A few stories about my work
A mountain near Hannam, known for its many shamans, was one of my favorite places to explore. After catching a city bus to the outskirts of Daejeon, you could walk all the way up to the Buddhist Temple there, with its exquisite Korean style painting and woodwork. I saw many monks, a few nuns, and some Korean tourists. Although I never did see any shamans, I returned to that mountain many times. It was so close to the city and yet such a world apart. I would leave quite early in the morning, spend the day walking, meditating, enjoying glorious Korean tea, and admiring the nature around us.
I could still be back home for supper in my apartment.
My good friend and fellow professor, Jeong Mai, often
accompanied me on these walks; we shared stories of
famous monks, heroes like Yi Sun Shin, and travel stories during our time together.
Another day, in another year, I went with my friend Yukiko to meet Matsuri Noriko, a beloved writer of children's books and kamishibai. We met in the Osaka Intercontinental, and I felt a little out of my league. But she was so friendly, and immediately pulled kamishibai out of her satchel and started telling us some of hers. It was a strange setting for such storytelling, but she seemed totally at home. She said she started making these cards and stories for her daughter who was scared to go to the toilet outside because of Obake (ghosts).
She's also concerned about the environment and
wraps up her chopsticks to carry with her. After a delightful time we left, and a week later she sent me a
beautiful stage for these cards and a lot of of her own sets for me to use!
Went to Mount Heiasan with Yukiko. For years ,I had wanted to go to the famous mountain. The clouds were very low, the atmosphere very misty, and we could hear the chants of the monks and the peaceful sound of the of the bells.
As we retraced our steps we met the same friendly party and we introduced ourselves. One of them was Sachiko Maki, who’s written many children’s books and is now researching traditional Japanese medicine. She pulled us to her car and gave me two beautiful books, both tales she had rewritten from the classic Konjaku Monogatari. And thus we had our own story of goen!!