Arts of Indiana
Historical Society, April 10, 2010
"folktale lady" Anne Shimojima takes a special pleasure in collecting and telling
folktales, largely from Asia. Tales from East and West includes stories from Japan
and India—some comic, some instructive, some simply moving.
Whatever the content or mood, her years of experience show: she delivered
her stories with a steady confidence and a great sense of timing. Ms. Shimojima
recounted several brief legends about Judge Ōoka, an actual 18th
century Japanese magistrate. His imaginative solutions to difficult
cases, such as "The Case of the Stolen Smell," are entertaining, and worth
looking up if you haven't heard them.There was no unifying theme for the
evening. But, as if to underscore the timelessness of the tales, Ms.
Shimojima ended with two stories that helped her through a divorce and to the
discovery of new love. In the words of the woman sitting behind me, "That