On Saturday, June 4, 1921 (Taisho 10), Sazanami IWAYA, a scholar of children’s literature, held a performance at the Teikoku Gekijo Theater to commemorate 30 years of his career as a writer. The program was “Hachi no ki” (The Tree of a Pot), and it was a great success with families.
Iwaya was born in 1870 (Meiji 3). His real name was Sueo IWAYA. His father, Ichiroku IWAYA, is a famous bureaucrat, a member of the House of Peers and a famous calligrapher. It is said that Sazanami Iwaya was interested in children’s literature through her brother, Ryutaro Iwaya, who was studying in Germany, and the book titled “Otto’s fairy tale” was sent to Japan. In 1891 (Meiji 24), he created Japan’s first original children’s story, Koganemaru. Since then, he has turned many of today’s famous folktales, such as Momotaro, Urashima Taro, and Hanasaki Jiji, into easy-to-understand children’s stories and delivered them to young readers.