It's the third collection of Japanese folk tales by the author of The Dancing Kettle (1949) and The Magic Listening Cap (1955). There is no clumsiness in translation here, the stories are told in a simple and straightforward style that can be easily read or retold. Individually they are intriguing and pleasantly exotic. Taken as a whole, the dozen stories become repetitious. Practically all of them deal with the formula of a poor peasant who is generously rewarded, usually for extraordinary service beyond the call of duty. Some stories in a more romantic or humorous vein would have lightened this collection.