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Tsunami! (英語) ハードカバー – 2009/2/5
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Ojiisan, the oldest and wealthiest man in the village, doesn?t join the others at the rice ceremony. Instead he watches from his balcony. He feels something is coming?something he can?t describe. When he sees the monster wave pulling away from the beach, he knows. Tsunami! But the villagers below can?t see the danger. Will Ojiisan risk everything he has to save them? Can he?
Illustrated in stunning collage by Caldecott winner Ed Young, here is the unforgettable story of how one man?s simple sacrifi ce saved hundreds of lives. An extraordinary celebration of both the power of nature and the power each of us holds within.
Caldecott medalist Ed Young was born in Tientsin, China, and brought up in Shanghai. He cites the philosophy of Chinese painting as an inspiration for much of his work. "A Chinese painting is often accompanied by words," he explains; "they are complementary. There are things that words do that pictures never can, and likewise, there are images that words can never describe."
Mr. Young has been illustrating children's books for more than twenty years and has won many awards. He received the 1990 Caldecott Medal for his book Lon Po Po, and his much-lauded collaboration with anthologist Nancy Larrick, Cats Are Cats, was named one of the Ten Best Illustrated Books of 1988 by The New York Times.
Mr. Young studied at the University of Illinois, the Art Center of Los Angeles, and Pratt Institute in New York City. He and his family live in Hastings-on-Hudson, New York.
copyright 2000 by Penguin Putnam Books for Young Readers. All rights reserved.
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A week ago I was one with the ocean, thousands of miles from where I sit this morning. I left my beloved soulmate back there, and wish in all of my being that I was there right now.
I consider it one of the most fortunate circumstances of birth that I was born near the sea and, throughout childhood, accumulated so many layers of sweet memories of being in it, memories that cause me to find myself back at the shores of eastern Long Island again and again just as surely as if I were a bird born with that instinctual knowledge of where one is forever compelled to return to.
Long before reading Pearl Buck's THE BIG WAVE for a junior high English class, I'd had powerful, reoccurring dreams of the sea pulling way out, revealing the naked ocean floor, and then crashing furiously back in to shore. Reading THE BIG WAVE merely accentuated those dreams.
To look at the stunning cover of TSUNAMI!, the powerful image of a debris-bespeckled gigantic wave about to crash down, is to understand why this book so thoroughly and unceasingly calls to me after having spent recent days and all those long-ago days in and along the ocean. I've now been sitting here staring at Ed Young's amazing cover art for a ridiculous number of minutes.
TSUNAMI! is adapted from a 1897 story "A Living God" by Lafcadio Hearn. It is the tale of Ojiisan (meaning grandfather), a wise old rice farmer who lived on a mountainside near the sea, a man who lives simply despite being the oldest and wealthiest person in his village. Ojiisan has a premonition that causes him to pass up a village celebration and, sure enough, an earthquake occurs. Then the sea recedes and the villagers run in wonderment to the beach and even beyond it to watch the sea. Knowing they are in immanent danger, but being too far away to call them back, Ojiisan brings all of the villagers running up the hill by setting fire to his rice crop, purposely and selflessly destroying his life's fortune for the sake of saving his neighbors.
"Through the twilight, a dark shadow grew larger and larger, racing toward the coast. The long darkness was the returning se, as high as a cliff and as wide as the sky, heading for the village with lightning speed."
Caldecott Medalist Ed Young is at his best here; his work is a truly inspired artistic achievement rendered through utilizing combinations of gouache, pastel, and collage to vividly bring the ocean, the village, and the fire all to life.
TSUNAMI! is powerful and notable in its lesson of what one person can do to change the world and in its images which so thoroughly and successfully capture the elemental forces of our world.
The sea "darkened suddenly and was moving against the wind." It was a "Tsunami-the monster wave." Ojiisan knew that something had to be done to rescue the villagers down below. They were running to the sea to watch instead of running away from it to save themselves. He ran to his own precious rice fields and sadly set them on fire. Would the four hundred souls down below rush to his aid? If they rushed to save his fields, perhaps they would unknowingly save their own lives!
This is a beautifully told Japanese legend that will mesmerize the adult reader and widen the eyes of the young. I enjoyed the tale and the combination of gouache, pastel painting and collage artwork was unusual and stunning. This is a charming story that illustrates the fact that we, as human beings, are all in the same boat and need to help one another.
Kajikawa tells the tale in a simple way - hard to do with a rather complex theme - yet still manages to imbue the story with layers of emotion and passion. It reminded me of a book I had when I was a child with Asian folktales with "adult themes". (I recall a tale where a dragon tries to get a monkey's heart for his dragon wife, trying to kill the monkey to get the heart -heavy stuff for a child to read, but it had a point to make and I remembered it). These folktales made a strong impression on me in a way that the more light-hearted storybooks did.
The illustrations by Ed Young are intense. I was very impressed with how he used his materials to create "fire" and "water"...Just paper collage! Remarkable.