Story Landおはなしのくに

  • 5 x 10 min.
  • English, M/E, HD

©NHK (Japan Broadcasting Corporation)

Story Land introduces traditional folk tales that have been told and loved in Japan for centuries. Leading actors present the stories with the rich expressiveness of one-person performances, enhanced by charming illustrations that bring the tales vividly to life.

1. The Monkey and the Crab / さるかにがっせん

Tricked by a monkey, a mother crab trades a rice ball for a persimmon seed. She plants the seed and it quickly grows into a tree with plenty of fruit. But the monkey takes all the fruit and kills the crab. The crab’s children vow revenge and, with a wooden mortar, a chestnut, a bee and a pile of cow dung as allies, track down the monkey to teach him a lesson.   

2. The Gratitude of the Crane / つるのおんがえし

A poor young man frees a crane from a trap. Soon after, a beautiful young woman comes to his door. The two marry and live happily together. The young wife secludes herself in a back room to weave a beautiful roll of cloth, making her husband promise not to look while she’s working. Later she weaves a second roll, but her husband breaks his promise and peeks… 

3. Kintaro / きんたろう

A boy named Kintaro is stronger than anyone else. When he wrestles, he can even beat a bear. But Kintaro is also gentle-hearted and helpful to his forest animal friends. A lord witnesses Kintaro’s good deeds and asks him to serve him as a samurai in the Capital, where he performs many heroic feats.

4. The One-Inch Boy / いっすんぼうし

Though hardly more than an inch high, Little-One Inch has the brave heart of a great warrior. Using a needle as a sword, he vanquishes a horrible ogre and protects a princess. He wins a magic mallet that transforms him into a fine, full-sized young man. He and the princess marry and they live happy and prosperous lives ever after.

5. Tongue-Cut Sparrow / したきりすずめ

A kind-hearted old man takes loving care of a sparrow he’s found. But his wife, angered that the bird ate her laundry paste, cuts her tongue and chases her away.
The worried old man goes out to find the sparrow and is treated to dinner and given a hamper full of precious treasure. Wanting a large hamper of treasure herself, the greedy old woman visits the bird too, but…