The earliest memories have the strange impressions of defining the mythical in one's life.
Some memories during my kindergarten days stand out very vividly. One of them concerns the Japanese rhinoceros beetle.
Kabutomushi (Japanese rhinoceros beetle) has a special place in a kid's mind. It is a symbol of desirable things, and kindles the heart of the child in a way which is not simply comparable with any material possessions in adulthood.
It was the summer. I was five. Ms. Arai, our teacher, was playing the piano in the Kindergarten room. Suddenly, she acclaimed something on the black wood. It was a Japanese rhinoceros beetle. Moreover, it was the much desired male, with the strong horn protruding from the head. Nobody was quite sure how the beetle got onto the piano in the first place.
There was a commotion among the boys. Ms Arai, holding the beetle in her fingers, let us admire its beauty. It was a particularly fine specimen.
Ms Arai, apparently wanting to get rid of the creature as soon as possible, turned to a friend of mine near the piano, and said "Here. This is yours". She gave the Japanese rhinoceros beetle to the boy.
I became jealous. Oh, how I wanted that beetle! The fact that Ms Arai was very popular among us five year olds gave a further fuel to my jealousy.
It is the first memory of envying other in my life.
Adults might laugh at a kindergarten boy desiring a Japanese rhinoceros beetle. The mental life of a child is colored by primitive and yet finely tuned emotions. I vividly remember the flame set by the envious beetle to this day.
A Japanese rhinoceros beetle