This text rethinks the contours of Japanese history, culture and nationality. Challenging the mythology of a historically unitary, even monolithic Japan, it offers a different perspective on culture and identity in modern Japan.
These stories of magic and heroism, and of terrifying encounters with Baba Yaga, Zmei the serpent, and Koshchei the Immortal, are surely the best-known and best-loved folktales of Russia. A wondertale tells of a young person's first venture into a perilous world, where he or she must solve a riddle, pass a test of character, or perform a heroic feat. In the course of the tale, villainy is foiled, disaster is averted, and the young person is transformed by this successful struggle into an adult.
The two hundred and fifty wondertales collected and translated here represent at least one example of every tale type known in Russia. Each tale is accompanied by commentary and the volume includes a substantial introduction by the editor.