On The Origins Of Japan

I’m sitting at Arsenal’s place studying Japanese flashcards on my computer. Mama happens to be nearby and peers over to see what I’m doing.

Mama: Is this Chinese?
Me: No, it’s Japanese. Can you tell what it means?
Mama: No…Japanese use kanji in weird ways.
Me: Yeah…it can kind of weird sometimes.
Mama: But it’s not their fault.
Me: Why’s that?

Mama Theater Presents
Japan: Children of the Storm

[Cue dramatic music]

Centuries ago China was ravaged by storms and floods caused by the wrath of the spirits of the sea. The livelihood of all the people in China was endangered because of the destruction wrought by these storms. In order to appease the spirits of the sea, hordes of children were sent out to sea as sacrifices.

However, the spirits of the sea did not take the lives of the children. Instead, the children traveled many days and nights before landing on an island east of China. There the children founded a new civilization, which came to be known as Japan.

[Roll credits]

Mama: But because they were children they didn’t know Chinese characters that well and made mistakes when writing certain words, that’s why Japanese people use characters in weird ways.
Arsenal: That’s a nice legend.
Mama: It’s real! They taught it to us in school!
Me: In elementary school?
Mama: In high school, it was in the textbook and everything!
Arsenal: There’s no way that’s true.
Mama: It is!

This entry was posted in Anecdote, China. Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to On The Origins Of Japan

  1. David says:

    1. Emperor Qin Shihuang, who connected Great Wall, sent an Army and 500 children to the East to find a plant(drug) that can allow him to live for ever, and try to populate the island in the East.
    2. For a long time, Japan only have a oral language and not a written language. The Japanese language itself had no written form at the time kanji was introduced. Originally texts were written in the Chinese language and would have been read as such. Over time, however, a system known as kanbun (漢文) emerged, which involved using Chinese text with diacritical marks to allow Japanese speakers to restructure and read Chinese sentences, by changing word order and adding particles and verb endings, in accordance with the rules of Japanese grammar

  2. David says:

    Where do I find the list of your postings in your blogs now ?

    • Cchan says:

      You’re going to have to be a bit more specific, some of the site layout got changed when I added some things to the site. If you can tell me a bit more about what you’re looking for I can probably dig it out again.

  3. David says:

    It used to be listing the posting orders by months such as:
    October, 2011
    September, 2011
    August, 2011
    …. When I click on October, 2011 and all your posting list will appears such as
    On the orgins of Japan
    Druken master ..etc
    …. and when I click on “On the orgins of Japan” , I can proceed to read that post

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