Kwaidan: Stories and Studies of Strange Things

Read by LibriVox Volunteers

(4.6 stars; 21 reviews)

Most of the following Kwaidan, or Weird Tales, have been taken from old Japanese books,— such as the Yaso-Kidan, Bukkyo-Hyakkwa-Zensho, Kokon-Chomonshu, Tama-Sudare, and Hyaku-Monogatari. Some of the stories may have had a Chinese origin: the very remarkable "Dream of Akinosuke," for example, is certainly from a Chinese source. But the story-teller, in every case, has so recolored and reshaped his borrowing as to naturalize it… One queer tale, "Yuki-Onna," was told me by a farmer of Chofu, Nishitama-gori, in Musashi province, as a legend of his native village. Whether it has ever been written in Japanese I do not know; but the extraordinary belief which it records used certainly to exist in most parts of Japan, and in many curious forms… The incident of "Riki-Baka" was a personal experience; and I wrote it down almost exactly as it happened, changing only a family-name mentioned by the Japanese narrator. (Summary by L. Hearn, from the Introduction to the book) (3 hr 51 min)


Introduction 6:49 Read by Vilayvanh
The Story of Mimi-Nashi-Hoichi 23:17 Read by Nadine Eckert-Boulet
Oshidori 3:31 Read by Nadine Eckert-Boulet
The Story of O-tei 8:13 Read by Nadine Eckert-Boulet
Ubazakura 3:39 Read by Nadine Eckert-Boulet
Diplomacy 5:37 Read by Availle
Of A Mirror and a Bell 8:59 Read by Scott Carpenter
Jikininki 9:28 Read by Scott Carpenter
Mujina 5:12 Read by Nadine Eckert-Boulet
Rokuro-Kubi 19:10 Read by Scott Carpenter
A Dead Secret 5:39 Read by Nadine Eckert-Boulet
Yuki-Onna 10:14 Read by Availle
The Story of Aoyagi 19:44 Read by Availle
Jiu-Roku-Zakura 3:11 Read by Scott Carpenter
The Dream of Akinosuke 12:00 Read by Scott Carpenter
Riki-Baka 4:30 Read by Scott Carpenter
Hi-Mawari 5:30 Read by Nadine Eckert-Boulet
Horai 12:04 Read by Martin Geeson
Insect Studies - Butterflies 27:15 Read by Availle
Insect Studies - Mosquitoes 7:26 Read by Nadine Eckert-Boulet
Insect Studies - Ants 30:12 Read by Scott Carpenter


(4.5 stars)

The readers are all good in that they each bring a narrative character to the stories through their different voices. Some bring the narrator alive a participant, others tend to let the text speak more for itself. The stories have an anthropological quality that gives an sense of Japanese life where the wierd and the horrific is rarely footnoted in Western traditions.

Very Enjoyable

(5 stars)

An entertaining collection of stories that made 4 hours of vacuuming and cleaning mirrors much more bearable. All of the readers were excellent - well paced and perfectly understandable. There are a few spine-chilling moments and listeners get to learn a lot about Japanese folklore.

A patchy collection

(4 stars)

It's not really a single book. Japanese ghost stories at the front, musings on ths spiritual meaning of the social organisation of insects at the back. The ghost stories are great, though. IMO: stop there unless you like a bit of theology.

A fascinating reading

(5 stars)

Thank you for this wonderful recording, it is greatly appreciated -- all the time and effort of the volunteers

(3.5 stars)

some good stories some bad.some good readers one or two terrible readers. all-in-all and entertaining collection

A true comfort listen

(4.5 stars)

whenever I