Japanese tale #46 – The dragon bridge

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Once upon a time, there was a nobleman named Hidesato. He was a famous warrior, a keen archer, and his brave temper made him crave adventure.

He had lead many battles and defeated fierce beasts all across the kingdom. Yet, his audacious heart always carried him further on the road.

One day, after long hours of travel, Hidesato came by a wide lake. Deep green and serene as a mirror, it spread as far as the eye could see, but strangely no rafts glided over its tranquil waters. Lire la suite

Japanese tale #43 – Ghost Song

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A long time ago in the city of Kyoto, the emperor owned an amazing biwa lute. Named Genjo, the antique instrument had been passed on from generations to generations since ancient times. Made of the smoothest dark wood, its neck rose thin and tall like a graceful crane.

Renowned for its clear voice, Genjo was one of the most fabulous treasures of the court. None but the emperor had the right to play it, and very few had had the chance to hear it sing for the man was not a keen music player.

Most of the time, the lute rested well guarded deep in the heart of the palace, nestled among the finest silks in a precious wooden chest.

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Japanese tale #42 – Inky Mane

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Once upon a time, there was a quiet temple who stood tall upon serene hills and golden paddies. Well loved by local farmers, its monks were simple people, quite pious and hard to the task.

Among them, lived a boy named Hachiro. It was a very small child, always daydreaming, who had been given to the temple by his poor parents.

As every young boy, Hachiro had little interest for daily prayers,boring lectures and long meditations. In fact, he had only one true passion: he loved to paint. Lire la suite

Japanese Tale #41 – A fox’s tail

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Once upon a time, there was a mischievous fox who lived near a remote hamlet. Lurking in the woods by day, descending to the village at night, the beast took the greatest pleasure tormenting farmers and woodsmen.

He kept stealing food and hiding tools… but also loved to terrify small children with whispers in the dark. More often than not, frightened cries would rose. And the fox’s laugh would ring in the air:

– Oh come on, don’t take it bad kid! That was just a joke!

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Japanese tale #40 – A nimble hand

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Once upon a time, an old and venerable temple overlooked a mighty river. For miles around many came to pray there, dearly hoping to encounter its high priest.

Ruling over the monks for years, he was a revered man, famous for his moral rectitude. Unwavering, he would never pardon his flock if their regrets were not honest and absolutely sincere.

Yet, under his stern face and austere attitude, the high priest also had good heart and was always ready to guide lost souls on the path of redemption. Lire la suite

Japanese tale #39 – The Moon Spirit

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Once upon a time, the moon was inhabited by a divine spirit. Beautiful as it was, glowing pale as the purest jewel, the spirit felt very lonely. Up in its remote hiding, a world of silvery rocks and limpid silence, it longed for a companion.

Far below, the earth was full of life. Each time the moon spirit looked down it could see humans and animals, climbing the tallest mountains, riding the deepest seas. In forests and fields, shores and caves, mortals beings thrived.

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Japanese tale #38 – Like Horse and Deer

horse and deer

Once upon a time, a bride and her mother-in-law lived under a same roof. Both were women with fiery tempers, quick wits… and tongues to match.

Since the bride had married her son and moved in, the mother-in-law kept snarling, muttering under her breath how things had been much better before that girl joined their family.

Without missing a beat, the bride always talked back, hurling barbs at her with fake deference about how old her new mother was and how tired and how useless she must felt.

Lire la suite