| Twenty-two Stories collected by Tamura Nao'omi, a clergyman, for the
purpose of introducing the true way of Christianity to children. He chose
stories from the work of a famous preacher Richard Newton, and told them
at Sunday school. The book consists of those stories which received a favorable
Before publishing the book, Tamura read the stories to Matsumura Kaiseki, a friend of his, who found them very reasonable and interesting, and agreed to write the introduction to the book.
Jûji-ya is a publisher specializing in Christian publications. It had published many books including Iyaku Tenro Rekitei [Abridged Pilgrim's Progress] as well as the Bible and hymnals. Tamura had already published a booklet of eight stories from Jûji-ya, and Dômô Michishirube was a more full-scale publication.
With Japanese nationalism gaining power, readers of Dômô Michishirube were limited to Christian related people. Tamura's other work published in the United States four years later received severe social criticism in Japan and eventually he was expelled from the Japan Christian Association. This also prevented further reprinting of Dômô Michishirube.
Dômô Michishirube's historical significance is great. From the viewpoint of the history of children's literature, it is worth noting that not only did Dômô Michishirube preceed Iwaya Sazanami's famous Koganemaru (1891), but it was also written in colloquial Japanese. It was published more than a year before the appearance of Wakamatsu Shizuko's Shôkôshi [Little Lord Fauntleroi] in a magazine, and was written in more modern style.