Allburg), there was “The Night of the Milky Way Train” Review and the write-up about the author The Milky Way Train: Celebrating Kenji Miyazawa By: Steve Renshaw and Saori Ihara

*Night of the Milky WayGhost in the Tokaido Inn by Kenji Miyazawa M.E. Sharpe For kids aged 9-12 years. Professor Strong’s translation of Kenji’s (as he is affectionately known to his fans) “Ginga tetsudo no yoru” is perhaps the best, most accessible English versions available. And there are many available. (Avoid the “Rock Press” Milky Way Railway ed.) Roger Pulvers’ recent translation and John Bester’s older translation are also good (Pulvers’ may only be accessible in Japan in Jpn/Eng bilingual format), but I think Strong’s version may be the best one yet: with easy to understand English, wonderful illustrations (that hint at the story contents, not explicate) — plus you get her copious notes, biography and an alternate version — all make this a nice copy to have in children’s library. I think it is well-suited for an adult to read to a child (the notes in the back can help the parent out of a jam if asked “what is a crow-lantern?” – Reviewed by Jon Holt. He recommends also Bester’s collection “Once and Forever” and collections of his shorter stories (Restaurant of Many Orders, etc.) which patch together his brilliance. Note there is an earlier translation of The Night of the Milky Way Train published by Stone Bridge Press is available from WeatherHill).

Once and Forever by Kenji Miyazawa, John Bester (tr)

Shibumi and the Kitemaker. Mayer, Mercer.

Sayonara, Mrs. Kackleman Kalman, Maira. A popular gift book among expats.

Yoshi’s Feast. Kajikawa, Kimiko.

*Sadako and the 1000 Paper Cranes by Eleanor Coerr About a girl dying from the effects of the atomic bomb on Hiroshima who tries to fold 1000 paper cranes in the hopes of her wish being granted.

*The Paper Dragon Marguerite W.Davol. Exceptional fold-out illustrations by Robert Sabuda

Grandfather’s Journey Allen Say. 1993.

Tales about bullying:

The Two Bullies. Morimoto, Junko.

*Crow Boy by Taro Yashima, also a tale about a boy who is bullied who develops a talent with his crow friends.

Ghost tales:

The one-legged ghost. Lifton, Betty Jean. 1st ed. New York: Atheneum, 1968. A boy sees a strange one-legged creature fly over a mountain. All the villagers gather around it but no one knows what it is.

*Ghost in the Tokaido Inn. Hoobler, Dorothy and Thomas. Penguin Group (1999). ISBN-0-399-23330-X. Suggested ages-5 to 14 years. American Library Association Best Books for Young Adults 2000. Similar to a Sherlock Holmes mystery, this novel tells the story of the son of tea merchant in Tokugawa Japan who longs to be a samurai-but you must be born into that class. During a business trip with his father, he witnesses a robbery and assists in solving the mystery of who committed the crime.

Ghostly Tales of Japan. 1989. By Rafe Martin. 5 Japanese ghost tales taken from traditional Japanese folklore.

Mysterious Tales of Japan. By Rafe Martin. llus. by: Kiuchi, Tatsuro Putnam Publishing Group. (1996). 74 pp. ISBN-0-399-22677-X. American Library Association Notable Books for Children 1997. Ages 8 and up. Offers 10 ghostly folk tales-tales that rely on mystery, enigma, and ghost-like mages rather than on terror to impress the reader or the listener.

Perfect for music/drama classes 8 year olds to adults:

Goshu the Cellist Kenji Miyazawa. A cellist learns that there is more to musicianship than practicing. Creatures of the night try to show Goshu that passion, diligence, humour, and compassion play a part too.

Award-winning Children’s Literature:

Each work below (published between 1990 and 2005) has earned either a particular award or honorable mention (such as the Jane Addams Award or the Batchelder Award), or listing as a “notable” work (including the American Library Association Notable Books for Children and the National Council for Social Studies Notable Trade Books for Children).

