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These twenty-two Japanese tales open to Western readers the world of fantasy in the legendary literature of Japan—a world of ogres, monkeys, goblins, and priest, of spelling-casting and rescuing people.

Rich in variety, Legends of Japan includes tales of the supernatural, magic, and deities, as well as tales of romance and intrigue. The vividness and aesthetic appeal of these stories is enhanced by twenty-two woodblock prints from the studio of modern Japanese illustrator Masahiko Nishin.

The tales are drawn from two Japanese masterpieces of the Heian (794-1185) and Kamakura (1192-1333) periods. The earlier and main source is 31-volume Konjaku Monogatari, a collection of tales of Japanese, Chinese and Indian origin. The other source is the miscellany Tsurezure Gusa, by Kento Yoshida, a monk of noble birth who was well versed in Japanese and Chinese literature. A reader's delight, these little books distills the color and charm, the wisdom and humor of two great treasuries of classical Asian literature.

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