Japanese tale #62 – Snowstorm

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Once upon a time, in the remote Ezo country, a rich house and a poor shack stood side by side by the outskirts of a small village surrounded by snow.

The rich mansion was but a big farmhouse, of sturdy wood blackened by sharp winter air. Yet, compared to its wretched neighbor, all of cob and hay, the estate looked quite opulent.

One evening, an unexpected snowstorm hurtled from the West. As howling winds mercilessly bit and cut faces and hands, all inhabitants boarded up their windows and doors in a hurry. Lire la suite

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Japanese tale #51 – Hold your tongue

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Once upon a time, eight good friends traveled together. They had prepared their trip well, thoroughly studying travel guides and marking things they should not miss. And, stations after stations, they enjoyed the many teashops and refined inns which stood along the road.

One evening, after bathing in their inn’s hot spring, they got together in the suite they all shared.

The maids were finishing setting rooms up for the night, running silently up and down the long corridors. The travellers merrily hailed one and asked:

– Tonight, we celebrate our friendship ! Please get us something to drink!

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Japanese tale #50 – Eye for eye

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Once upon a time, in old Edo, there was a man named Denshi who ruled a small circus​.

He had various numbers, from dog’s acrobatics to simple smoke and mirrors tricks, yet public was getting more and more scarce every passing day.

One evening, he overheard two young men talking excitedly outside his hut:

– Have you heard about the new haunted house? People say it’s such a great freak show: they even have a ghost! Let’s go check it, I am sure we’re going to love it! 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 #30 – The bell of Mugen

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Once upon a time, there was a little town called Mugen where stood a famous temple. It was an old respectable institution and its monks were proud… but also haughty and arrogant.

One day, it came to their ears that a faraway shrine had just blessed a new beautiful bell. One monk raged:

– Our temple is the best for miles around. How could we let a second class shrine outshine us? We should have the greatest bell!

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