One of the appeals of Kenji's stories is that they can be read on a number of different levels. The multiplicity of meaning found in his stories was added in the process of several rewritings, which were not always simple partial adjustments, but often changed the entire structure of the story.
In the last line of An Outline of the Essential Art of the Peasant Kenji writes "Eternal imperfection-this is perfection." In the process of rewriting them, Kenji reexamined his stories from the foundation up, and this painstaking effort brought him closer to what he truly hoped to convey through a story.
One example is Matasaburo of the Wind. The first version, entitled Matasaburo Kazeno, the main character, a wind imp called Matasaburo Kazeno, talks directly with the village children, and the new student at school, Saburo Takada, doesn't appear in the story. In the final version, however, it is Saburo Takada who directly interacts with the village children, and Matasaburo of the wind only appears in their dreams. The village children look on Saburo Takada an exotic, alien figure who seems to them to personify Matasaburo of the wind. The ambiguity with which Kenji paints the main character by subtly shifting back and forth between Saburo and Matasaburo holds a peculiar fascination. Two other of Kenji's stories, Taneyamagahara and The Honey Locust Pool, have been partially incorporated into Matasaburo of the Wind , and both are given an important role in the story.
Night On The Milky Way Train is another story that was rewritten several times. One example is the deletion of the scene at the end where Professor Bulcanillo talks to Giovanni, and the addition of the opening scene in the school classroom, between the third and final rewritings. Kenji made other major changes as well that greatly altered the effect of the final work. While the fourth manuscript, as a finished work, is the most unified, a reading of the other versions is indispensable to discover all of the questions Kenji was examining in Night On The Milky Way Train
Who is Kenji Miyazawa? The World of Kenji Miyazawa