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July 04 , 2007

Kenju's Forest Playground & Ame-ni-mo makezu


Kenji Miyazawa is undoubtedly one of Japan's most highly regarded writers of fantasy fiction. Book 1 of Tales From A Japanese Dreamland is an introduction to Kenji's writing through his well-known poem Ame-ni-mo makezu and the story of Kenju, which can be thought of as an extension of that poem.

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When Death Calls

I love death. Death is beautiful. Death is a doorway, a portal to another life, a path we must walk to reach our next existence. I have been walking this path for longer than living memory. My soul is old—too old. In fact, I feel it may have gone senile. In each life, we are born with total amnesia about our past. Many of us go through a lot of…

Kenju's Forest Playground
Kenju is different from other kids his age, and he gets teased a lot. But Kenju can see things all around that others can't. One day, completely out-of-the-blue, he decides to plant seven hundred cedar trees, and those trees become something that no one ever imagined.

Ame-ni-mo Makezu
Perhaps the most famous Japanese poem of the modern age, it was written by Kenji while lying on his death bed and was never seen by anyone else until after his death. This significance of this poem has increased greatly for the Japanese people following the Great East Japan Earthquake, with many people using it to reflect on what truly is important in their lives.

Please note that both these stories can be found in Book 4 and Book 5 of the series Tales from a Japanese Dreamland published by Little J Books.

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