Fairy Tales of the World Japan



Japan is located off the east coast of Asia. Japan is about as far north as the east coast of America.


Japan has a temperate climate, allowing for a wide variety of weather.

Physical Characteristics

Japan is made up of three thousand islands. Because these islands rest on tectonic plates, earthquakes and volcanoes are common. This also makes most of Japan too mountainous to inhabit. The most famous of these mountains is Mount Fuji (pictured).


Japan's population is 126.5 million. Because of the mountains, most of the population lives in very dense plains. The largest of these population centers is the Tokyo/Yokohama greater area.



Japan has a more formal culture that values traditions highly. The Geisha (pictured) represents one Japanese tradition with their beautiful kimono dresses. In addition, the Japanese traditionally listen to music played on kotos, shakuhachis, and shamisens. Education is very highly valued in the Japanese culture.


Japan's main religions are Buddhism and Shintoism. Shintoism originated in Japan, and Buddhism originated India. Buddhism was brought to Japan in the sixth century. These two religions co-exist relatively peacefully in Japan.


The language of Japan is Japanese. Most people think that Japanese is like Mandarin, but it is actually more like Korean.


The Japanese eat a wide variety of food. Some common dishes served in Japan include ramen and sushi. The most common food is rice. You can find it in nearly every meal.




A young boy goes off on a journey to prove his courage. On his journey, he comes across a village. Every year, a young maiden from the village is placed in a cask to be eaten by the Spirit of the Mountain.

Typical Characteristics

"Schippeitaro" has all seven of the characteristics of fairy tales. The story has a special beginning; the boy is a good protagonist because he saves the village; "all {the} sorrow {is} caused by the Spirit of the Mountain." "Schippeitaro is the great dog that belongs to the overseer of our prince (royalty);" it is magic that the cats can dance and yell; the problem is that "the horrible creature will come for {the young maiden}." The cats dance three times and the story takes place across three days. (Schippeitaro)

Connection to Japan

"Schippeitaro" has many connections to Japan. Japan's historically feudal society is represented in this story by the villagers and the prince. The area is also very mountainous, like most of Japan. The boy took a journey to prove his courage, an old Japanese tradition. A journey may sound like a tradition from many other cultures, but the strong emphasis on courage is particularly Japanese.


Created with images by DeltaWorks - "sunset shrine sea" • NASA Goddard Photo and Video - "Nagano, Japan 1998" • Hans - "cherry blossom japanese cherry smell" • alan_genl - "mount fuji landscape fuji" • tvol - "shibuya crossing" • Michael Elleray - "Maiko at Kyoto Gion Corner" • Mariamichelle - "fushimi inari-taisha shrine kyoto japan" • kyasarin - "writing japanese poster" • slgckgc - "Sushi" • thiagodr - "mount fuji japan sunset" "Gall, Timothy L. Worldmark Encyclopedia of Cultures and Daily Life. Vol. 3. Detroit: Gale, 1998. Print. "Grolier, Inc. "Lands and Peoples." Alibris. Scholastic Library, 2003. Web. 10 Apr. 2017. "Japanese." Junior Worldmark Encyclopedia of World Cultures, edited by Timothy L. Gall and Susan Bevan Gall, 2nd ed., vol. 5, UXL, 2012, pp. 1-14. Student Resources in Context, link.galegroup.com/apps/doc/CX1931400251/SUIC?u=wa&xid=19678677. Accessed 6 Apr. 2017.

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