Japanese tale #55 – Seeing red

seeing red.jpg

Once upon a time, a traveling samurai got caught in the rain by an old castle.

The fortress had stood forgotten for years and was now no more than a steep hill still spiked here and there by gloomy wooden ruins.

Under thundering clouds, the dark remains of the castle, thought sinisters and grim, lured the man closer. Lire la suite

Publicités

Japanese Tale #41 – A fox’s tail

fox tail.jpg

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!

Lire la suite

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

Japanese tale #35 – The swarm of Suzuka pass

suzuka.jpg

Once upon a time, there was a famous road which wound across Japan. Through paddy fields and soft hills, dark forests and mighty peaks, people walked all day long from station to station, travelling from the great Edo to charming Kyoto.

One of those post towns was a dreaded stop which stood near a steep pass named Suzuka. High in the mountains, the area was nothing but barren rocks and gloomy trees. And it was renowned at miles around for it hid a bandit’s den.

Lire la suite

Japanese tale #33 – The path of the cat

cat path.jpg

Once upon a time, there was a young samurai who studied at a famous swordsmanship school. The institution, old and venerable, was renowned for all the great fighters it had trained throughout the years.

The boy, Kenichi, was a promising student, humble, patient and diligent. Everyday, he rose before dawn and worked hard, hoping that one day he would too mastered the art of the sword.

Under heavy rain or in smothering heat, he practiced and practiced, refining his moves and sharpening his mind to clear perfection. Lire la suite

Japanese tale #14 – The Fox and the Dango

fox-dango

Once upon a time, there was a tiny teahouse up in the mountains. Built just beside the road leading to the harsh mountain pass, the old owner seldom saw travelers and mostly spent his days farming.

One Autumn day though, a weary samurai came to stop. His tattered blue pants and straw shoes, covered with mud and fallen leaves, were a poor sight. Yet the young man had a noble posture and very refined manners. He called gently:

– Hello? Is there somebody here ?

Lire la suite