The Crane Wife

by Retold by Sumiko Yagawa

Other authorsKatherine Paterson (Translator), Suekichi Akaba (Illustrator)
Hardcover, 1981





William Morrow and Company (1981), Edition: First Edition, Hardcover, 32 pages


After Yohei tends a wounded crane, a beautiful young woman begs to become his wife and three times weaves for him an exquisite silken fabric on her loom.



Physical description

32 p.; 9.76 inches


0688004962 / 9780688004965



User reviews

LibraryThing member kshielee
This folktale is very popular in Japan. It has been made into plays, movies, and an opera. The good versus evil is present in Yohei's greed for more money. With his greed came the goodbye to his wife. The moral is to be happy with what you have and do not become too greedy. The setting of this story could happen almost anywhere. This story could occur in other countries, as well as at other times. The author does not include any information about where exactly the story takes place or when. Some of the details that are included are the deep snow and a nearby market where the cloth is sold. Other then that information there is not much more said or given through other details about the setting.… (more)
LibraryThing member cnolasco
Yagawa, S. (1979). The Crane Wife (Akaba, S. Illus.). New York: William Morrow & Company.

The Crane Wife is a famous Japanese folktale. It tells the story of Yohei, a poor county fellow who one night saves a crane from dying. Later that night, a woman knocks on his door and asks to be his wife. They marry, and during the winter supplies run short so the woman offers to weave for him. Before she begins she tells Yohei that he must never look in while she is weaving. Her fabrics earn a lot of money and Yohei becomes greedy and curious. On her third weaving attempt, Yohei looks in and discovers that his wife is not what he thinks. The illustrations are done in very light brush strokes and some illustrations are very sparse. The style complements the traditional Japanese folktale. An interesting folktale that teaches readers to be weary of greed overtaking oneself.… (more)
LibraryThing member mtaya
I love how the illustrations show some Japanese cultural backgrounds. I already knew the story, but it is fun to read it in English. It teaches some culture, traditions, as well as life lessons that anybody can use such as not to take things for granted and always be appreciative.




(7 ratings; 4.3)
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