Kwaidan: Stories and Studies of Strange Things


Read by LibriVox Volunteers

(4.6 stars; 11 reviews)

Most of the following Kwaidan, or Weird Tales, have been taken from old Japanese books,— such as the Yaso-Kidan, Bukkyo-Hyakkwa-Zensho, Kokon-Chomonshu, Tama-Sudare, and Hyaku-Monogatari. Some of the stories may have had a Chinese origin: the very remarkable "Dream of Akinosuke," for example, is certainly from a Chinese source. But the story-teller, in every case, has so recolored and reshaped his borrowing as to naturalize it… One queer tale, "Yuki-Onna," was told me by a farmer of Chofu, Nishitama-gori, in Musashi province, as a legend of his native village. Whether it has ever been written in Japanese I do not know; but the extraordinary belief which it records used certainly to exist in most parts of Japan, and in many curious forms… The incident of "Riki-Baka" was a personal experience; and I wrote it down almost exactly as it happened, changing only a family-name mentioned by the Japanese narrator. (Summary by L. Hearn, from the Introduction to the book)

(3 hr 51 min)

Chapters

Introduction 6:49 Read by Vilayvanh
The Story of Mimi-Nashi-Hoichi 23:17 Read by Nadine Eckert-Boulet
Oshidori 3:31 Read by Nadine Eckert-Boulet
The Story of O-tei 8:13 Read by Nadine Eckert-Boulet
Ubazakura 3:39 Read by Nadine Eckert-Boulet
Diplomacy 5:37 Read by Availle
Of A Mirror and a Bell 8:59 Read by Scott Carpenter
Jikininki 9:28 Read by Scott Carpenter
Mujina 5:12 Read by Nadine Eckert-Boulet
Rokuro-Kubi 19:10 Read by Scott Carpenter
A Dead Secret 5:39 Read by Nadine Eckert-Boulet
Yuki-Onna 10:14 Read by Availle
The Story of Aoyagi 19:44 Read by Availle
Jiu-Roku-Zakura 3:11 Read by Scott Carpenter
The Dream of Akinosuke 12:00 Read by Scott Carpenter
Riki-Baka 4:30 Read by Scott Carpenter
Hi-Mawari 5:30 Read by Nadine Eckert-Boulet
Horai 12:04 Read by Martin Geeson
Insect Studies - Butterflies 27:15 Read by Availle
Insect Studies - Mosquitoes 7:26 Read by Nadine Eckert-Boulet
Insect Studies - Ants 30:12 Read by Scott Carpenter

Reviews

Very Enjoyable

(5 stars)

An entertaining collection of stories that made 4 hours of vacuuming and cleaning mirrors much more bearable. All of the readers were excellent - well paced and perfectly understandable. There are a few spine-chilling moments and listeners get to learn a lot about Japanese folklore.

A patchy collection

(4 stars)

It's not really a single book. Japanese ghost stories at the front, musings on ths spiritual meaning of the social organisation of insects at the back. The ghost stories are great, though. IMO: stop there unless you like a bit of theology.