Sunday, 16 October 2011

THE CHRONICLES OF WAKASUGIYAMA

Prologue
Chapter the First :                  Of Vikings and Emperors
Chapter the Second :             Of Temples and Cliff Faces
Chapter the Third :                 Of Wealth and Misdeed
Chapter the Fourth :               Of Feasting and Quests


Prologue
すみません何山ですか    « Sumimasen, nan yama desu ka ? »
若杉山です                       « Wakasugiyama desu »
そですか                            « So desu ka ? »


Chronicle the First: “Of Vikings and Emperors
And it came to pass in those wanton days that such as were the needs of the people, so too did spring forth the satisfaction of those requests, and in good time the indigenous people of the land did open their hearts unto the travellers and forsooth and in peace the latter were brought unto a great feasting hall, calf, sushi and unlimited tea and coffee were slain and a Viking was had and was rejoiced and the assembled supped and glutted and the heavens were full with gleaming angels singing “Blessed is he that does not place his chopsticks sticking up in the rice” and “We bear good news for all mankind thatat a Viking it truly is all you can eat so long as you can put up with comments from the Japanese about how much you can put away”.
Verily I say to you that the food was good and plentiful and the company mirthful, though the scattering of Babel had rendered unto the assembled great pains in conversation making.
So it was that a serving lady did come down into the land of the feasting bringing glad tidings, that he who should inscribe his details upon the parchments she bore should graciously gain, the heavens willing, a chance to bathe and feast again and that no silver should from his house be taken. And so there was once more much rejoicing, and the travellers were regaled with glorious tales of nudity and bathing until the time came for the travelers to themselves place their mark upon the parchments. A cold wind swept across the land, and the travellers were struck with a grievous confusion when it became knownst unto them that the layout which had been ordained for them to inscribe the names of their fathers in, and the names their fathers gave them in and the year in which their mothers did bear them unto this world in were not as they wouldst behold in their native Albion. And so it came to pass that despite Babel and despite the wicked violence that this might do unto social convention, the natives did in their kindness deign to assist the travellers in the accomplishment of this labour, translating the year and moon and day as it was beheld in the distant west into such a system as it might be understood there in the orient, paying due homage to the Emperor of that land. And so it was that 1989 became the first year of the Heisei Emperor and there was a message sent about the land that he who should wish to accompany a small group of the natives on a pilgrimage across the wet plains to the mount that is called Wakasugiyama should embark into the carts duly provided and they should be at peace until the holy mountain yonder was attained.


Chronicle the Second: Of Temples and Cliff Faces
The pilgrimage in the oriental winter was hard and many perished in the difficult conditions. As many as were living were sustained by the bounties that 7-11 did provide so and verily the tenderness of the sweet music (including such classics as Toire no kami sama) that did spring forth from the music boxes did give suckle for their parched mouths.
And it came to pass that the assembled did achieve the base of the holy mountain that is called Wakasugiyama and did in their piety go forth and ascend as it is written (on the tourist info map). The summit of the mountain that is called Wakasugiyama was distant and the path that led to it strewn with rocks and stones but in faith and in wisdom traveller and native did continue to ascend until it came to pass that the vaults of the skies were reached and the weary might rest and the flies be swatted and the paras be glided. For so it was in those days that many had, in their self-moving carts desecrated the places that are holy on the mountain that is called Wakasugiyama, holy punishment being ordained for them on high. Such was the judgment of the heavens that those who had so sullied the pure shrines and holy temples should be attached with rope to great crescents of infernal canvas and should thus be struck off into the abyss that does surround the heaven-made world and should in torment and in defeat be suspended up high. The travellers beheld these mysteries and were amazed and did in haste to the temples proceed so that they too might purify themselves in water and give thanks and offerings of silver coins.
Possessed by devotion the travellers did descend to a cliff face where idols were carved and were carried by their faith (and a chain bored into the rock) down that face.  
So it was that the pilgrimage to the mountain that is called Wakasugiyama was consummated and the weary did return to their places of rest to rid themselves of the shadow of their wearinesses and prepare for the next rising of the sun.


Chronicle the Third: Of Wealth and Misdeed
…[this part of the Chronicles seems to have been lost with the passage of time, and the fragments that we still have are not of sufficient quality of clarity to attempt a reconstruction. A suggested thematic, however, is provided in a text “Linden Hall Sports Day” published by Japanter.]


Chronicle the Fourth: Of Chronicles and Quests
It is written “Blessèd are the Japanterous, for they shall inherit the earth and even if they don’t they’ll have a bloody good time”. And so as it is written did the Japanterous ones, John of Dewsbury, Grahame of Anderson and G-Dawg of Seoul in the land of Kankok, who had achieved glory in the vaults of the mountain that is called Wakasugiyama, did in mirth and in revelry come down into the City which is called Fukuoka and did imbibe and did make mischief. They did come to a stall with a man selling foodstuffs and did inquire of the man as to whether they might take a seat and in mercy he did grant that they should be seated and did feed them with pig-bone broth and noodles and meat and with beer that is called Asahi and they did feast and were contented and did return to their own lands where fermented fruit juices were taken.
John of Dewsbury and his companion set off into the night and verily did they lose their way in the streets of the City that is called Futsukaichi and so it was that two circles of the clock did pass until they at last found slumber in the House which is called Cambridge.

And there was no rejoicing ‘cos I fell asleep straight away and it took me an hour and half this morning to realise that I’d left the light on all night. 

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