| A historical story, and the first volume of Nihon Otogibanashi [Fairy
Tales of Japan], a 24 volume series. This series is bound in the style
of Nihon Mukashibanashi [Old Tales of Japan] series, which was the forerunner
of this series. Although some are fairy tales, many of the 24 storeis are
historical narratives, including myth. This may be because of a heightened
sense of nationalism and the growing interest in Japan after the beginning
of Sino-Japan War in 1894. However, Iwaya said in preface that Nihon Otogibanashi
is a fairy tale, not a book of history, and that these stories were written
for amusement, not for teaching historical facts. They are written in a
colloquial style, which allows the stories to be read smoothly.
Yatagarasu is a story related to the emperor's family, perhaps a result of the Imperial Rescript on Education in 1890. However, more warriors appear in this series than imperial family members. Maybe this was the result of choosing suitable heroes for adventure stories.
In 1913, a revised edition was published, and in 1975, a reprint of the original edition was published by Rinsen Shoten.