OK, time for a book report. I’ll glide into this easily with a children’s book.
Nezumi no Yomeiri (ねずみのよめいり) is a folk tale of unknown origin. It is somewhat well-known, but not as ubiquitous as Momotaro. The version I own is a small paper book from the 100 yen store. It is bound with string and the pages are folded with print only on one side, in traditional style. Attempting to describe this leaves me realizing a photo or two would explain it simply. There are several books in the series, so I will include photos with the next one.
A mouse and his wife have a daughter of marriageable age. She is beautiful and impressive; and was always cared for lovingly by her parents. Her father sets about finding her the greatest husband in all of Japan. Coming to the conclusion there is none greater than Mr. Sunshine who is above all others and warms the earth, he dresses the family up, goes out to a mountain and waits to petition the Sun.
In proper humble Japanese fashion, the Sun explains that the cloud is his superior for he can darken the Sun at will. We go through progression as the cloud identifies the wind as his superior, and the wind relinquishes his claim to the wall. Finally, returning to the treasure house by the mansion Mr. Wall explains that the young mouse Chutaro can chew through him as he wishes and indeed has caused much suffering for Mr. Wall.
We find that the daughter has always been fond of Chutaro and, likewise, he is attracted to her. The mother promises Mr. Wall that neither family will chew on him any longer. The young couple has many children and they live long, never wanting for anything.
All in all, a very simple tale, but fun. The progression is amusing much as The King, The Mice, and The Cheese, which I enjoyed immensely as a child. I thought the mother’s promise to the wall was very indicative of the power and exercise of influence of mother-in-laws in Japan.