I was a child, Nostalgia seemed a small stamp: I was here… My mother was there.
When I grew up Nostalgia became a ticket: I was here… My bride was there.
Years later, Nostalgia was a little tomb: I was outside… My mother was inside.
And now, My nostalgia is a shallow strait: I am at here… The mainland is there.
~ Yu Guang Zhong
“The Chinese expression for “nostalgia” is xiangchou, literally “village sadness.” …xiangchou describes the grief that accompanies the traveler who cannot find a way back to the home village…[it] is not a geographical predicament but a spiritual state of being. First he finds himself outside the mother as a tiny emblem of apartness, then he is the man who contemplates her tomb. The shallow waters of the Taiwan straits are, similarly, not only a spatial divide between the island and the mainland but a reminder of the longing for, and the impossibility of going back to, ancestral roots.” *
Let me introduce you to Hu Ge, one of the top actors in China who has an amazing singing voice. His role in a series entitled, Nirvana in Fire, has been noted by fans to parallel the leading character’s rise from a tragedy. In 2006, a serious car accident that took the life of his friend and assistant, resulted in major surgeries which included over a hundred sutures on his face and neck. It would take him nearly a year to recover.
The poetry of Japan has its seeds in the human heart and mind and grows into the myriad leaves of words. Because people experience many different phenomena in this world, they express that which they think and feel in their hearts in terms of all that they see and hear. A nightingale singing among the blossoms, the voice of a pond-dwelling frog–listening to these, what living being would not respond with his own poem? It is poetry which effortlessly moves the heavens and earth, awakens the world of invisible spirits to deep feeling, softens the relationship between men and women, and consoles the hearts of fierce warriors.