*One Leaf Rides the Wind: Counting in a Japanese Garden. Mannis, Celeste Davidson Illus. by: Hartung, Susan Kathleen. Viking Children’s Books (2002). 40pp. ISBN 0 -670 -03525-4. Ages 4-8 National Council for the Social Studies Notable Trade Books for Children 2003. This counting book combines counting from 1 to 10 (two carved temple dogs, three miniature bonsai, four startled birds, etc.), 11 haiku, and elements of a Japanese garden to guide young readers through elements of Japanese culture.

*Cool Melons — Turn to Frogs! : The Life and Poems of Issahere Matthew Gollub, Illus. by: Stone, Kazuko G.; Calligraphy by: Smith, Keiko Translated by: Matthew Gollub,. Lee and Low Books. (1998). ISBN 1-88000071-7. Ages 4 and up. A Horn Book Fanfare Best Book of the Year An A.L.A. Notable Book. An introduction to the life and poems of Issa, Japan’s best loved haiku master. Contains biography, illustrations, calligraphy and the author’s translations of over thirty famous poems. Lesson plan.

*Drums of Noto Alison James. Illustrated by Tsukushi. DK Ink/DK Publishing (1999). 40 pp. ISBN 0-7894-2574-2. Ages 4-8. National Council for the Social Studies Notable Trade Books for Children 2000. Based on a true event that occurred in 1576, this picture book recounts how villagers scared off invading samurai by lighting bonfires, wearing large masks and banging large taiko drums.

Black Mirror. Werlin, Nancy. Penguin Books (2001). 256 pp. ISBN-0-142-50028-3. Ages 12-up. American Library Association Best Books for Young Adults 2002. Born to a Japanese mother and a Caucasian father and reluctant to look in mirrors because she hates how she looks, Frances, the 16-year old heroine of this mystery novel, begins to deal with her teenage angst by investigating the “accidental” overdose of her brother.

*Black Swan White Crow. Lewis, J. Patrick Illus. by Manson, Chris. Athaneum (1995). ISBN-0-689-31899-5. Grades 3-5. American Library Association Notable Books for Children 1996. Presents 13 haiku and accompanying woodcut print about nature. The strict rules on haiku were relaxed by the poet.

Kira-Kira by Cynthia Kadohata and published by Atheneum Books for Young Readers/Simon & Schuster. 2005 Newbery Medal winner. Atheneum Books for Young Readers/Simon & Schuster (2004). 256pp. Hardcover ISBN: 0-689-85639-3. Grades 6 and up. Newbery Medal Award 2005. Describes the strong love within a Japanese American family from the point of view of younger sister Katie. Personal challenges and family tragedy are set against the oppressive social climate of the South during the 1950s and early 1960s. Graceful prose illuminates complex relationships, most notably between the two sisters. Katie’s remarkably authentic voice changes to reflect both her deeper understandings and her growing sense of self over a span of almost 10 years. Description adapted from the ALA’s website.

Friends. Yumoto, Kazumi. Translated from Japanese by Cathy Hirano. Farrar, Straus & Giroux (1996). 176pp. ISBN-0-374-32460-3. Ages 10 and up. Mildred L. Batchelder Award 1997, American Library Association Notable Books for Children 1997; Boston Globe Horn Book Award 1997. Three 12-year-old-boys, curious about death, spy on an old man they think is about to die. Instead, he gets them to help him with chores and they become friends.

One Bird. Mori, Kyoko. Fawcett (1995). ISBN-0-449-70453-X. 256 pp. Ages 12 and up. American Library Association Best Books for Young Adults 1996. Dealing with her parents’ separation, an absent father and a grandmother who always complains, 15-year-old Megumi takes a part-time job in a veterinary clinic nursing sick birds and begins to understand why her mother had to leave.

