Tuesday, 7 February 2012

Seen from a Train

Here is a another short story from Annie Parmeter, written when she was 11, and in year 6 at Moorestown College, St Peter - an independent school that, like so many others in Jersey in the 20th century, is now closed. A friend of mine who was also at Moorestown has a memory of her from those days:

"She was older than me though, but I remember her as being great fun and people wanted to be around her. She was also very attractive and dark."

Regarding the subject in the text - the mountain. In English, the mountain is known as Mount Fuji. Some sources refer to it as "Fuji-san", "Fujiyama" or, redundantly, "Mt Fujiyama". "Fujiyama" is a less-common alternative reading of the Japanese characters used to spell the name of the mountain. However, Japanese speakers generally refer to the mountain as "Fuji-san". The meaning of the word "Fuji" is unclear, but a text of the 10th century Tale of the Bamboo Cutter says that the name came from "immortal". It is one of Japan's "Three Holy Mountains"

This is a fine piece of short descriptive writing, especially as when writing it she had never been to Japan...

Seen from a Train
by Annie Parmeter

As "Kodama" pulled out of Tokyo, I could look at the neon lights and skyscrapers - only eight storey ones - as far as the eye could see. This is Japan of today.

As our electric train glided, as if one air, through the suburban areas, the neon lights and skyscrapers became fewer and fewer. Finally, we reached the countryside, with all the cherry and almond trees in bloom, pretty girls in Kimonos and Pagodas and Paper Houses. This was real Japan.

As we glided past a rice field the workers waves and point to the train as if they knew us.

Presently we came to a mikan or tangerine grove, but I only caught a glimpse of it,  because my attention was distracted to the other side. There I became aware of the most beautiful sight I have ever seen - Mount Fujiyama, with her beautiful turquoise cloak, the collar trimmed with white fur, a steady column of smoke rising as straight as a die up into the cloudless blue sky.

As Fujiyama's ethereal form faded into the far distance, more rice fields began to roll by; I knew why the Japanese called Fujiyama their "sacred heavenly mountain."

As the setting sun began to make her graceful arch down into the hills, we drew into Kobe.

That was the most heavenly journey I have ever made.

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