Chapter 3: Spring: Among Showers of Blossoms
A walk down memory lane 3
"Kanalu-san, I think I have seen this dance before," Yukio said. Kanalu smiled. "Did you? I've had the same feeling. This dance fills my heart with nostalgia. Could it be imprinted into my DNA?" "I don't mean that. The dance is very similar to one that I saw before. Where was it? In the dance that I saw, the dancers wore long cloths around their bodies." Yukio blinked his eyes several times as if he was tracing the dance back in his memory. "Kanalu-san, can I search the database for the dance movements?"
"Yes, there are some databases on the site of the Folklore Museum and on some individual researchers' sites. However, I have not yet found the database which contains dance movements similar to these. The Jodo-mai looks like a unique dance."
"It is strange that the record said that the dance was imported from the west," Ryoko said.
"From the west?" asked Yukio "Hmm..."
"You know, while I was dancing, I felt myself to be an angel wearing a robe with wings," Ryoko replied while checking Kanalu's site. "We have some folk tales about angels in western Japan and along the coast of the Sea of Japan. Are there similar folk tales in Korea and China too?"
"Maybe the folk tale was a story about a person of exalted rank who drifted from the continent to Japan," Kanalu answered.
Listening to the conversation, Yukio exclaimed, "I remember now. It was in China. I saw a similar folk dance there, probably in Shanghai or Urumqi. Kanalu-san, can't you check the database containing Chinese folk dances?"
Yukio called up the address book on the screen of his RUICA and started looking for his acquaintances in Shanghai. Kanalu also viewed some Chinese sites and found the site of company H's social engineering research institute in Dalian. "Ah, this is Mr. Nakata. We were good friends in Oxford. What has he been doing here?"
Kanalu placed a telephone call over the Web and soon a screen appeared. "Hey! It's you, Kanalu? What are you doing now?" " I live in Takafu-cho, a small and beautiful town in Japan. I'm calling because there's something I need to ask." Kanalu explained the situation. Nakata, now director of the research institute, listened to what Kanalu said and asked Ryoko to dance in front of a TV camera. Takashi beat the drum for accompaniment.
"O.K. Kanalu, please send the movements and music into our database," Nakata said to Kanalu. "I will check for a possible match." "Thank you. Even if there is only a similar pattern in the database, we might find out something about the origin, or another clue we can work with, which would be a great help."
Yukio also found information about a colleague in his RUICA. He called the person over the Web. "Hello, this is Araki. It has been long time since we've talked. I have a favor to ask of you. Do you remember the Chinese dance that we saw together when I was in Shanghai? Can you introduce someone who is connected to the dance to me?" Yukio contacted other people here and there.
Takashi watched Kanalu and his father. Kanalu spoke English fluently and his father could communicate in Chinese even though he did not speak the language as well. Takashi saw for the first time how useful IT and foreign languages could be when searching for information and achieving goals.