(7/13/05 10:31 pm)
Japanese fairy tale name|
Looking for the name of a story I remembered as a child during my visits to Japan. My mother doesn't seem to remember it. It was a tale of an older couple in a village, and they were struggling....he I believe was a woodsman. It was winter time. A girl knocked on their door, and asked for shelter and something to eat.....the woman said yes. The girl said to them, she would repay their kindness and make them silk, on one condition...that they would never watch her make silk. They agreed. She made beautiful bolts of silk. Until...you guessed it the old woman could not contain herself and had to peek. She saw a great, I believe, swan, making silk from the feathers. I remember the story......you can guess the rest. But I have no name for this story. Anyone have a clue, I have searched through the internet with no avail. Thank you
(7/14/05 6:15 am)
Re: Japanese fairy tale name|
I'm pretty sure that's "The Crane Wife." ("Tsuru no Ongaeshi") There are several versions. In one a poor young man lives with his widowed mother and one day he finds a crane struggling in a snare. He frees her, and later the girl (the crane in human form) appears and marries him to repay his kindness. Her weaving lifts the family out of poverty, but she has to do it in her true crane form and sooner or later either the son or mother has to peek and spoil everything.
There's a beautiful old illustrated scroll of this story in the Freer Gallery of the Smithsonian. I got to see it when the World Fantasy Convention was in Washington a few years ago.
Edited by: Richard Parks at: 7/14/05 8:18 am