Miyazawa Kenji's children's story 'Gorsh the Cellist' takes us on a journey of discovery about the human condition and overwhelms us with a tale of triumph. Each step is like a microcosm of the whole - as though each step were a journey in itself. Kenji's stories are set against the whole of the universe - a world replete with people, animals, and all the elements of nature. All hold discourse together. All are in empathy with one another. This free association between the elements and all living things that make up our world is one of the distinguishing features that predominates Kenji's works. The interaction he portrays is never nonsensical but always animated with an authenticity that rings true to its audience. This is most apparent in the scene between Gorsh and the mice where Kenji captures Gorsh's character movement and subsequent enlightenment.
There are four main elements that appeal to readers of Kenji's tales: humour - that he can converse with mice at all lightens the mood of an otherwise somber tale; rhythm that of his music and with it the realization of the healing and soothing properties of music upon the soul; fantasy- as a real event of the mind.
Kenji writes of fantastical wonderful things with a nonchalance that makes it almost believable especially through the eyes of a child; and best of all: open-mindedness- to believing in the best of all things in strangers and other creatures.
Every child, and thus, the child in us, loves to be stimulated by the experiences of Gorsh and if one learns the lessons alongside Gorsh as he encounters them, they can consider themselves well taught for 'Gorsh the Cellist' is remarkably didactic without being presumptuous- this is Kenji's triumph. The simple lessons of morality are easy to...