“One of the neat things about the Wrights’ storytelling technique is that they effortlessly blend Japanese terms and onomatopoeic sound effects into the fabric of their traditional tales, and not once does it alienate or seem like scholarly affectation. Each tale begins on a cultural note that may be unfamiliar to most, from language to unconventional behavior of stock characters or unfamiliar social systems of the generally rural Japanese setting. But the way a listener can become so fully engaged within seconds is a testament to the power of these tales and the skill of the storytellers."

Kyoto Journal 2004, reprinted with permission











copyright 2007 - 2015 Jonatha & Harold Wright

photography by Mao Yamamoto          

website by MPOWERD

Flesh Crawling Tales of Old Japan, by Jonatha and Harold Wight, is finally a reality!!

I expect all of you gave up on this the same as we did. The whole process was about four years. It had delay after delay. But we are expecting a big delivery soon of the completed book. We finally approved draft III of the printed book, a few days ago. This is just in time for Halloween!!

In addition to seven of our Japanese scary stories, the book is filled with beautiful woodblock prints by Yellow Springs artist, Sherraid Scott.

We are going to have a book signing at the Yellow Springs Art Gallery on Sunday, October 19th, 3:00 to 5:00 PM, in the back gallery. To start our program, Harold and Jonatha will both tell and read from stories in the book, to show those attending how these two forms compare and are different. Then there will be book signing. The last part of our time will feature Sherraid Scott demonstrating wood block printing. Both framed prints and the actual wood blocks will be on display. Prints unframed will be for sale, in addition to the book.

We do hope to see you there!!!

click below to download some samples of Jonatha and Harold's stories

Christmas Leaves
          Ikkyu-san          Ole Gruesome Greenlocks              Urashima Taro    

Jonatha and Harold Wright, storytellers, have been specializing in Ohio, Appalachian and Japanese stories for the last several years. In addition to folk tales, fairy tales, historical tales, myths and legends they have numerous personal stories. Often they work in tandem, but both Jonatha and Harold also tell solo. These they tell to a wide variety of ages and audiences.

TRAVELING TALES IN THE 'BOX' from Yellow Springs News


Their storytelling programs include:

  • “Water, Water Everywhere:  Ohio’s Rivers, Lakes and Dams”
  • "That Jack, and His Kin"
  • "Famous, Fabulous and Infamous Ohioans"
  • "From Ohio, Across the Ocean and Back"
  • "Two Thousand Years of Tales from Japan

Harold has had a career as a professor of Japanese at Antioch College and Ohio State University, and is an award-winning translator of Japanese poetry, with several books to his credit. The last fourteen years, he, along with Jonatha, led and developed a semester of Field Work study for college students through Antioch Education Abroad to Japan each summer, at Kyoto Seika University. Each fall Jonatha coordinated and they worked with Japanese students from Kyoto Seika who participated in American Field Work studies at Antioch College in Yellow Springs, OH. Always the Wrights have used these activities and contacts to research and collect Japanese stories, often in the oral tradition, continually looking for the richness of local flavor and dialect, which Harold translates and they adapt. As they travel Ohio, they continually collect local Ohio stories.

Their workshops include:

  • “From Oral Tradition to Written Word”
  • "Love, Honor and Cherish that Story: An Introduction to Storytelling"
  • "One Plus One Equals Two: Telling in Tandem"
  • "Our Stories Honor and Reveal Our Heritage: Telling YOUR Stories"
  • "Creating Bridges: Cross-Cultural Storytelling"
  • "Prose, Rhythm and Rhyme: Using Poetry to Spice Up Your Storytelling"
  • "The Oral Tradition in Japan"

The Wrights have taught storytelling in many area colleges. They do workshops all over the US and in Kyoto on storytelling techniques and skills. Professionally they belong to the state storytelling groups of Kentucky and Ohio (KSA and OOPS!), the National Storytelling Network, and the Miami Valley Storytellers.

They have three CD's of their scary stories: Spooky Barn Stories Heard at Young’s Jersey Dairy, Three Finger Riley and Other Terrifying Tales and More Spooky Barn Stories; two CD’s of their Japanese Stories: Tales from Japan, and Ichi, Ni, San, Shi…Go! plus one of Appalachian stories, Four Seasons with Jack and His Kin and one DVD, Pieces from Our Story Quilt. Other products include books with accompanying CD’s: Haiku, Triku, Tanka and More: Fifty Years of Japan- Inspired Fixed Form Verse, A Story of Japanese Poetry, Vol. I and Vol. II and Six books: Spine Tingling Tales of Old Japan, Flesh Crawling Tales of Old Japan, Team Up! Tell In Tandem!, Little Pink Fish Gets Lost, and Other Tales, Little Pink Fish Sees a Little Girl, and Other Tales and Bitsy Beaver Wants to be an Artist, and Other Tales.

Team Up! Tell In Tandem! is now available, for $22.95 plus shipping, from
http://www.Lulu.com and Amazon through their Createspace section:

team up 

Latest book for children by Jonatha Wright: