Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Love for Nature and the Preciousness of Life

I was raised in a town called Takarazuka. I certainly cannot say my childhood there was a completely happy one, because I was always bullied by neighborhood kids, and Japan plunged headlong into war.

However, now that I think about it, I was very lucky to grow up in an abundantly natural environment. The mountains, the rivers, and the fields where I ran free, and the insect collecting which fascinated me in my early years deeply imbued my body and soul with an unforgettable nostalgia and sparkle.

I incorporated the ideogram for a kind of beetle, "Osamushi," into my name Osame, for use as a pen name. Even now, I still vividly recall the wonder and abundance of Nature in my childhood -- the huge, red, shimmering sun sinking beyond the forest, the bluster of the wind, the white clouds streaming high across the blue sky -- when I came into contact with such Nature. I always found myself feeling gentle.

We humans are always a par't of Nature, no matter how far we evolve or material civilization progresses. No advance of science can deny Nature, for that would be a negation of ourselves, as human beings.

I want to keep on passionately insisting that Life is irreplaceable, and that the natural world is full of worthy lives just as important as humans'. All these creatures work together and keep each other alive, and our planet is indispensible for human life, of course, as well as for all living things.

It is we grown-ups who must repeatedly call to mind the excitement of this all-too-obvious fact.

I imagine that children who grew up seeing the Earth from outer space would not regard the billions of human beings inhabiting our world as the lords of all creation. They would probably consider humans as only one species among the countless other creatures.

Such children would see this beautiful Earth, which is as fragile as glass, has borne its loneliness in the universe. They would, in my idea, know the smallness of human beings and realize that no one can survive without joining forces. And they could perceive that human beings are not the greatest creatures on the Earth, and all animals, plants and people, on this planet are fellow living things, each alike in their struggle to live out their lives and continue to give birth to future generations.

from Osamu Tezuka's "Our Earth of Glass"

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