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Nagaoka Shoten Square Fable Books

 

1995 [Japanese] Aesop's Fables 3. Volume 3 of a series of 90 small square paperback pamphlets. Numbered #1 of 3 volumes of Aesop's fables within this series (with #28 and #41). TMCM on cover. © 1984 Anime Kikaku. Tokyo: Nagaoka Shoten. ¥360 at Sanseido, Tokyo, July, '96.

I thought I had recognized this art work. A bit of probing, and I found my 1990 Korean "Aesop's Fables, Volume 1," edited by Jae Chon Son. That book is hard-covered and this soft; that book is slightly larger; it is in Korean, and works from left to right, while this book is in Japanese, and works from right to left. Otherwise they are indentical! The four fables (TMCM, GA, "The Axe-Loser," and "The Bat, the Birds, and the Animals") and the format are thus the same: one design echoes the facing full page. See my comments there.

1994 [Japanese] Aesop's Fables 28. Volume 28 of a series of 90 small square paperback pamphlets. Numbered #2 of 3 volumes of Aesop's fables within this series (with #3 and #41). TH on cover. (c) 1986 Anime Kikaku. Tokyo: Nagaoka Shoten. ¥360 at Sanseido, Tokyo, July, '96.

I thought I had recognized this art work. A bit of probing, and I found my 1989 Korean "Aesop's Fables, Volume 2," edited by Jae Chon Son; (his first volume was done in 1990). If we compare the present book with that Korean book, we find that that book is hard-covered and this soft; that book is slightly larger; it is in Korean, and works from left to right, while this book is in Japanese, and works from right to left. Otherwise they are indentical! The five fables ("The Fox, the Rooster, and the Dog"; TH; "The Cat and the Dog over the Steak with the Fox" (the best); "Borrowed Feathers"; and DS) and the format are thus the same: one design echoes the facing full page. See my comments under that Korean edition.

1995 [Japanese] Aesop's Fables 41. Volume 41 of a series of 90 small square paperback pamphlets. Numbered #3 of 3 volumes of Aesop's fables within this series (with #3 and #28). BW on cover. © 1987 Anime Kikaku. Tokyo: Nagaoka Shoten. ¥360 at Sanseido, Tokyo, July, '96. Extra copy a gift of Rafael Sakurai from Kinokuniya, San Jose, May, '97.

I cannot tie this book, as I had tied the first two "Aesop's Fables" books in this series, to a Korean parallel or source. Five fables: BW, TB, WS, MSA, and "The Horse That Tried to Survive on Dew." The format uses one smaller design from the fable's principal page to echo the facing full page.

1995 [Japanese] Aesop's Fables 41. Paperbound. Tokyo: Nagaoka Shoten. Gift of Rafael Sakurai from Kinokuniya, San Jose, May, '97.

This book replicates another in the collection both in its title-page and internally. It is still Number 41 in the series, but now, as the back cover shows, the series has expanded to include some ninety books. As I mention there, I cannot tie this book, as I had tied the first two "Aesop's Fables" books in this series, to a Korean parallel or source. Five fables: BW, TB, WS, MSA, and "The Horse That Tried to Survive on Dew." The format uses one smaller design from the fable's principal page to echo the facing full page. 

1995 [Japanese] Aesop's Fables 62. Paperbound. Tokyo: Volume 62 of a series of 62 small square paperback pamphlets. Nagaoka Shoten. 360 Yen from Sanseido, Tokyo, July, '96.

The presentation of the four fables here ("The Mice's Daughter," GGE, FS, and "The Wolf, the Lamb, and the Flute") is consistent with the presentation of others in this series. The series itself seems to keep growing. As elsewhere, one design echoes the facing full page. It is rare to see a mouse in a wedding gown, and she is right here on the cover! The house wall takes the place of the mountain in the usual telling of this fable. The marriage is performed by a Christian minister. Copyright 1990 Anime Kikaku.

1994 [Japanese] Aesop's Fables 72. Paperbound. Tokyo: Volume 72 of a series of 72 small square paperback pamphlets: Nagaoka Shoten. 360 Yen from Sanseido, Tokyo, July, '96.

