Reading Notes: Japanese Mythology Part B

Urashima The story of Urashima tells of his quest past the sea for seven long days without rest. He did not return to Suminoye nor to his home but after a fruitless quest, he pulled a great tortoise from the sea. Tortoises are a holy symbol of long life so he returned it to the water. Urashima slept and started dreaming when a vision of a fair maiden came, the daughter of the dragon. She whispered to him that for having speared the tortoise's life he could join her in her castle underneath the sea, and take princess Otohime as his wife, where they would be ever young and free, never to die. But after being in the palace with his wife, he began to long for his home and family, so he decided to go see his parents and then return. His wife then entrusted him with a talismanic casket to take with him but instructed him not to open it. Urashima sailed to his home, Suminoye, but when he reached it there were no huts and no people, thus realizing that he had stayed in the palace for hund…

Reading Notes: Japanese Mythology Part A

Izanagi and Izanami In the beginning, everything was chaos and from the void emerged a cloud from which sprouted a bud than then grew and blossomed towards the heavens. From the wonder-flower bloomed the Sun. At the same time, from heaven came downward a night-blooming flower that became the moon. Out of these blossoms sprang many gods, the last of who were Izanagi (all-powerful-God-of-the-Air) and Izanami (fair-Goddess-of-the-Clouds), and from them came all life. 
Izanagi and Izanami stood in the Floating Bridge of Heaven when Izanagi said that there must be a kingdom beneath them and that they should visit it. He threw his spear into the ocean and when he drew it, from the drops of liquid the island of Onogora was born. He stirred once ore creating a mountain attached to the Floating Bridge. Izanagi and Izanami both descended and skirted the Pilla of Earth in opposite directions; when they met, Izanami spoke first which was a great offense due to her being a woman, so they started a…

Biography Story Lab: Foreign

Foreign As I stare at the screen and wait for your call my heart fills with pain as it starts to recall the million goodbyes and thousands of tears that I have collected throughout many years.
I remember the first and toughest of all when you hugged me so hard and refused to let go you sent me away to go all alone and sadly since then I have been on my own.
And I know it is best, that change must be good, but I long to go back I wish that I could the land that I left is all lost and gone only you remain and I must move on.
But oh how I miss you and oh how it hurts that I pray to the world for time to reverse to go back before this before I knew this pain to when we were together before I got on that plane.

Author's Note: I decided to write a short poem about how hard it is to leave my home country and live so far away from my family. As of now, it has been about four years since I left in Venezuela, and since then I have moved two times, once to Italy and once here. I have been li…

Reading Notes: Fables of Bipai Part B

The Crane and the Crab There once was a crane that lived next to a pond where she could eat as many fish as she wanted and lived in luxury. When she was old she realized that she should have gathered provisions for when she was too old to fish, so she started complaining and moaning. A crab swam to the surface and asked why she was so sad, and she explained that two fishermen said that they would go back to the pond in a few weeks to fish, so she would surely die of starvation. The crab told the fish who were all very anxious and scared, so they approached the crane to develop a plan together. The crane said that she knew of an enchanted pond where they would be safe, so she could carry three or four fish at a time every day. So that morning she took some of the fish and instead of taking them to a pond, she ate them, having once again food regardless of her old age. When it was time to carry the crab she wanted to get rid of him, so she had him grab on to her neck. However, as they f…

Reading Notes: Fables of Bidpai Part A

The King, the Falcon, and the Drinking-Cup A king who was very fond of hunting had a falcon that he would always take with him and even feed by hand. During one hunt, the king saw a deer and started pursuing it, but his companions couldn't ride as fast as him so he quickly left them behind. The king became disoriented and lost and was very thirsty, so he took a cup out of his bag and began filling it with the water of a small stream. When he was about to drink it, the falcon flew down and knocked the cup out of his hands. This happened a few more times, angering the king so much to the point that he grabbed the falcon and threw it to the ground, killing him instantly. At this moment one of the king's servants found him and offered him water from his flask, but the king demanded to drink water from the stream, however, because it took too long he asked the servant to go to the origin of the stream and fill his cup. When the servant returned he said hat the king had been on the …

Week 5 Story: Dear Brother

Dear Brother, 
If you are finding this letter it is because something went wrong during our last visit to the king's treasure chamber. After the first time we snuck into the chamber unnoticed I started wondering what would happen when the king realized that someone was stealing from him. Guards, traps, undercover spies, a bounty for our heads, it all came flashing through my mind. Since then I have hidden this letter every time we left to steal from the chamber so that if I were ever captured you would have something of mine, to remember me by, and to ease your guilt from what I know you will have to do. 
Brother, do not feel that you are responsible for my passing, even if it did happen by your hand. Please know that I do not hold you responsible or resent you for having to take my life, I gladly would give my life a thousand times if it meant that you could continue to live yours, dear brother. I know that this was a difficult decision for you to make, I know that it must have …

Reading Notes: Ancient Egypt Part B

The Tale of King Rhampsinitus Story source: Egyptian Myth and Legend by Donald Mackenzie (1907).
There was a king of Egypt called Rhampsinitus who was very wealthy. He had a chamber made to store his riches, but one of the builders left a stone loose so that it could be removed from the outside. When the man was about to die he told the secret of the stone to his two sons who then proceeded to retrieve the treasures. The king was furious at the robberies, so he placed more guards and traps, until one night one of the brothers was caught. He knew that if he were caught in the morning they both would, so he instructed his brother to cut his head and leave. He did as instructed, which angered the king even more. He ordered the guards to place the body hanged in front of the palace to find anyone that would grieve the boy, but no one came. The boys' mother grieved and asked her son to retrieve the body, so he tricked the guards by getting them drunk and managed to take his brother'…