Fairy Tales of the World Japan



Japan is located off the east coast of Asia and stretches about 1,500 miles from north to south. It is surrounded by the Sea of Japan on the west and the Pacific Ocean on the east.


Japan’s climate is characterized as monsoonal, as the country has an annual summer and winter monsoon. The average temperature for the hottest month (August) is about 84 degrees Fahrenheit, and the average temperature for the coldest month (January) is 46 degrees Fahrenheit. The particular type of climate in Japan is brought upon the many bodies of water inside and surrounding the country.

Physical Characteristics

The islands that compose Japan are formed by a great mountain range that rises from the Pacific Ocean. The terrain of the country is mostly rugged with forests along the mountainsides. Volcanoes are also present due to the unstable part of the earth on which Japan sits. Along with the volcanoes are calderas, or volcanic depressions, that are scattered numerously throughout Japan.


The population of Japan is about 127,927,000. Nearly eighty percent of the total population live in Honshu.


Customs and Traditions

The people of Japan carry many customs and traditions that have been passed down through generations. One example is that many people in Japan continue to wear the kimono, a full length traditional Japanese robe, on special occasions. Another example of customs and traditions that are still used are in Japan today lie in architecture. For example, Japanese homes often contain elaborate gardens, tile roofs, and sliding paper screens between doors.


The two religions that are followed in Japan today are Shintoism and Buddhism. About eighty-four percent of people observe both, usually by using each religion for different occasions.


Almost all of the people in Japan speak a form of Japanese. The particular dialect of Japanese that is spoken depends on the part of Japan.


Japan is one of the world’s leading rice producing countries. Other common foods in Japan include fish, sugar beets, tea, tobacco, and wheat.

My Lord Bag of Rice

Heidi Anne Heiner


One day, a Japanese warrior known as Tawara Toda went off in search of adventures. As he was crossing a bridge with his longbow in hand and two swords buckled to his belt, he came across a dragon lying on a bridge. When he stepped over the dragon to get across, it suddenly transformed into a strange looking man. As the two talked, it was revealed that the man was actually the Dragon King of the Lake and he wanted to ask a favor of Tawara. The Dragon King wanted Tawara to kill his mortal enemy, the centipede, who came to his palace and took one of his relatives to eat for dinner every night. When the centipede came, Tawara called for his bow and arrows, but to his dismay, only three arrows remained. He took aim and fired the first arrow. It hit the centipede directly in the middle of its head, but bounced off harmlessly. He tried a second time only for the same result. Tawara then had only one more chance to kill the centipede, or the Palace of the Dragon King would forever be in danger.

Special Beginning

"Long, long ago there lived, in Japan, a brave warrior known to all as Tawara Toda, or My Lord Bag of Rice" (Heiner).

Good Character

The good character in this story was Tawara Toda, or My Lord Bag of Rice. He is the protagonist because of his bravery and courage to fight for the safety of others.

Evil Character

The evil character in the story was the centipede. Every night he would come to the Dragon King's palace and take on of his relatives back with him to eat for dinner.


Royalty was shown as the Dragon King of the Lake lived in a magnificent palace under Lake Biwa. "Never had Hidesato seen anything so beautiful as this palace built of white marble beneath the lake" (Heidi).

Something Magical

Magic was displayed in various ways throughout the fairy tale. The Dragon King's ability to transform from a dragon form to a human form is one example of magic. Another example comes with the gifts that Tawara Toda received from the Dragon King after killing the centipede. The supply of rice in the bag he received would never diminish, the roll of silk would never run out, and the cooking pot would always cook whatever was put into it perfectly. "The presents which [Tawara] received from the grateful Dragon King were found to be of magic power" (Heiner).


The problem in the story was caused by the centipede taking and eating relatives of the Dragon King that stayed in the castle. The solution was that it needed to be killed, which Tawara Toda accomplished with his bow and arrows.


As it came the time for Tawara to kill the centipede, he had only three arrows, therefore three chances, to succeed.

Connection to Japan

This fairy tale had many connections to Japan. The setting was in Lake Biwa, which is a lake located in Honshu, the most densely populated island of Japan. Other connections include the gifts which the Dragon King gave to Tawara. Two of these gifts included rice and silk, which are both made in great numbers within Japan.

Created By
A Kulkarni


Heiner , Heidi A. "SurLaLune Fairy Tales: eBooks Index." SurLaLune Fairy Tales: eBooks Index. Ozaki, Yei Theodora. Japanese Fairy Tales. New York: A. L. , 18 May 2005. Web. 06 Apr. 2017. http://www.surlalunefairytales.com/books/japan/ozaki.html "Japan." Worldmark Encyclopedia of the Nations. Ed. Timothy L. Gall and Derek M. Gleason. 13th ed. Detroit: Gale, 2012. Student Resources in Context. Web. 8 Apr. 2017. http://link.galegroup.com/apps/doc/EJ2305100285/SUIC?u=wa&xid=4e28bfbc "Japan." Britannica School, Encyclopædia Britannica, 17 May. 2016. school.eb.com/levels/high/article/Japan/106451. Accessed 8 Apr. 2017. Created with images by Moyan_Brenn - "Japan" • davecito - "Japan 1930" • NASA Goddard Photo and Video - "Typhoon Neoguri in the East China Sea" • DeltaWorks - "japan kumamoto aso" • tpsdave - "mount fuji japan landscape" • Simon Matzinger - "Quilotoa" • Imahinasyon Photography - "金閣寺 / Temple of the Golden Pavilion" • http://klarititemplateshop.com/ - "Sand Mandala, Kingdom Tibet" • 3dman_eu - "rice bag china" • Pexels - "backlit farming green" • Rodrigo_Amorim - "Dragon" • Josch13 - "giant tausendfüßer millipedes arthropod" • Dan4th - "060808weapons1" • Kzaral - "Lake Biwa" • Fotobox_Petra0107 - "bell south spain" • familymwr - "2008 Summer Olympics - Opening Ceremony - Beijing, China 同一个世界 同一个梦想 - U.S. Army World Class Athlete Program - FMWRC" • emamyria65 - "Picture 569" • Dan4th - "060801bow1" • PIRO4D - "cube play random" • foooomio - "National Flag of Japan"

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