Kenji for You Japanese

Interview with Miyuki Moriya

Ms. Moriya, when did you start reading Kenji's works seriously?
When I was in the ninth grade at junior high school, my homeroom teacher, who liked Kenji Miyazawa, read us "Gorsch the Cellist" in our class. After listening to it, I was so interested that I read a collection of Kenji's works for children published by Poplar by myself. At that time I liked allegories such as "The Cat Office" and "The Restaurant of Many Orders." After I entered high school, I became Kenji's fan.
In high school how did you read Kenji's books?
I didn't concentrate on reading them at a certain time and then lose interest and stop forever. Instead I continued to be interested in Kenji's books and after read them when I was in the mood. When I feel depressed, I want to read books in a warm and comfortable mood, like "The Dahlias and the Crane." In "The Dahlias and the Crane" there is a red dahlia who is thinking of dyeing the world red with its bright color, a yellow dahlia who flatters the red dahlia, and a white dahlia who is modest. A white-head crane flying in the sky offers words of agreement to the red and yellow dahlias. Afterwards, the crane always says "Good evening," to the white dahlia before flying away. Because I see myself as the white dahlia, this part makes me feel comforted.
"Acorns and Wildcat" and "The Spider, the Slug, and the Raccoon" have a message that the best way to live is not to become big or outstanding, but to live steadily though uneventfully. I like that part, too.
What do you think about the relationship between human beings and other living things in Kenji's works?
I accept the killing of animals, but at the same time I feel pain for the main character of "The Bears of Nametoko" whose job requires him to kill them. I have doubts about being vegetarian or thinking that nature is best. In "Night on the Milky Way Train" I also dislike the idea that it is all right to sacrifice oneself for everyone's happiness by burning one's body several hundred time.

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