The Big Wave

This is a short and simple story from Japan, with suggested activities for children over the age of 8. Contributed by storyteller Senga Munro, who states:

‘I first came across this story in the ‘Storyteller’s Book of Bedtime Stories’ and this is my retelling of the tale. I like this story because it shows how knowledge in the past was handed down to the new generations through story. Tsunamis are a recurrent event in Japan and the tale teaches how you can recognise the signs of a big wave coming: the tide going very far out and the unnatural silence that follows. I also like the fact that the old man is the hero of the day.’