*Ghost in the Tokaido Inn. Hoobler, Dorothy and Thomas. Penguin Group (1999). ISBN-0-399-23330-X. Suggested ages-5 to 14 years. American Library Association Best Books for Young Adults 2000. Similar to a Sherlock Holmes mystery, this novel tells the story of the son of tea merchant in Tokugawa Japan who longs to be a samurai-but you must be born into that class. During a business trip with his father, he witnesses a robbery and assists in solving the mystery of who committed the crime.

Grandfather’s Journey. Allen Say, Illus. by: Allen Say. A Walter Lorraine Book (1993). 32pp. ISBN-0-395-57035-2. Age range 5-8 years. American Library Association Notable Books for Children 1994; Boston Globe-Horn Book Award 1994; Caldecott Medal 1994. Tells the story of a man who emigrates to the United States, raises a family, and feels homesick for his native Japan. Notes that when he moves back to Japan, he longs for his life in the United States. The narrator/grandson also longs to live in both countries.

*Hokusai: The Man Who Painted A Mountain. Deborah Kogan Ray. Illustrated by the author. Frances Foster Books/Farrar, Straus and Giroux. (2001). 40pp. ISBN 0-374-33263-0. Ages 7 and up. National Council for the Social Studies Notable Trade Books for Children 2002. Presents a biography of the Japanese artist Hokusai (1760-1849) using the author’s original illustrations and text. Notes that Hokusai rose from the peasant class to become a prominent artist.

I Live in TokyoTakabayashi, Mari Illus. by: Takabayashi, Mari Houghton Mifflin. (2001). 32pp. ISBN 0-618-07702-2. Ages 5-8 years. National Council for the Social Studies Notable Trade Books for Children 2002. Describes life during a one-year period (month by month) in Tokyo from the point of view of a 7-year-old girl. Describes the festivals, the food, and everyday life in Tokyo.

* In Search of the Spirit: The living National Treasures of Japan. Hamanaka, Sheila and Ayano Ohmi Illus. by: Hamanaka, Sheila and Ayano Ohmi Harper/Collins. (1999). 48pp. ISBN-0-688-14608-2. Ages 7 and up. American Library Association Notable Books For Children 2000; National Council for the Social Studies Notable Trade Books for Children 2000. This book discusses six traditional Japanese art forms and those master craftsmen who were named Living National Treasures because of their skills. Interviewed were a yuzen dyer (who designs and dyes kimono fabrics), a bamboo weaver, a Bunraku puppet master, a sword maker, a Noh actor and a master of neriage (a ceramics technique).

*Kogi’s Mysterious Journey. Partridge, Elizabeth. Illustrated by Sogabe, Aki. Dutton Children’s Books (2003). 40pp. ISBN 0-525-47078-6. Ages 5-8 years. National Council for the Social Studies Notable Trade Books for Children 2004. Retells a Japanese folk tale about an artist whose paintings of the wildlife and natural beauty in and around Lake Biwa are lifeless until he wanders into the water and transforms into a fish. Overcome by hunger but relishing his freedom as a fish, he takes a fisherman’s bait and is caught. His spirit returns to his human body just before the fish dies, and the artist finds his paintings are now infused with energy and vitality.

Little Oh. Melmed, Laura Krauss Illus. by: LaMarche, Jim HarperCollins. (1997). 32 pp. ISBN-0-688-14208-7. Grade level K-4. American Library Association Notable Books for Children 1998. Echoing elements of traditional folk tales from around he world, this original tale tells the story of an origami doll who comes to life and embarks on a series of adventures.

*Shipwrecked!: The True Adventures of a Japanese Boy. By Rhoda Blumberg. HarperCollins (2001). 80pp. ISBN-0-688-17484-1. American Library Association Notable Books for Children 2002; National Council for the Social Studies Notable Trade Books for Children 2002. This book tells the story of Manjiro Nakahama, the first Japanese person to visit the United States. Relates his adventures against the backdrop of both Japanese and American nineteenth-century society and the vast cultural differences between the two countries.

