The East Asian Story Finder

A Guide to 468 Tales from China, Japan and Korea, Listing Subjects and Sources


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About the Book

A reference guide to 468 stories and folktales from China, Japan, and Korea, this book aims to lead storytellers, folklorists, teachers, and librarians to both popular and lesser-known East Asian stories.
Selected for their multicultural appeal to listeners and readers, the stories are divided cross-culturally into broad subject categories, from tales of supernatural love and devotion to stories dealing with Tengu, Tokkaebi, and other mystical creatures.

About the Author(s)

Sharon Barcan Elswit has been working as a children’s librarian for 35 years. She currently teaches in New York City. She writes reviews for Jewish Book Council and has published in School Library Journal, Writer’s Digest, and other magazines. Visit her website at .

Bibliographic Details

Sharon Barcan Elswit

Format: softcover (7 x 10)
Pages: 288
Bibliographic Info: appendices, glossary, bibliography, indexes
Copyright Date: 2014 [2009]
pISBN: 978-0-7864-9548-1
eISBN: 978-0-7864-5355-9
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments      vi
Preface      1

I. Kindness Rewarded and Lessons Learned      11
II. Cherishing the Earth and All Living Things      28
III. Of Wonders, Magical Objects, and Enchantment      45
IV. Supernatural Loves      73
V. Devotion      91
VI. Strange Events and Ghostly Encounters      108
VII. The Power of Dreams      126
VIII. Supernatural Creatures: Tangling with Tengu, Tokkaebi, Yamaubas, Kappa, Ogres      133
IX. The Heroes: There Is No Danger Which These Women and Men Will Not Brave for the Good of All      150
X. Propitious Births and Extraordinary Children      162
XI. Animal Fables      172
XII. Tricksters and Fools      185
XIII. The Way Things Are      204
XIV. The Problem Solvers      225

Appendix A: Chinese, Japanese, Korean, and Taiwanese Stories Listed by Country      237
Appendix B: Glossary      248
Bibliography      251
Story Title Index      261
Subject Index      271

Book Reviews & Awards

  • “a unique reference work…significant…valuable…recommended”—Reference & User Services Quarterly
  • “a fantastic resources for educators and folklore enthusiasts… a gem”—
  • “a thoroughly researched book and one that will prove extremely useful to school librarians, public librarians, researchers and teachers. Elswit’s book is easy to follow, a pleasure to read and should be a valuable resource in any school or library”—Australian Library Journal
  • “solid addition to folklore collections…useful…an invaluable resource”—School Library Journal
  • “finding just the right story to illustrate a concept for a specific group is an art. It can be difficult, but The East Asian Story Finder will help…a very useful source for teachers, librarians, parents, storytellers, and clergy”—ARBA