When I was in fourth grade, I became obsessed with short story writing in which the narrator becomes something other than human _ like Soseki Natsume’s “I Am a Cat.”
It’s a great exercise: all the stories that are possible by taking on the persona of an animal, a pen on someone’s table, a toy.
My teacher was so impressed with my output that she made her whole class write stories taking this approach.
What a great teacher.
I only remember one storyline from the “masterpieces” I churned out as a fourth grader.
I was a cherry blossom who floated from Japan to the U.S. over the Pacific Ocean, enduring storms, pirates, whales and other dangers.
And somehow I manage to bury myself as a sakura seed in the soil to become a tree on the Potomac River.
The rest is history: The first cherry tree in the U.S. multiplies to become the rows and rows of blossoms lining the Washington D.C. river today.
This is preposterous scientifically (but doesn’t the flower contain the seeds?).
But it shows that even then I was a self-proclaimed cultural ambassador, hoping to bridge the East/West divide.