Shizuko’s Daughter. Kyoko Mori. Random House (1993). 224pp. ISBN-0-449-70433-5. Ages 12 and up. American Library Association Best Books for Young Adults 1994. Spanning a seven-year period in the life of Yuki, a young Japanese girl, this novel deals with the loneliness she feels after her mother’s suicide, her emotionally distant father’s remarriage, and her new stepmother’s mistreatment of her. The novel traces her anguish both at home and at school despite notable artistic and athletic accomplishments.

Tale of the Mandarin Ducks. Paterson, Katherine Illus. by: Dillon, Leo & Diane Dillon . Dutton Books (1990). 34pp. ISBN-0-525-67283-4. Ages 5-8. American Library Association Notable Books For Children 1991; Boston Globe-Horn Book Award 1991. This retelling of a Japanese folk tale recounts the story of two servants who befriend and release a mandarin duck pining for its mate while kept in captivity by their feudal lord. The servants are sentenced to death but saved by two imperial messengers who later disappear, laving behind two mandarin ducks.

Tasty Baby Belly Buttons: A Japanese Folktale. Sierra, Judy. Illus. by: So, Meilo. Knopf Books for Young Readers /Random House (1999). 40pp. ISBN-0-679-89369-5. Ages 6-10. American Library Association Notable Books for Children 2000. A retelling of a popular Japanese folk tale, but with a new twist. Little Urikohme, who was born from a melon and thus has no belly button, is off to rescue the babies of her village after the nasty giants carried off the babies so they can enjoy their favorite delicacy-tasty baby belly buttons.

Tea with Milk. Allen Say. Houghton Mifflin/Walter Lorraine Books, (1999). 32pp. ISBN-0-395-90495-1. Ages 4-8. American Library Association Notable Books for Children 2000 . Raised in the United States by Japanese parents, Masako returns to Japan with her family just after high school. Homesick for America, she has problems adapting to Japanese customs and leaves for Osaka to find freedom and explore her individuality.

War-time (award-winning) tales:

*Sadako. Coerr, Eleanor Illus. by: Young, Ed. Putnam Juvenile (1993). 48pp. ISBN-0-399-21771-1. Ages 7-12 years. American Library Association Notable Books for Children 1994. Abridged version of Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes (about a young Japanese girl dying from the “atom bomb disease”) for a younger audience. Includes images from a film adaptation of the novel.

A Special Fate: Chiune Sugihara: Hero of the Holocaust. Alison Leslie Gold. Illustrated with photographs. Scholastic Press (2000). 176 pp. ISBN 0-590-39525-4. Grades 5-10. National Council for the Social Studies Notable Trade Books for Children, 2001. Recounts the story of Chiune Sugihara, a Japanese diplomat in Lithuania, who defied orders from his superiors and issued exit visas for thousands of Jews fleeing Nazi Germany. Intertwines his story with the story of two survivors. Notes that although eventually fired from his job for his actions, he achieved recognition and awards prior to his death in 1986.

*Attack on Pearl Harbor: The True Story of the Day America Entered World War II. Tanaka, Shelley Illus. by: Craig, David Hyperion Books for Children (2001). 64 pp. ISBN 0-786-80736-9. Grade 4-6. National Council for the Social Studies Notable Trade Books for Children,2002. Recreates the attack on Pearl Harbor through the perspective of a Caucasian seventh-grade boy, the Commander of the Japanese fleet, a seaman aboard USS Oklahoma, and a midget submariner who became the first prisoner of war in the conflict.

Bat 6. Wolff, Virginia Euwer. Scholastic Press (1998). ISBN-0-590-89799-3. Ages 1-13. American Library Association Notable Books for Children 1999; Jane Addams Book Award 1999. This complex novel explores prejudice through 21 different first-person voices-sixth-grade girls from two softball teams-as they describe the events leading up to a game in 1949 Oregon when a troubled girl, Shazam (whose father was killed at Pearl Harbor), attacks Aliki Mikami, just returned from the internment camps.

