Tejima, Keizaburo / Shitaku, Yae
Der weise Hase Isopo
A picture book from Japan
Translated from Japanese by Izukawa Yoko
© Baobab Books, 2011
36 pages, hard cover, 21 x 30,5 cm
CHF 24.80 / € (D) 16,50 / € (A) 17,00
Release: August 2011
ages 5 and up
When he was young Isopo Kamui, the rabbit god, hopped through the fields and the forests without ever tiring. In his older days he wanted to go on another tour, as he used to do. But this time everything was different. Now, Isopo has something to tell the people …
The Ainu, who live manly on the island of Hokkaido in northern Japan, were the first inhabitants of Japan. They speak their own language and have their own old traditions, which have been almost completely lost, however. The great Japanese woodblock print artist Tejima Keizaburo illustrated this Ainu story, which was passed down orally by Shitaku Yae.
Shitaku Yae was an Ainu and a well-known storyteller in her village in eastern Hokkaido. She already told Hisakazu Fujimura the story of Isopo Kamui in the 1980s. He then wrote down the text for this book. The Ainu have been fighting for their rights for centuries and were only recognised as a culturally independent indigenous people by the Japanese parliament in 2008.
Tejima Keizaburo was born in Hokkaido in Japan in 1935. He studied at the Hokkaido University of Arts in Sapporo. He has illustrated countless books in the traditional Japanese woodblock printing technique and has an inimitable style. Since 1982 he has received numerous prizes for his work in Japan and Europe.
Original edition: »Isopo Kamui« Illustration © 1988 by Tejima Keizaburo; Text © 1988 by Fujimura Hisakazu
Book of the Month in February 2012 by the German Academy for Children's Literatur