|(Maiden and Fish)|
Once upon a time, there was a great minister named Takeuchi. I would constantly admire him from afar because, you see, I was just a lowly fisher maid. My heart belonged to him and he did not even know I existed. I knew he would marry some beautiful princess someday, but still...a girl could dream right? One day, I saw Takeuchi climbing to the summit of a cliff. He looked very sad and defeated. I followed him so I could keep a watch over him. That is when I realized his purpose. He was going to take his own life.
"Stay, my Lord!" I screamed as I watched him taking his sword off. I ran forward, almost as if possessed, and grabbed him around the waist.
"Let me die!" he yelled at me trying to break out of my hold.
He then told me about how he had lost one of the Empress's great crystals and that he was disgraced and deserved to die. I was completely appalled! The man I loved was trying to end his life?! How could he do that? He has so much to live for. He is loved by so many!
As I was trying to find a way to convince him to live, I noticed a glowing light in the distance out over the sea.
"Behold!" I yelled, "yonder gleams a wondrous light. Can it be that some great star hath fallen into the sea?"
"Tis the palace of Benten!" he said in awe.
He was staring out into the sea with amazement when he saw the glittering Jewel of the Heart's Desire. The look in his eyes told me that he wanted it and I just had to get it for him. I knew I was a very good swimmer and with that I had made up my mind to take to the sea.
“Do not fear!" I declared. "I am a very strong swimmer! I will swim out and attain the jewel so you may have your heart's desire!"
And with those final words, I dove into the ocean. I swam past all sorts of terrifying fish I had never seen before. All of them were there to try and frighten me away from taking my prize, but no amount of fear could ever keep me from saving my love.
Once I made it to the magic crystal, I grabbed it to be on my way back to shore. When I turned around to swim back to shore to get out of the tumultuous waters, I came face to face with a dragon. I knew I would not make it back alive. At this point, I remembered my grandmother telling me all sorts of stories about dragons. One thing about dragons is that they will not touch a corpse. I knew my hour had come so I plunged my dagger into my heart and embedded the jewel there. The dragon fled as the last ounce of life was freed from my frail body.
So now you understand. I died so my love would not. My lifeless body drifted back up to the beach were Takeuchi had been waiting for me to return. When he realized what I was holding in place with my arms over my heart he dropped to his knees. He took me back to the palace and bestowed some of the highest honors on me. My pride swelled when I saw how I had helped Takeuchi and became a hero to the people of the city. This is why there was a beautiful smile that had spread across the face of my lifeless body. I believe my death was not in vain. Takeuchi regained his honor, and if I am not mistaken, married the Empress in secrecy. It seems I was not wrong all along about him marrying royalty. I could never be with Takeuchi for I was just a lowly fisher maiden. He knows my love for him, though, for I proved it when I plunged my dagger into my heart. However, I am not sad about not being with him. I am free.
Author's Note: The story I chose to right about is from the Japanese Mythology Unit. It is called The Jewel of the Heart's Desire: The Quest. The story is originally told from a third person point of view. The story goes just like how I told it, only I chose to tell it from Tamatori's point of view. Tamatori was a fisher maid who was in love with a minister named Takeuchi. She watched him from afar until one day she saw him climbing a cliff to take his life. She could not stand to watch this happen and went to stop him. They both saw the Jewel of the Heart's Desire and because she loved him so much she went to retrieve it for him losing her life in the process. I chose to tell it from her point of view because I thought it originally sounded crazy for someone who had never really spoken to someone to give their life for someone because they were in love with them. I tried to give a little bit of insight into what she was thinking and feeling. I really like the way that Takeuchi told Tamatori's story and made her a hero. It helps give a little more insight as to why she loved him so much because it makes him seem like a decent person.