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Fable: At the base of Mt. Fuji in Japan was a dense forest that was home to many animals. A group of samurai warriors passing by decided to cut down the forest and make place for a training ground for martial arts. But a monk who lived in a secluded monastery nearby objected. Since the Samurai could not fight the monk, they decided on a simple competition to end the argument. The Samurai and the monk would race to the top of Mt. Fuji and the person who lost would have to leave.

Japanese Fable

The samurai chose their fittest soldier and next morning both the monk and the soldier set off from the base of Mt Fuji to reach its summit. The samurai being young and energetic quickly took the lead. For a while the going was easy, but soon he found his path blocked by thick forests that cut into his flesh when he tried to pass. But the Samurai used his sword and cut his way up. He climbed hurriedly but his path was blocked by steep rocks. The samurai shed his heavy armour and sword and began to climb. He climbed for hours even though the way kept getting tougher. Soon he found himself hanging from a precipice with no way to go further. Many hours passed and by the next morning the Samurai’s strength was completely drained. He was about to let go of his hold and fall down to his death, when a hand reached out from above and pulled the Samurai up. The grateful Samurai was surprised to see that it was the monk who had saved his life. The Samurai was ashamed and he asked the monk how had he managed to climb up so fast. The monk explained that when you climb a mountain, you don’t make your own path, but you let the mountain show you the path.

Moral: We need to learn to make our way around Nature, not against Nature.

Amazing Fact: Mt. Fuji is the highest mountain of Japan. It is one of Japan’s three “Holy Mountains” along with Mount Tate and Mount Haku.

Pic by: Altus
Story by: Nitin Das

From Fable to Film:

On March 11, 2011 a huge tsunami hit the north eastern part of Japan, causing immense damage and taking many lives. Watch this trailer of a short documentary about how the Japanese people took inspiration from nature to rebuild their lives.

Directed by Academy Award Nominated filmmaker Lucy Walker, featuring photography by Aaron Phillips and music by Moby.

Watch more Green Movies>>
Read more Fables from around the world>>

Discussion:  A study has shown that catastrophic incidents related to nature are on the rise. A lot of the world is still debating whether this can be linked to man made activities. But this debate does nothing for the people who suffer.
What can we do to be prepared for the changing times?

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The Devil’s sea is a region of the pacific, around Miyake Island, about 100 km south of Tokyo.

Photo by niijima.jp @flickr

Fable:  There once lived an old man in a house on a tiny island by the sea. He lived all by himself, and led a quiet but happy life. But one day, he discovered that he was no longer strong enough to row his boat and catch fish for his food. He tried to find some fish closer to the shore, but there were none. He was about to give up, when he saw a strange red mist hovering over his boat. Slowly and suspiciously, he walked towards it, and to his surprise, the mist began to take the form of a human figure. Even greater was his surprise when it began to speak to him.

“I lived on this island many years ago, but was cursed by an evil witch, who banished me from the land, the sea and the skies. Since then, I have been wandering around, neither here nor there, stuck in the in-between. I used to be a fisherman, and have been longing for a chance to return to the sea. All I ask of you is your boat. In return I will supply you with all the fish you want, and you will never have to go hungry.”

The old man agreed, and handed the oars of his small boat over to the misty figure, but no sooner had he done this, the figure began to grow and grow, till it was more than twice the size of the old man. Even the boat had magically grown. The old man stepped back in fear, as the misty figure slowly began to solidify. To his horror, he recognized the figure as the Sea Devil, who had been defeated by the God of the Winds many years ago. He tried to take back the oars and stop the devil from speeding off in the boat, but the old man was no match for him. He cursed himself for what he had done, but it was too late.

True to his word, the Sea Devil brought a large number of fish to the island every morning, yet even long after the old man was gone, he kept the boat, and continued to terrorize the waters, so that till today, that region is known as Devil’s Sea.

Moral: There’s no such thing as free lunch.

Contributed by: Chitra Roy

Fact:  Similar to the case of the Bermuda triangle, many ships and planes have mysteriously disappeared in this area. The cause for these disappearances could be magnetic variations, though many believe them to be yet unexplained, supernatural phenomena. Legends link the area to fire-breathing dragons and the devil.

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