And talking about monsters, I remember the strange insight I had a summer night in my apartment. I got up because of the suffocating heat, and rested my eyes on a map of Japan I had pinned on the wall, where I marked the places I visited. Then I turned my head to look at the other wall where an image of Kobo Daishi dressed as a pilgrim was hanging (8th century monk highly revered in Japan). My thoughts stopped, I looked again at the map and… I could not believe it! My mind had processed something that my intellect was unable to digest, though it finally agreed (half jokingly, half seriously) to put into words. It was a great discovery, although not within the reach of most people (except children, of course).
Among the creatures that inhabit the mythologies of most cultures, there are often formidable beings, hybrids between reptiles and birds, which roam the skies and oceans spitting fire from their mouths: the dragons. I had just discovered that dragons are not fictional beings, but they really exist and are alive. Where? Right under our noses! We live on dragons. In fact, the continents could be a group of dragons resting in this blue pond of the universe we call Earth.
Earth-quakes are actually “dragon-quakes!”
“Nonsense,” is quick to judge our swollen left hemisphere of the brain just before eating up the right one (converted by science in a raising), whose last words are, “but it’s true.” It could be true! The dragons live millions of years and so their movements are very slow, or should I say very slow to humans (we live less than what it takes them one breathing). Japan is a baby dragon, hence its remarkable seismic activity.
Would you like to see it? Then open your atlas by the Japan page and turn it 50° to the right (or look at the map above). The left end island (Kyushu) corresponds to the head, the main island (Honshu) forms the body, and the island on the right (Hokkaido), the tail. The string of islands stretching to the left from its mouth are logically a breath of fire (that’s why it’s so hot in Okinawa!). The mountain range that runs from one end to another can not be anything but its powerful spine. In the back of the dragon you can even see its budding wings, and joining the belly are two powerful peninsulas, which are but the muscular hind legs. Amazing, isn’t it?
If so, what is Shikoku, the most sacred island of the archipelago located on the chest of the dragon? The answer was what I got while contemplating the picture of Kobo Daishi that night.