Chapter 3: Spring: Among Showers of Blossoms
A walk down memory lane 1
Kanalu spent hours in his office pondering how to reproduce the dance. He had borrowed an old sepia toned photograph from Oharu. In the picture there were a few women dressed in costumes, with long trains, dancing beautifully. That was the only photo he had of the traditional dance of Takafu-cho. The photo had one written note:
"This dance, a tradition of Takafu-cho, dates back well over a millennium."
The town had no record of the music for the dance, nor films. It was said that the dance came from the west and that it was called "Jodo-mai" in the town. He asked some of the oldest residents about it, but only a few people said they had seen the dance in their childhood. Nobody really remembered the dance.
He saw some people coming through the entrance of his office in the Land of Trees. It was Ryoko and Oharu. Ryoko had been encouraging Oharu to recall anything, even the small pieces of information that she could remember, so that the dance could be passed on to the next generation. Oharu listened attentively to Ryoko. The dance was in her childhood memory, which had been burned out long time ago. Was it possible for Oharu to gather pieces of her dream? She could no longer move her arms and legs freely, and her recollection of the dance was hazy.
Oharu had decided to visit Kanalu because of his sincere personality. Kanalu kneeled down to keep his eyes on the same level with hers and tried to find out something together with her. Oharu felt a sense of familiarity with Kanalu. Although he was the same age as her grandchildren, she felt she had met him somewhere before.
He showed her a picture in sepia color and asked, "Was this the Jodo-mai dancing that you were good at, Oharu-san?" Oharu gazed at the picture and said, "That's me, on the side." Kanalu pointed to a person in the picture and asked her, "Is this you?" Oharu replied, "No, I was on the right side." Ryoko looked at the picture closely. It was a small picture but she saw a girl about 13 years bent slightly forward. Just entering womanhood, she looked so lovely. Ryoko said, "Oharu-san, you were so beautiful." With a shy smile, Oharu said, "You know, all the young girls of my time were beautiful, as you are beautiful now. " Ryoko smiled. "How I wish you could perform that dance," Oharu said.