Once and forever: the tales of Kenji Miyazawa
The magic of Miyazawa's tales reaches out to people of all ages and lands. The sophisticated reader can savor them consciously as literature, while the younger reader can delight in them as imaginative stories that comment on and deepen his own experience. The underlying themes are universal, but the forms and treatment can be appreciated at many levels and vary subtly from piece to piece. The sheer storytelling skill is most evident in pieces like the joyful, innocent "Wildcat and the Acorns," or in a classic cautionary tale like "The Restaurant of Many Orders." But even a superficially whimsical tale like "the Earth-god and the Fox" can in a short span construct a genuinely moving little tragedy. "The Last Deer Dance," a fanciful account of the origins of a well-known folk dance, works its gentle way to a climax of pure poetry. "Tokkobe Torako" makes folk superstitions the basis for a piece of amusing farce in a historical setting. And in "The Wild Pear," what seem to be two slight nature sketches succeed in encapsulating some of the cruelty and compensations of life itself... Almost every story has something fresh to offer. Yet all the different elements merge into are transcended by, an impression of embracing compassion for living creatures; of wry humor; and above all of a passionate love of nature - in particular, the four seasons of Miyazawa's native northern Japan. Clear-sighted yet never sadistic and rarely sentimental, the tales taken as a whole present a view of life that is fresh and acceptable to the modern reader. By bringing together the best of them, this book seeks to place Miyazawa firmly in the special niche he deserves in the history of Japanese and world literature.
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acorns asked Ave feles Ba-yu badger bear began birch tree birds blue bowed breath bullfrog called cello child Crambon cried cuckoo dahlia dark deer ding-a-dong door dumpling earthgod elephant eyes face feel Fire Stone fish flew flowers front gave gazed Goodbye Gorsch green hand Hare head heard hills Ho-ho-ho Homoi horse hundred Ichiro inside Kaju Kenju kind Kojuro Kyoichi laughed legs light lily-of-the-valley look mayfly Miyazawa moon morning mother mouth night nighthawk Ozbel pale pampas grass paws pills play raccoon rattrap Roppei round Rum-tiddy Ryoji seemed shouted side slug smile Snow Boy soon spider stared stars started stood stopped straight suddenly sure taels tears tell there's thing thought took tree frogs turned voice watching Wheeew Wildcat wind wood yellow