Category Archives: Mahataa

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: My birth

MY BIRTH I came into the world with a great cry on the early morning of July 27, 1902 in the Year of the Water Tiger. “The cry was extraordinary,” gossiped the neighbors for weeks after my birth, inventing stories of why I had come. I was born to Kana who was the granddaughter of […]

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 […]