Saturday, April 25, 2015

"his fame went throughout all Syria" - Bamboo Field Fight Avoided

Haneda International, Tokyo

Bamboo Field Fight Avoided

Before WWII, in Japan there happened a very interesting incident involving schoolboys in a seaside town in the deeply green Kii Peninsula, some 200 km south of Kyoto, facing the Pacific Ocean.

Primary schools in villages and towns in the region customarily held together a big sports festival on the shore of the ocean every year.  On this occasion, school boys were expected to carry flags of some sorts with poles made of bamboo sticks.  Some children went out to fields for themselves to find suitable young bamboos.

One boy of the seaside town knew that there was a nice bamboo field in a small mountain behind an old samurai-era's castle.  He specifically found a suitable young bamboo there days before the sports festival.  He was determined to take it for himself.

Then, a day before the great sports festival where not only school boys and girls but also their families came to enjoy, the boy and several of his friends went out to the small wooden mountain to collect bamboos.  They were all equipped with small knives.   The group led by the boy, who had already checked the bamboo field days before, ascended the slope surrounded by grass and trees.

But in the bamboo field, they happened to meet a boy who belonged to other primary school.  This boy was tall and looked tough.  And, this other-school boy was not a stranger to the group of boys.  He was well-known as the boss of kids in his school.

The other-school boy somewhat embarrassed said to the group of the boys that he also had a right to take bamboos there, though the area belonged to the school district of the group of boys.  The arrogant other-school boy justified his act by telling that children of his school in a mountain area often played in the castle and were also familiar with the place.

But the boys of the seaside town didn't feel so friendly.  The attitude of the other-school boy was challenging.  His words were poignant.  So, the boys talked back, saying that the place belonged to their school district, so that they had a right to take bamboos they liked but children who belonged to other schools should not be allowed to take bamboos there.

Then the intrepid other-school boy showed his knife and insisted that he had also a right to take any bamboo he liked, since there were examples of activities over the boundaries of  school districts.

At this moment the boy who led the group realized that the offensive other-school boy had one particular bamboo in his mind and the bamboo was just the same one he had already chosen.  He though that this situation was dangerous as there were no adults around.  Nobody would stop their fighting with knives.  His side included several boys, but the other-school boss of kids looked so tough.  Some of them would be hurt badly.

The leader of the group of the boys then started to speak, "OK, first you take one bamboo you like.  Then we will take our bamboos.  You must not impede our work."

The other-school boy with his dangerous knife at the hand accepted the idea, and other boys from the seaside town agreed, too.

And, just as the leader of the group had thought, the other-school boss boy cut and carried away the young bamboo he had beforehand planned to take.   But the boy could find other nice bamboo.  He was satisfied with it.  Besides, his wisdom could help him avoid a bloody fight, though he didn't tell the incident later to any one.

Later the other-school boy was transferred to the primary school of the seashore town.  The leader of the group of the boys and the transfer boy became good friends, though other boys rumored that the transfer boy was in fact expelled out of his old school due to his too much violence.

And one day the leader boy asked the ex-other-school's boss boy how he had felt in that bamboo filed.  The new friend confessed candidly that he had also realized that the young bamboo he had wanted had been also the one the leader boy had wanted.

Before WWII, in local towns in Japan, it was a common custom that boys sometimes carried knives to cut plants or for any other purposes.

Today, of course, no primary schools all over Japan allow pupils to carry or use knives at any time without permission from teachers.

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Mat 4:24 And his fame went throughout all Syria: and they brought unto him all sick people that were taken with divers diseases and torments, and those which were possessed with devils, and those which were lunatick, and those that had the palsy; and he healed them.
Mat 4:25 And there followed him great multitudes of people from Galilee, and from Decapolis, and from Jerusalem, and from Judaea, and from beyond Jordan.