Storied Islands

In deep, dark places all over the islands, there once lived gods and ghosts. Islanders gave thanks to nature for her abundance and prayed to gods while living in apprehension of the ghosts. Tales relayed to children and grandchildren spun all kinds of tales about these mythical beings.
In Amami, the stories always begin with the words, "mukashi, atanchu-kana", which means, "long, long ago, they say there was..." Inhabitants of these islands grew to love nature even as they dreaded and respected her. When they tell these stories, it is in the ancient island languages that overflow with tenderness.