Japanese Fairy Tales
1904 (Chicago: Rand McNally)
by Teresa Pierce Williston
illustrated by Sanchi Ogawa
"Japanese Children at Play."
This illustration is the first after the frontispiece, "The Japanese Mother Tells the Children Fairy Tales"; the two pictures do not relate to a particular story but seem meant to put the entire book in context for American children. The illustrator has chosen to show something like the Doll Festival, although this is not discussed in the text. We see one hina doll and a couple of folded-paper lady attendants, along with the appropriate furniture: the little girls are preparing food for the dolls, and the mother is getting ready to offer a well-set table to them (though tiny dishes seem to be scattered on the floor as well).
In a way, it is an odd image. On the one hand, normally the Dolls' Festival display requires at a minimum the pair of "dairi-bina," usually interpreted at this period as the Emperor and Empress. A single figure dressed in purple (not the correct red for the Empress) is not adequate. On the other hand, the special doll furniture shown should not be in use except for the period of the Festival.
|Same collection as above.
This illustration goes with the story of the "Matsuyama Mirror," a favorite "tale of filial piety." A father travels to the city and brings home toys for his daughter and a mirror for his wife.
The good wife could scarcely believe that her husband was indeed safe home again. The baby girl laughted and clapped her hands to see the toys he had brought her.
There was a tiny image of Uzume, the laughter-loving goddess. Next came a little red monkey of cotton, with a blue head.... Oh, how wonderful was the third gift! It was a tombo, or dragon fly...
Last, of course, there was ninghio, or doll, with a sweet face, slanting eyes, and such wonderful hair. Her name was O-Hina-San.
Ogawa has illustrated the dragonfly (the t-shaped piece of wood) and also shows tops, a tiny daruma, and a mask (not a figure) of Uzume or Okame; the baby holds the monkey on a stick. The doll depicted is, oddly enough, a boy ichimatsu, not a girl doll. O-Hina-Sama is the title for a Girls' Festival doll, like the one in the introductory picture, above.
The rest of the story tells how the mother, when dying, gives her daughter the mirror and tells her that if she smiles into it every day she will see her mother smiling back at her.
See below for another illustration & text for this scene.
|Japanese Fairy Tales (The Haunted Flute)
illus. Warwick Goble (1862-1943)
This illustration to the story of "The Fairies' Mallet" shows the hero's vision of fairy children dancing in a pine grove. One of them (not shown) has a mallet which grants wishes, and most of the children ask for a shuttlecock game, books, cloth, and food, much of which is shown in the picture. No doll is mentioned in the text, but Goble adds one to the toys. (Goble's depiction of the book is especially charming since he seems to be showing the girl turning the next page, reading from the right page to the left.)
Note: another illustration to this story, about the same period, is Yoshio
Marino's in Tale of Two Japs.
|The Silver Ship
Violet Moore Higgins
This image illustrates a moment in the Japanese folktale of the Matsuyama Mirror (see above) here retold as "The Mirror of Happiness." Here, where the illustrator is telling the story, the illustrated toys correspond exactly to the text. The image of the woman admiring the "beautiful lady" in the mirror and the child admiring the doll is suggestive of the rest of the story, in which the mirror enables the daughter to become the mother.
[The father, Genji, returning home
from Tokyo] drew from the folds of his bundle a number of small parcels
neatly wrapped in colored paper. These proved to be a collection of wonderful
toys for O Haku San--a top, a kite, a ball, and best of all, a lovely dolly.
While the little girl was still exclaiming over hermarvelous gifts, and
thanking her "honorable father" for them, Genji produced a small black
box and handed it to his wife.