Indra's Net

The illusionary experience seen with scientific eyes In his works, Kenji brings together the perspective of the dispassionate observer and the world of fantasy in a variety of ways. In "Indra's Net," the observer, "I," walks alone in the rarefied air of the Cela Plateau, hazily conscious and having partially stepped into a dream world. Nevertheless, "I" views this state of mind with a scientific discernment. Kenji uses this point of view to tell this story.

The lake on the plateau As the sun sets and "I" walks across the plateau as it darkens, he asks, "(Why on earth am I walking here in this place so high up in the atmosphere, where it hurts so sharply to breathe the air?)"
After continuing on for a while he comes upon a lake. The sand on its shore is pure white quartz that squeaks as he walks. Its water gives off a pale phosphorescent glow when he scoops up a handful. "(This is supercooled water.)," the scientist in "I" whispers in his mind. Although it's temperature is below freezing point, it has not turned to ice.
The Milky Way overlaps with the twinkling lakeside sand Without realizing it, night has fallen completely. The deep violet sky is strewn with stars that look like chips of diamonds and yellow quartz, and the sand under his feet also twinkles and gleams. "This supercool lakeside on the Cela Plateau is also a part of the Milky Way" it appears, he says. Before long, signs of the approaching dawn appear. Then, seeing a heavenly being soaring through the dark purple above, his heart leaps as "I" says, "(I've finally done it. I've unintentionally strayed from the Cela Plateau of our earthly world into the heavens.)"
The celestial being Seeing the way the clothing of the celestial being moves, "I" thinks, "(Ahh, the air here is so thin it is almost like a vacuum. That is why there isn't even a breeze to lightly disturb the folds of that delicate garment.)" It has been a while since the angel has left his sight, and now three children of the heavens appear. From the look of the gossamer folds of their clothes, "I" knows that they are gandharan and are the three beings on the mural excavated from the ruins of the Koutan Taishi Temple.
The spectral net of the rising sun Shortly, far off from the edge of the plateau "a fragment appears, gleaming like antique gold and the vermilion of the core of a reverberatory furnace." The heavenly children face it and join their hands in prayer. It is the majestic sun. The children scamper about, and one points to the sky and says, "Look, there, at Indra's net." "The spectral net of Indra blankets the sky. It is finer than a spider's web -- it blazes, shining and shimmering with billions of intricate combinations of clear and gold and then blue."

The Convergence of Poetry and Science
Fantasy as Reality of the Mind
A Literature for Adolescents
Ihatovo and foreign land
The World of Kenji's Works
The World of Kenji Miyazawa