The Battle … And the Sun Goddess (a samurai story)


The red samurai army marched a thousand strong through the forests in the north.  The Sun Goddess looked upon the marchers…the wind whispered it’s message.  The villagers heard their drums on the wind long before they were in sight.

The women and children hid in caves in the hills to the east,  along with most of their food reserves.  When samurai came to a village, one never knew what to expect.  In these terrible times, between bandits and samurai, one was never safe…for the villagers both were enemies!

From the south the white samurai army marched over the fields.  Kitsune looked on as they marched and decided that, that day was not a good day to play her tricks and ran to hide.

The villagers heard their drums too and realized that they where in a terrible position.   They could only run towards the east and hide with their women.  Their homes, which they’d hoped to save, would soon be lost in any case.

The two armies began setting up camp on the outskirts of the village, preparing for war.  The abandoned village stood between them.  The new stalks of young rice waved in the wind like tiny lakes of green water.

The first of the fire arrows began to rain on the village at dawn.  The poor buildings that once belonged to the villagers, burned quickly being made of wood and bamboo.  The battle ground  now prepared awaited the first forray.

The foot soldiers were the first to be played one against the other as the great horse-men looked on.  Many died as their long lances entered soft bodies, blood tinted the once green fields in sticky red.

Then the horsemen came, trampling the wounded, they themselves were sometimes thrown to the ground by a lucky enemy foot soldier with a long lance.  The Goddess looked on…the wind wept.  Great individual battles were fought between samurai with their katana and wakizashi.  Dust, ashes, smoke and the cries of the wounded rose into the sky.  The dead and dying covered the ground among the stumps of the houses and in the fields. Crows and flies came from afar to feast that day.

The Sun Goddess hearing the prayers of the poor, homeless and despairing people in her anger made the earth begin to shake.  A great rift opened separating the two armies, burying their dead as it closed again.  A mighty wind began to howl, the Kamikaze, sent by the Sun Goddess to help her people, began to blow bringing with it rain and hail.  The armies broke rank and began to flee from the cursed fields as quickly as they could.

One young samurai stood his ground before the great sacred wind.  He’d been destined from birth to be a samurai, but he’d watched horrified when he saw the village destroyed to make room for battle.  For the sake of his and his families honor, he’d taken part in the battle, but he also vowed to himself, that it would be his last battle.

Now he shouted into the wind: “I renounce my name, and exchange my silk robes and armor for the kesa and my katana for the alms bowl, and now,  I cut my hair.  No longer will I be part of the destruction of the people whom we should serve!”  And saying this, he took his wakizashi and cut off his top-knot.

The wind howled around him but did not touch him for the Sun Goddess was pleased.  She then enveloped him in a shaft of golden light.

 

in shadows light - walking under weeping pines - spring rain

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