The presentation of the five fables here (BC, TT, "The Lion and the Mosquito," "The Wolf and the Donkey," and FC) is consistent with the presentation of others in this series. The series itself seems to keep growing. As elsewhere, one design echoes the facing full page. Does this turtle start singing aloft while he needs to keep gripping the stick in his jaws (16)? The kick delivered by the donkey to the wolf supposedly removing a thorn from his hoof (36) is one of the best renditions of this scene that I have witnessed. Here the donkey uses both back hooves. Copyright 1991 Anime Kikaku.

1992 [Japanese] Aesop's Fables 76. Paperbound. Tokyo: Volume 76 of a series of 76 small square paperback pamphlets: Nagaoka Shoten. $5.25 from Kinokuniya, June, '97.

The presentation of the five fables here ("The Lion in Love"; "The Lion, the Leopard, and the Hare"; "The Crow and the Doves"'; "The Fox and the Monkey King"; and "The Dying Father and His Sons" is consistent with the presentation of others in this series. The series itself seems to keep growing. As elsewhere, one design echoes the facing full page. The father of the young woman here pounces upon the back of the toothless, clawless lion and punches him in the head (8)! I am not sure what is happening in the story of the crow who makes himself white like the doves (15-22). The last picture of the last story does a fine job of communicating the results of the boys' new efforts (45). Copyright 1991 Anime Kikaku. This particular copy is an anomaly. I know I bought it from Kinokuniya. I guess at a date of 1997 for the purchase. The price tag has a dollar sign, and so I am guessing that I bought it in the USA, but I notice that Kinokuniya is also in Thailand. Malaysia, and Japan. I have another copy of this booklet apparently published not in 1992 but in 1994. That one I bought at Sanseido in Japan.

1994 [Japanese] Aesop's Fables 76. Paperbound. Tokyo: Volume 76 of a series of 76 small square paperback pamphlets: Nagaoka Shoten. 360 Yen from Sanseido, Tokyo, July, '96.

Except for the apparent date of publication, this booklet is identical with another that was published in 1992. As I write there, the presentation of the five fables here ("The Lion in Love"; "The Lion, the Leopard, and the Hare"; "The Crow and the Doves"'; "The Fox and the Monkey King"; and "The Dying Father and His Sons") is consistent with the presentation of others in this series. The series itself seems to keep growing. As elsewhere, one design echoes the facing full page. The father of the young woman here pounces upon the back of the toothless, clawless lion and punches him in the head (8)! I am not sure what is happening in the story of the crow who makes himself white like the doves (15-22). The last picture of the last story does a fine job of communicating the results of the boys' new efforts (45). Copyright 1991 Anime Kikaku.

1995 [Japanese] Aesop's Fables 77. Paperbound. Tokyo: Volume 77 of a series of 77 small square paperback pamphlets: Nagaoka Shoten. 360 Yen from Sanseido, Tokyo, July, '96.

The presentation of the five fables here (CW, AD, DLS, "Big Fish and Little Fish," and "The Boy, the Wolf, and the Monkey") is consistent with the presentation of others in this series. The series itself seems to keep growing. The back covers of several of the booklets extend the series through their number but only that far. That is the case here again. As elsewhere, one design echoes the facing full page. Perhaps the most lively picture in this booklet is that of the ant biting the archer's toe in AD (20). The final story uses different characters but seems to present the old fable twist: "I don't understand. Show me exactly how it happened." Through this stratagem the monkey get the wolf back into his hole and so saves the boy. Copyright 1992 Anime Kikaku.

1995 [Japanese] Aesop's Fables 82. Paperbound. Tokyo: Volume 82 of a series of 82 small square paperback pamphlets: Nagaoka Shoten. 360 Yen from Sanseido, Tokyo, July, '96.

The presentation of the four fables here ("The Fox, the Eagle, and the Fire"; "The Lion, the Hare, and the Gazelle"; "The Archer and the Trapped Eagle"; and "The Fox with the Burning Tail") is consistent with the presentation of others in this series. The series itself seems to keep growing. The back covers of several of the booklets extend the series through their number but only that far. That is the case here again. As elsewhere, one design echoes the facing full page. In this version of "The Archer and the Trapped Eagle," the eagle steals the archer's lunch, not his cap, in order to draw him away from the spot where a boulder is about to fall (30). As it happens, this little volume features two stories of "fox and fire." The earlier one provides the cover picture, but the picture unfortunately conflates two phases of its story. The fox threatening the eagle with fire does not have her cubs on the ground watching her. They are the eagle's captives in his nest and his potential next meal. Copyright 1992 Anime Kikaku.

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