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Japanese Stories & Music

Homeschooling mom, Elizabeth Falconer, is the creator of the following award-winning recordings of Japanese stories and music. A master of the 13-string Japanese koto, she uses that instrument to accompany the stories, which are wonderful introductions to Japanese culture and feature themes of gratitude, determination, and generosity. While the stories are told primarily in English, Japanese words and phrases are seamlessly woven into many of the tales. The children's stories can be enjoyed equally by parents and other adults as well. CD only.


Plum Boy! and Other Tales from Japan
Elizabeth Falconer (Parents' Choice Gold and NAPPA Silver Honor Awards). Features Elizabeth's two sons singing.

Five tales are told:

Plum Boy - a boy "born" from a giant Plum, with the help of friends, defeats a gang of evil oni.

Kumo the Spider - an example of how gratitude and appreciate are important in life. A lively story that includes some counting words in Japanese.

Issunboshi - A tale of personal determination. How does Issunoboshi, a one-inch boy, challenge himself and the world and come out on top? This is one of the best-loved folktales in Japan.

Shiro and Kuro - Two foolish felines discover that sharing is much, much better than fighting, thanks to the wise old monkey.

The Tale of the Snail - The power of love is beautifully illustrated in this fantastical story that captures the imagination and tugs at the heart.

Ages 5+. Audio CD. Total playing time:61:12  

#KW001 $13.00

Hana and the Dragon and Other Tales from Japan
Elizabeth Falconer (Parents' Choice Silver Honors Award). Folktales of friendship and sharing.

Hana and the Dragon - Everyone fears Ryu, the mountain lion...everyone but one. Hana is determined to find the dragon and find out for herself what he is like. The resulting friendship carries them both to new heights.

Grow, Nose, Grow! - Clever Mr. Tanuki can't resist the beautiful koto music of a princess, but his magic fan leads him into more trouble than he anticipated.

Rabbit and Crocodile - Rabbit learns the hard way that taking advantage of one's friends can lead to...ow! A biting ending.

Roly-Poly Rice Ball - Ojiisan is generous and kind, even when he has only three omusubi (rice balls) to eat. His new little friends welcome his kindness and offers Ojiisan and his wife a wonderful gift in return.

The Magic Seashell - Will Kai be able to find his brother's silver fishhook and then carry out his promise to his wife? His special gift from the king of the Sea helps him to fulfill his dreams.

Hana's Dream (instrumental). This is a koto solo about Hana's dream on New Year's Eve.

Ages 5+. Audio CD. Total playing time: 57:08

#KW004 $13.00

Once Up On A Lilypad
Elizabeth Falconer (Parents' Choice Silver Honors Award, Storytelling World Honors Award). These fun-filled Japanese folktales will get you giggling! Commonly-used Japanese adjectives called sound words are used in each of these stories. The booklet accompanying the CD lists all the Japanese words and phrases on the recording. Elizabeth's sons provide the cricket chirps and chorus.
Once Up On A Lilypad - Two froggies want to see the rest of the world...but give up a moment too soon! What a pity they didn't know they were looking the wrong way.
The Cricket's Chirp - snake, worm and cricket make a deal, and the world will never be the same. Snake's morning song is actually the Japanese syllabary.
Roofle! - Listen up! Watch out! This is a frolicking adventure tale.

Papachu - Papachu sets off on a quest to find the very best for his daughter - and makes a startling discovery.

The Looooong Name - The perfect name can lead to a splashing surprise for Muki-muki pika-pika niko-niko kashikoi jara-jara shikkari nonbiri hore-bore chan!

Ages 4 to...over 40!. Audio CD. Total playing time: 59:23

#KW007 $13.00

Little Pink Fish: Musical Adventures with Elizabeth Falconer (Volume V) Elizabeth Falconer - Little Pink Fish offers uplifting surprises and fantastical fun. The stories are filled with frolic and play; a fish who learns to read, a monkey who teases a crab, a hero who sucks his thumb and a "hoppositional" froggy. Elizabeth's creative use of words and humor weave together Japanese phrases, charming choruses, and original music, making this CD sure to appeal to all ages from 4 up.

This release breaks new ground, as it is the first to include her own original tale, Little Pink Fish, and also an Okinawan story told to the accompaniment of a traditional Okinawan instrument, the sanshin. Falconer learned to play sanshin, a 3-stringed lute, and researched Okinawan traditional culture extensively in order to bring the singular sound of the sanshin to American listeners in a unique telling of a folktale about two frogs.

Ages 4+. Audio CD. Total Playing Time: 58:23.

#KW003 $13.00

"A first-rate collection from start to finish."
School Library Journal

Plum Boy, Hana and the Dragon, Once Up On a Lilypad, and Little Pink Fish.

#FUN60 $52.00 $46.99

The Crane's Story - Tales of Love from Japan
Elizabeth Falconer - Legends of old told with a fresh perspective, and gentle koto solos to listen to while you reflect on the stories.

The Crane's Story - This is a well-known folktale with a large number of English adaptations. This version is told from a new perspective.
Wings of Love - Koto solo.
The Tanabata Legend - This story originated in a Chinese folk legend, and is one of Japan's best-known love stories.
The Golden Arrow - This story dates back to ancient times in Japan. It is a story of love and determination.
Ever After - Koto solo.
Recommended for ages 10 and up. Total playing time: 54:06

#KW006 $13.00

Japanese Lullabies:


Oyasumi - Goodnight
- Elizabeth Falconer (Parents' Choice Gold, NAPPA Gold Awards) - Elizabeth Falconer's koto music is magically paired with Aiko Shimada's voice. The lullabies are sung mostly in Japanese and are a very peaceful way for anyone - not just babies - to fall asleep. That said, you don't need a bedtime excuse to listen to these songs. They can be played anytime, but they are particularly soothing after a stressful day.

Highly recommended.

Pieces: Oborozuki yo, Furusato, Sakura, Sakura, Momiji, Takeda no Komoriuta, Aiko's Lullaby, Aka Tonbo, Aogeba Totoshi, Umi, Mimura no Angwa, Hatsu Yuki, Kirakira Boshi, Hama Chidori, Hagoromo no Komoriuta, Komoriuta, Oyasumi.

All ages. Total Playing Time: 57:33

#KW005 $13.00


Elizabeth Falconer's Biography



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