Pay No Attention to That Man Behind the Curtain

3rd Story CollectionAs the saying goes, there are some things you’re better off not knowing. Like how sausage is made, if you really like sausage. Still, if anyone’s curious (didn’t say you were. said “if”), here’s where the title of my third story collection came from:

In 1905, Lafcadio Hearn published a collection of pieces on Japanese legend called “The Romance of the Milky Way and Other Stories.” Including therein were several tanka written on the legend of the Weaver and Herdsman (also called the Romance of the Milky Way) from an 8th Century Japanese poetry volume, the Manyoushou. Here’s Hearn’s translation of one:

Amanogawa

Ai-muki tachité,

Waga koïshi

Kimi kimasu nari

Himo-toki makéna!

[He is coming, my long-desired lord, whom I have been waiting to meet here, on the banks of the River of Heaven…. The moment of loosening my girdle is nigh!]

When I decided to do my own take on the Weaver and Herdsman legend, choosing a title was the easy part. So credit where credit’s due: Thanks to Mr. Hearn, and the ancient poets of the Manyoushou.

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4 thoughts on “Pay No Attention to That Man Behind the Curtain

  1. You must have done something right because a friend who’s Japanese-American and who’d read Hearn, absolutely enjoyed your tales of Lord Yamada, which I had given to her.

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