We are pleased to participate in the A to Z Blog Challenge (http://www.a-to-zchallenge.com/). The Story Crossroads theme for this year is Finding Resilience & Strength through Traditional Tales.
While presented like a traditional tale, it is based on actual events. Rather than being named Ojiisan, we learn of Hamaguchi Gohei from 1854. Though, so many traditional tales are based on actual events.
Rice was more known in Korea and China before it came to Japan. Yet, once rice was part of the culture, the dishes made from rice sometimes took on a level of spirituality. Even rituals that expand beyond Japan include rice such as when people toss rice at weddings. Rice was known as a worthy offering to the gods.
The offering of the rice by Ojiisan is certainly a worthy sacrifice.
Ojiisan, rice farmer, lived upon mountain. While working, village prepared for celebration. Ojiisan sensed earthquake. Rumble! But short and village still had festival. From the sea, great wave…tsunami! Villagers could not see danger like Ojiisan. Set rice fields on fire. Enough to warn villagers. Offered his home while villagers rebuilt.
Finding the Story:
Book “Tsunami!” – here
“The Fire of Rice Sheaves” – story based on actual events – here
Wikipedia “The Fire of Rice Sheaves” – here
“The Burning of the Rice Sheaves” – here
“The Tale of Hamaguchi Gohei and the Tsunami” – here
“The Culture and History Behind Japanese Rice” – here
Finding Resilience & Strength:
Ojiisan was well off because of growing the rice. He believed in hard work and took care of his rice even when the villagers prepared celebrations. Yet, he had enough strength to not only be self-reliant but to keep a watchful eye and be willing to sacrifice his livelihood to save his neighbors.
Any natural disaster and the surviving of it is a test of strength and resilience. Ojiisan became a hero though he remained humble. He offered his home and did all he could. The whole village was elevated – literally and figuratively.
Here is advice and resources from The Center for Disaster Philanthropy called “Resilience” to explore mental health strategies.
Please share thoughts in the comments. While you enjoy this blog, Story Crossroads has year-round offerings. See quick list of programs here.
As for our past A to Z Challenges…
While you enjoy this blog, Story Crossroads has been resilient and strong during these past years and looks forward to the next hybrid summit & festival on May 8-11, 2023. We would be honored for you to join us. Explore the schedule and register here: http://www.storycrossroads.org/Festival
Thanks to funding from National Endowment for the Arts; National Endowment for the Humanities; Western States Arts Federation; Utah Division of Arts and Museums/Utah Legislature; Utah Humanities; City of Murray; Zoo, Arts & Parks (ZAP) of Salt Lake County; Salt Lake City Arts Council; Ashton Family Foundation
One thought on “T is for Tsunami vs. Village”
Rice has symbolic meaning in India, where I come from, even for those communities that don’t use rice as a staple. Here from the A-Z, all the best.