Beacon Hill Boys. Mochizuki, Ken. Scholastic Press (2002). 224pp. ISBN-0-439-26749-8. Ages 14-up. National Council for the Social Studies Notable Trade Books for Children 2003. Set in 1972, this novel tells the story of 17-year-old Dan Inagaki and his three friends as they seek their own identity. Dan, the narrator of the novel, deals with his clean-cut older brother, his parents who will not talk about their experiences in an internment camp, and the pressure to assimilate.

The Bracelet Uchida, Yoshiko Illus. by: Yardley, Joanna. Philomel/Penguin Group (1993). ISBN-0-399-22503-X. Ages 5 – 8 years. New York Times Best Illustrated 1993. Emi, a Japanese-American in the second grade, is sent with her family to an internment camp during World War II, but the loss of the bracelet her best friend has given her proves that she does not need a physical reminder of the friendship.

Children of the Relocation Camps. Catherine Welch, A. Lerner Books (2000). 48pp. ISBN-1-57505-350-0 Carter G. Woodson Honor Book 2001. Historical photographs and simple text tell the story of the relocation camps from a child’s perspective.

Fighting for Honor: Japanese Americans and World War II. Cooper, Michael L. Clarion Books (2000). ISBN-0-395-91375-6. Grades 6-10. American Library Association Best Books for Young Adults 2002; National Council for the Social Studies Notable Trade Books for Children 2001. Based on diaries, autobiographies, and military records, this book tells the story of the 442nd Regimental Combat Team, known as the “Purple Heart Battalion” because of the bravery shown by the Japanese Americans who comprised the team. Contrasts the bravery of these Nisei soldiers with the prejudice and internment faced by Japanese Americans at home.

Flags. Maxine Trottier. Illustrated by Paul Morin. Stoddart Kids (1999). 32 pp. ISBN 0-7737-3136-9, ISBN 0-7737-3136- 9. Grades 1-4. National Council for the Social Studies Notable Trade Books for Children 2000. Tells the story of a Mary, a young girl who befriends a neighbor, Mr. Hiroshi, during a visit to her grandmother’s house on the Canadian Pacific Coast. The pond in his Japanese garden is ringed with irises, which the grandmother calls “flags.” With the onset of World War II, Mr. Hiroshi is “relocated” to a camp, and his house is sold. Mary releases the koi, and takes a flat stone and two iris bulbs to begin her own garden.

I am an American: A True Story of the Japanese Internment Jerry Stanley. Crown Publishers. (1994). ISBN 0-517-59786-1. Ages 9-12. American Library Association Notable Books for Children 1995; School Library Journal Best Book 1994. Tells the story of a Japanese American high school student interred during World War II and relates it to broader historical events of the period.

Passage to Freedom: The Sugihara Story. Mochizuki, Ken Illus. by: Lee, Dom . Lee & Low Books (1997). 32 pp. ISBN-1-880-00049-0. Grades 2-6. American Library Association Notable Books for Children 1998. Jane Addams Book Honor 1998; Society of School Librarians International 1997/1998. Tells the story of Chiune Sugihara, a Japanese diplomat serving in Lithuania in 1940, using his son as narrator. Notes that the father issued thousands of visas to Jews fleeing the Nazis, in defiance of instructions from the Japanese government.

*Remember Pearl Harbor: American and Japanese Survivors Tell Their Stories. Allen, Thomas B. National Geographic Society (2001). 64pp. ISBN 0-7922-6690-0. Ages 10-14. American Library Association Notable Books for Children 2002; National Council for the Social Studies Notable Trade Books for Children 2002. Combines first-person narratives of American and Japanese survivors, archival photographs, and maps to present the bombing of Pearl Harbor.

