I want a break from the Tokyo rat race. After giving the problem careful thought, I have decided to become a dusky thrush.
It wasn`t an easy decision; there were other animals in contention, but no other Tokyo creatures boast as exciting summer vacation plans: in a month or so, the dusky thrush will be flying to Siberia.
Who wouldn`t want to join them? Siberia sounds like such a magical place; my heart races merely at the mention of “Siberian winds” on the radio. If I ever actually did go, I am sure Siberia would be heartbreaking dreadful. The whole place is probably invented. Or just a very large car park.
My dusky thrush plan emerged last week while reading Nanko Torino`s brilliant, bird-themed manga, Toripan. Toripan is packed with little bird stories, all witnessed by the manga artist from her kitchen window in north Japan.
The tsugumi, dusky thrush, is my favourite character.
Exceptionally well-mannered (a rarity amongst birds nowadays), the tsugumi uses the word watakushi, a formal, archaic first-person pronoun. He rarely risks a raid on the bird table; he just waits patiently beneath it.
Small of heart, he is even too timid to jostle for food scraps with the sparrows.
Yet astonishingly, every year in late spring, this inconspicuous, tepid little bird flies north over the freezing waters of the Sea of Okhotsk to mythical Siberia.
Once again, cartoons have alerted me to how weird real life is.
Now I am unsure if I need more manga, or more real life.