It's funny sometimes how stories come to me. Sometimes, I am deliberately brainstorming ideas and doing my best to come up with stories and plot twists. Other times, I am watching or doing something and it sparks an idea!
This time, the story for WASHING STATUE WANDERLUST came to me while watching an NHK World program called “Tokyo Eye.” This particular program focuses on Tokyo and all the wonderful things Tokyo can offer to people. Each week they concentrate on a new area of Tokyo and show off all the little nooks, cafes, shops, or attractions of that area.
This year's Tokyo Eye programs have been really interesting because the show has focused on the embassies in Tokyo and what these ambassadors and embassy staff like about Tokyo and Japan, what they enjoy doing or seeing, and how Tokyo relates back to their home countries. It's especially amazing to see these people and their families speaking three or four different languages and mastering the Japanese etiquette as well!
So I was watching this particular episode on Uruguay and Mexico, and I really fell in love with the wife of the Uruguayan ambassador, Monica. She is so joyous and happy! I watched as she took me to her favorite places in Tokyo and one of them was Sugamo which is next to a famous shopping street dubbed “The Old Ladies' Harajuku.” Lol. In Sugamo is a famous temple, Koganji, where people go to wash a Buddhist statue, Arai Kannon (Jizō Bodhisattva), which is supposed to cure them of their ailments.
Learn more about Sugamo and Koganji temple.
I wondered about this statue and how it felt about being washed day after day. Didn't it have ideas of what it would like to do, instead of being washed day in and day out? That was how this story was born! I thought, maybe this statue would like to travel and see the world! So, I made up a little past about the statue and gave it a keening sense of wanderlust. It wants to travel, but where will it go? And how is it going to convince Yuki, a young woman who visits the statue often, to take it somewhere?
You'll find out in the next Kami No Sekai short story, WASHING STATUE WANDERLUST! It's available on pre-order now at Amazon for only 99¢ and available on Kindle Unlimited.