Remembering Manzanar: Life in a Japanese Relocation Camp. Michael L. Cooper. Clarion Books (2003). 96 pp. ISBN-0-618-06778-7. Ages 9-12 years. Carter G. Woodson Book Award 2003. Describes the living conditions and daily routines of life at the first relocation camp built for Japanese evacuees from the West Coast. Notes the lasting effects and strong sentiments associated with the internment of Japanese Americans (many of them citizens).

*Under the Blood-Red Sun. Salisbury, Graham. Random House (1994). 256pp. ISBN 0-440-41139-4. Ages 10 and up. American Library Association Notable Books for Children 1995; American Library Association Best Books for Young Adults1995; Scott O’Dell Award for Historical Fiction 1995. Life changes abruptly for 13-year-old Tomikazu Nakaji, born in Hawai’i to Japanese parents, after the bombing of Pearl Harbor in December 1941. With his father and grandfather arrested, he becomes responsible for the family honor.

*When My Name Was Keoko: A Novel of Korea in World War II. Linda Sue Park. Clarion Books (2002). 208pp. ISBN-0-618-13335-6. Ages 10-14. National Council for the Social Studies Notable Trade Books for Children 2003, American Library Association Notable Books for Children 2003; American Library Association Best Books for Young Adults 2003; Jane Addams Book Honor 2003. Tells the story of the occupation of Korea by Japan before and during World War II through the eyes of a 10-year-old girl and her 13-year-old brother as they are forced to take Japanese names, learn Japanese history and forbidden to practice Korean culture.

More war-time tales:

*Under the Blood-Red Sun. 1994 Salisbury, Graham. Fiction about a young Japanese-American boy who lives in Hawaii suffers from harsh treatment and an identity crisis after the bombing of Pearl Harbor.

Mieko and the Fifth Treasure. By Eleanor Coerr. Mieko is injured during the bombing of Nagasaki and is sent to her grandparents to recover. Her spirits are low because she feels she will no longer be able to draw beautiful things.

*Sadako and the 1000 Paper Cranes by Eleanor Coerr About a girl dying from the effects of the atomic bomb on Hiroshima who tries to fold 1000 paper cranes in the hopes of her wish being granted.

Folktale collections and compilations for older children, teens and beyond:

*Myths and Legends of Japan. Davis, F. Hadland. Singapore: Graham Brash Ltd., 1989 [1913]. (~_)

Ancient Tales in Modern Japan: An Anthology of Japanese Folk Tales Mayer, Fanny Hagin, ed. Bloomington, IN: Indiana UP, 1984. Twentieth- century texts from oral tradition, includes a brief survey of earlier tale collections by Westerners in Japan.

*Japanese Tales and Legends. McAlpine, Helen and William. NY: Oxford UP, 1958. (pb)

*Japanese Tales. Tyler, Royall, ed. and trans. NY: Pantheon, 1987. (pb) (Best for the advanced reader)

Folktales of Japan. Seki, Keigo, ed. Trans. By Robert J. Adams. Chicago: U of Chicago P,1963.(out of print) tales from oral tradition in a collection of traditional literary texts.

Folk Legends of Japan. Dorson, Richard M. Rutland, VT: Charles E.Tuttle Co., 1962. (Out of print)

*Japanese Mythology by Judith Piggott (Library of the World’s Myths and Legends. New York: Peter Bedrick Books, 1982)

Mythology: Tales of Ancient Civilizations by Timothy R. Roberts, Morgan J. Roberts, and Brian P. Katz (New York: MetroBooks, 1997)

New Larousse Encyclopedia of Mythology translated by Richard Aldington and Delano Ames. Original edition edited by Felix Guirand. (Twickenham: Hamlyn Publishing, New ed. 1968)

Myths to Live By by Joseph Campbell. (New York: Penguin Arkana, 1993 reprint edition)

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