"Three Strong Women (A Tall Tale from Japan)." in Minard, Rosemary. Womenfolk and Fairy Tales. Houghton Mifflin, 1975.

Ethnic Origin: Japanese

Running Time: 10-12 minutes

Power Centers:




Forever Mountain, a proud wrestler, is going to the Capitol City to wrestle when he comes across Maru-me, a very strong girl. She takes him to her home and works with her grandmother and mother in training him for three months. He goes to the city and wins the tournament, returns to the mountains and lives happily ever after with Maru-me and her family.

Rhymes/Special Phrases/"Flavor"


Sources recommending this story/collection as good literature:

Childrenís Catalog. 17th ed. H.W. Wilson Company 1996.

Gillespie, John T. Best Books for Children: Preschool through Grade 6. 5th ed. R. R. Bowker, 1994

Source recommending this story/collection as good for storytelling:

MacDonald, Margaret Read. The Storytellerís Sourcebook: a subject, title, and motif index to folklore collections for children. Neal-Schuman Publishers, 1982.

Bibliographic information on other versions/variants:

Stamm, Claus. Three Strong Women: a tall tale from Japan. Viking, 1962.

I only have one other version. I was not able to find any other versions or variants after searching through many sources.

Brief comparison:

The Minard version when read aloud seemed more flowing and "tellable". The Stamm version is a beautifully illustrated childrenís picture book and some of the text relies on the pictures. The language was not as flowing or rhythmic to me. Both versions were very similar in all aspects other than how the characters spoke to each other and I liked the Minard version better overall. From her choice of descriptive words, I was able to draw the scenes in my head. Also the conversations seemed much more "Japanese" in flavor.

By Aimee D. Meuchel