Writer of today in Kyoto, Japan

 

Miharu Abe

 

 

Best wishes from Japan, for a peaceful and happy new year.

 

In Japan this year we have the Monkey as the horary sign of the year – it´s like a zodiac sign. When I looked for an image of the monkey for a New Year’s greeting card, I happened to see an illustration of the ancient Arabic fable: “The turtle and the monkey”, a tale of the monkey who can have a hairbreadth escape from being taking his organ, the heart. I enclose the copy’s copy of an illustration of the fourteenth century manuscript. Surprisingly among the Japanese oldest narratives, we can find the similar legend about the turtle and the monkey: a narrative of the monkey who can have a hairbreadth escape from being taking his organ, the kidney. The comment on the illustration tells that the eighth century Arabic fable and the twelfth century Japanese narrative shared the Indian sources. In earlier days our ancestors had the route for cultural exchange as well as trade. They were offspring of common heritage. Now in the twenty-first century we see countless wars and the devastation they have made on earth. What have driven a wedge?

 

I imagine the world where:

 

My vegetable love should grow

vaster than empires, and more slow

 

 

as Andrew Marwell (1621 - 1678) and Ursula K. Le Guin, a contemporary writer, put it.

 

I hope that not hate but love grows vaster than empires.

 

(Marvell and Le Guin are my favourite authors.)

 

 

 

 

 

31 December 2003