Aesop in Japanese Clothing
. The Hokuseido Press . Tokyo
PA3855.J3 M55 1985 (Carlson Fable Collection, BIC bldg)
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Here are twenty-three fables presented in humane fashion. Milward imbeds each fable within a little essay of his own, often starting with a Japanese proverb. Thus The Grasshopper and the Ants is involved in a discussion of the strange Japanese propensity to work feverishly before and after college, but to treat college as a leisurely time for enjoyment (14-16). Again, Milward finds his students more like the hare than the tortoise while at college: feverishly energetic but without much sense of purpose. After graduation they turn into tortoises, working slowly and steadily--but still without much sense of purpose (26-28)! I am saddened to see WS told in the poorer form (32-34). I am surprised to learn that Aesop's BS is used in Kurosawa's Ran (41-43). In the preface, Milward makes clear that he is presenting his own favorite Aesopic fables and is presenting them in his own way. The fables themselves (5-69) are followed by a section of notes given to explaining particular English expressions or words that occur in the various chapters. This is a readable little book.