The defeat brought panic to Japan. The thinking was that Korea and China allies might invade Japan soon. Japan garrisoned soldiers at strategic posts in northern Kyushu, and named Dazaifu the key fortress. Many men were conscripted to the remote bordering posts. Sad poems were written of those garrisoned soldiers away from their homes in a Manyoshu Anthology, the first written form dossiers compiled by our ancestors.
Manyoshu has also featured poems sung for Matsura Sayohime, a local maiden who fell in love with Satehiko Otomo, destined for Baekje from Karatsu beach. Satehiko gave a beautiful mirror to Sayohime, saying “Please hold this as if this is me”. When his boat was leaving, Sayohime climbed up Kagamiyama Mountain, shouted his name, waved her Kimono sleeves. She chased after the boat, crossed over the Matsura River, reached Kabeshima Island. She eventually became paralysed due to her deep sadness.
The month of April also saw the historic breakthrough of hostility between two Koreas, South and North and declaration of peace and denuclearization. We, the Japanese, wish to see the kidnapped Japanese by North Korea soon returned for long awaited family reunions.
Learning: Sorrow, at any age, is immutable, today just as in the olden days.