COVER TEXT ILLUSTRATION

@Jûgo Shônen originally appeared serially in the magazine Shônen Sekai [The World of Boys] from March to October 1896 under the title of "Bôken Kidan Jûgo Shônen" ["Strange Adventure Story of Fifteen Boys"]. It is a translated story for boys representing the Meiji era. Although the original work is Jules Verne's Deux ans de Vacances, the translation and the story were so good that it could not be left out in the history of Japanese children's literature.
@It is a story of fifteen boys, differing in race and age, castaway to a desert island. They overcome many difficulties and finally go home to Auckland, New Zealand after two years, mentally mature.
@The story is in the castaway genre which had already been popular, and, together with abundant scientific knowledge, it was accepted enthusiastically. After the serialization, the title of the story was changed to Jûgo Shônen and was published by Hakubun-kan. It was reprinted many times and became a best seller. The title Jûgo Shônen established itself since then and many translations still bear Jûgo Shônen in their titles, such as Jûgo Shônen Hyôryûki [Castaway Story of Fifteen Boys].
@ The translation by Morita was highly rated and regarded as one of the four best translations of the Meiji era (the other three being the works by Futabatei Shimei, Ueda Bin and Wakamatsu Shizuko). Morita translated rather freely compared to former translations. His translation led to the use of a colloquial style and changed the state of translation. The description of the mental states of the boys, their relationships, and the way they overcome difficulties in the story had a great influence on later children's literature.