Dear Haijin, visitors an travelers,
Here it is ... our second Carpe Diem Ghost-Writer week starting with the Ghost-Writer post by Jen of Blog it or lose it. She loves to introduce the Tanaga, a Philipine poetry form, to you all. I will include her post hereafter.
Today I will try to share another Japanese folktale, ''The Two Frogs'', with you. It"s todays prompt, frog, which is referring to that story. Here is that Japanese Folktale:
So one fine morning in the spring they both set out along the road that led from Kyoto to Osaka, one from one end and the other from the other. The journey was more tiring than they expected, for they did not know much about traveling, and halfway between the two towns there arose a mountain which had to be climbed. It took them a long time and a great many hops to reach the top, but there they were at last, and what was the surprise of each to see another frog before him!
|Credits: The Two Frogs|
They looked at each other for a moment without speaking, and then fell into conversation, explaining the cause of their meeting so far from their homes. It was delightful to find that they both felt the same wish--to learn a little more of their native country--and as there was no sort of hurry they stretched themselves out in a cool, damp place, and agreed that they would have a good rest before they parted to go their ways.
"What a pity we are not bigger," said the Osaka frog; "for then we could see both towns from here, and tell if it is worth our while going on."
"Oh, that is easily managed," returned the Kyoto frog. "We have only got to stand up on our hind legs, and hold onto each other, and then we can each look at the town he is traveling to."
This idea pleased the Osaka frog so much that he at once jumped up and put his front paws on the shoulder of his friend, who had risen also. There they both stood, stretching themselves as high as they could, and holding each other tightly, so that they might not fall down. The Kyoto frog turned his nose towards Osaka, and the Osaka frog turned his nose towards Kyoto; but the foolish things forgot that when they stood up their great eyes lay in the backs of their heads, and that though their noses might point to the places to which they wanted to go, their eyes beheld the places from which they had come.
|Credits: The Two Frogs (woodblock)|
"Dear me!" cried the Osaka frog, "Kyoto is exactly like Osaka. It is certainly not worth such a long journey. I shall go home!"
"If I had had any idea that Osaka was only a copy of Kyoto I should never have traveled all this way," exclaimed the frog from Kyoto, and as he spoke he took his hands from his friend's shoulders, and they both fell down on the grass. Then they took a polite farewell of each other, and set off for home again, and to the end of their lives they believed that Osaka and Kyoto, which are as different to look at as two towns can be, were as alike as two peas.
Jen interpreted this story with the following Tanaga:
blindly, his partner agreed.
Follow your flippers forward -
you can’t know till you've journeyed.
amber eyes above the pond,
disc-like ears underwater —
just like frogs, we live longer
immersed but looking beyond
Here is an example of a Tanaga in archaic Tagalog (1):
sacaling datnang agos!
aco’I momonting lomot
sa iyo,I popolopot.
should the waters be coming!
I shall cower as the moss
to you I shall be clinging."
|Source: Wikipedia Paintings|
green banks that the grass protects
and where trees their strength renew:
may I reflect green life, too!