| Chommage Temari Uta is the first of "Chommage Mono" [the stories which take place in Edo era] series by Ueno Ryô (1928 - 2002), followed by Me Koboshi Uta Koboshi [Songs by the Overlooked Ones] in 1974 and Nippon Takara Jima [Japanese Treasure Island] in 1976.|
At a feudal domain called Yasashii Han [domain of tenderness], boys are made to dream to be brave samurais. When children become six years old, some are chosen as "tender sons" (yasashii musuko) or "tender daughters" (yasashii musume) and cut their ankles. Unchosen ones are killed and buried in flower gardens. The tender lord and Genba, his man, rules this domain with the rich derived from "fruit of dreams" (yume no mi) that is useful in wars. People of this domain believe that monsters in shape of a woman (yamamba) lives in the mountains around their land, and are thankful to be protected.
Ueno countered critics who appraised his work as simply a costume novel. Ueno said that in this work, he wanted to describe the feeling when one is blocked by something - government, social systems, or anything. He also wondered why some people do not understand how amusing this tall tale is and criticize it as a heavy or difficult story. According to Ueno, Chommage Temari Uta is a story of modern times, not of old times, and he was the first person to describe the modern age in this kind of style. Jingû Teruo valued Ueno's Me Koboshi Uta Koboshi highly as something quite new in the field of children's literature and, in a sense, it collapsed the common sense of this field. Shimmura Tôru reported that at one time this book was banned from children - librarians wondered if this frightening story is really a piece of children's literature. Shimmura himself praised Chommage Temari Uta as a work that opened a new possibility of children's literature.