Category Archives: Mahataa


My name is Mahataa.             With a huge birth cry on the early morning of July 27, 1902 in the Year of the Water Tiger, I announced my arrival.  I was born to Kana who was the granddaughter of Hanaa, a diviner and seer. My cry echoed beyond the borders of our rural village nestled in the northern peninsula of […]

MAHATAA: The lovers

      The two lovers are in the black market in the South. Great-Grandmother Hanaa, as a young woman, dressed in her best kimono, which by standards of the South was unremarkable, leisurely browses the open marketplace lined with vendors. Her eyes instantly catch beautifully woven fabrics of bingata, a traditional cloth produced by local craftsmen. Displayed on the […]

MAHATAA: The uninvited guest

Our friends and neighbors cared for Mother so she could properly rest after childbirth. Women arrived with freshly prepared food and helped with household chores. They chattered happily in muffled voices while moving quickly through the house. They brought champuru, a popular dish made from tofu and vegetables that typically included roasted carrots, wild greens and boiled […]

MAHATAA: The Old Monk returns

31 THE OLD MONK RETURNS       “Konnichiwa!” A voice called out a joyous greeting and echoed as if the word had been spoken from the top of a high mountain. I recognized the caller and immediately ran to the entrance to greet my teacher. The Old Monk made good on his promise to return to give […]

MAHATAA: The Yabuu, Medicine Woman

THE YABUU (MEDICINE WOMAN)       I went to see the Yabuu, the Medicine Woman, the very next day with a note from the Noro requesting that she accept me as an apprentice. The Yabuu was the last of the three powerful women of my culture with whom I would be studying. Each gifted woman brought to […]