Natsume Yujin-cho and a Search for a Home
One year ago, I was back in Ishinomki doing humanitarian work with some very good friends. Since coming back to the US, I have really struggled with fitting in. The best way I can explain it, is I am the Natsume of my own little world, and monsters are chasing me but no one sees. They can’t see the burden I’ve picked up. They can’t see the pain I carry, however this is not how the story ends.
If you have watched Natsume Yujin-cho, then you may understand what I am trying to say. Natsume Yujin-cho along with it’s sequels are some of my favorite anime. The series was recommended to me by Annalyn who is a friend of this blog and is the blogger at Annalyn’s Thoughts. If you haven’t seen the show, Natsume Yujin-cho is about an orphan boy who is passed from family member to family member. He can see also see spirits, which causes him to live between two worlds belonging to neither, but not being able to ignore either. The manga and anime, which are very faithful, start his story when Natsume moves in with the Fujiwara’s and finally finds a family that doesn’t want to get rid of him. He doesn’t tell them he can see spirits, because he doesn’t want to scare the or cause them to get rid of him. However, Natsume is being crushed by the burdens of his past and the Yujin-cho, “The Book of Friends,” his grandmother left behind when she died. The Book of Friends is a book that contains the names of many spirits, which would allow someone to control the spirits. These names were ill gotten and never used. Now the spirits want there names back and Natsume is target number one. Protected only by Madara aka Nyanko-sensei, a powerful spirit shaped like a clay cat, Natsume embarks on a journey that forces him to rely on others and teaches him quite a lot.
In many ways, I am very much like Natsume and I can really understand were he is coming from. Like him, I only normally have a few friends and I grew up moving from one place to another all the time. I don’t really have a place I call home, and only a couple people really know what is inside of me. Last year when I was with some of those people, we sat on the edge of a river after a hard day of working under the sun, surrounded by destruction and loss, we saw the most beautiful hanabi, fireworks, display I have ever seen. To see something so wonderful, while surrounded by such amazing people was unreal. The generosity of the people of Ishinomaki was unbelievable. They lost so much, and yet the sacrificed for each other. My mind was blown. After being back for almost a year, I really miss Japan. Alaska has never been my home, and I m not sure if I will find one anytime soon, but I guess I am not really looking for a home as much as a family that loves those I love and cares about what I care about. Friends who will stick close, even if it is one or two. I long to find a place like that. To find my home, like Natsume.