Japanese tale #60 – Children of the wind

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Once upon a time, in a simple village, one like thousand others across Japan, there were three children who loved to play outside.

The oldest, Kazuo, always tried to look older than he really was, his stern behavior somehow ruined by his ever-snotty nose. His sister Chiyo, though all gangly limbs, was a mean biter when rough-and-tumble called. And all knew that Nobu, the woodsman’s son, would blabber about everything and nothing for hours if you didn’t stop him.

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Japanese tale #57 – One hundred nights

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Once upon a time, there was a temple renowned far and wide across the land for its powerful amulets.

People came from remote villages just to buy a paper charm or a fabric amulet, hoping to fend off evil spirits of all kinds.

A lovely summer day, as dusk was settling, a woman came knocking at the heavy temple gates.

– Hello? Is anybody here?

The watchboy throw a look by the spyhole. The woman, richly dressed, had her features blurred by a long travel veil, her wide hat casting long shadows in the dimming light. Lire la suite

Japanese tale #56 – Silken strings

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Once upon a time, near a remote village, stood an old temple all thought to be haunted.

It was a lovely place, peaceful and quiet. While abandoned, its polished wooden floors still shone warmly in sunlight, its bronze lanterns remained untouched by moss.

Yet, for unfathomable reasons, any person who went there ended missing. Peasants, woodsmen and mere travelers who had strolled the temple grounds simply vanished, never again to be seen. Lire la suite

Japanese tale #52 – Soot coat, silk coat

soot coat

Once upon a time, a long, long time ago, the Crow did not wear the feathers coat as deep as the night we know today.

In this remote past, most forest birds were buttoned up from tails to beaks in austere frocks of dusty greys and muddy browns, living hidden in high trees and under thick brambles.

Crow truly stood out from this mousy crowd. Dazzling and grand, he owned the most striking attire, as colorful as a rainbow. Lire la suite

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 #36 – Waiting for Spring

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Once upon a time, there was a village nestled deep in the heart of the snow country. It was a faraway land, far from the mellow life of the capital. Enshrouded in white during long Winter months, its people were known to be hard to the task, stubborn and resilient.

Surrounded by heavy snow, villagers only get out from time to time, wearing massive coats and boots made of straw to fend off sharp blizzards. Most days, they kept to their homes, tending to daily tasks. They weaved and sew clothes, sculpted and sharpened tools, tended their animals and waited. Waited again and again.

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