Best known for her political satire, experimental novels, and fantastic short stories, Kurahashi Yumiko was also the author of two collections of fairy tales. These tales, translated here into English for the first time, are both taken from Cruel Fairy Tales for Adults (1984). “A Mermaid’s Tears” is based on Hans Christian Andersen’s “The Little Mermaid,” while “The Love Affair of Issun Bōshi” is a retelling of the medieval Japanese tale “Issun Bōshi.” In their own way, both tales exemplify Kurahashi’s contention that fairy tales are fundamentally cruel because they are governed by standards of retributive justice and didactic morals, and, in the case of her own tales, that they are for adults because their erotic nature might be considered too poisonous for children.


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pp. 171-182
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