Rhythm in Kenji's Stories|
Among the compelling forces that pull the reader into Kenji's world are the rhythms he uses to strike a familiar chord in the reader's heart.
Matasaburo of the Wind begins with a song in which the Japanese onomatopoeia doddodo dodo-do dodo- depicts the sound of a strong wind that immediately introduces the reader to the theme of the story. Another onomatopoeia, the rhythmical kikku kikku ton ton of stomping and cavorting in the snow is inseparably tied to the elated mood of the brother and sister and baby foxes, the main characters in Crossing the Snow. Rhythmical songs play an important role in many of the stories, like the one sung by the deers in The Origin of the Deer Dance.
Kenji ingeniously utilizes the voices of birds to create a mood. In Down in the Wood the low hoot of an owl, who acts as the narrator of the story, is heard from the stillness of an evening forest. An owl priest is heard chanting a sutra in the woods at night in Night of the Twenty-Sixth.
Kenji had a strong interest in Western music and was particularly fond of Beethoven. He even learned to play the cello. Gorsch, the main character in Gorsch the Cellist, is a rather bad performer who discovers the true soul of music from his encounters with the music-loving bird, cat, raccoon dog, and mouse who come to listen to him practice.
Who is Kenji Miyazawa? The World of Kenji Miyazawa