HOMEJapanese Fairy Tale Series (「日本昔噺」シリーズ) > 『舌切雀』(Shita-kiri suzume)
The Tongue-Cut Sparrow

English ed. 1929(Showa 4) Catalogue No. 5
French ed. 1885(Meiji 18) Catalogue No. 106


German ed. 1885(Meiji 18) Catalogue No. 128


Portuguese ed. [n .d.] Catalogue No. 142


Spanish ed. 1885(Meiji 18) Catalogue No. 150



The Ord Tale of Tongue Cotted Sparrow
Matsumuro Yachizo Version 1900(Meiji 33)
Catalogue No. 177

『舌切雀』(Shita-kiri suzume
訳者:不明(Translator : anonymous)
絵師:小林永濯(Illustrator : Eitaku Kobayashi)
■ あらすじ 
Outline of this story
 A sparrow kept by a kind-hearted old woman licked some starch at the house of a cross old woman who lived next door. In a rage, the cross old woman cut out the tongue of the sparrow before it managed to fly away. Hearing of this incident, the kind old woman worried about the sparrow and went looking for it with her husband. The two finally came upon the home of the sparrow, which welcomed them and asked them to choose between a big wicker basket and a small one to take back with them as a token of the visit. They chose the small basket, and found it filled with treasure upon their return. The cross old woman went to the sparrow's home as well and chose the big wicker basket for her gift, but when she got it back home and opened it, a whole troop of frightful devils sprang out of it and tore her to pieces.
 This is supposed to be one of the five best-loved Japanese fairy tales. It was told throughout the country, with some differences from region to region. The editions in different languages published by Hasegawa follow the story of the English edition, and also have illustrations by Eitaku Kobayashi. In the English translation published by Yachizo Matsumuro, the cross old woman is the wife of a kind-hearted old man and has a change of heart at the end. It has almost no illustrations and does not credit any illustrator.