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WHEN LEGENDS ARE REALITY

WHEN LEGENDS ARE REALITY March 22, 2011 - Sometimes, as it happens one week ago in Japan, an underwater seism or tsunami generates a tidal wave. If it occurs on the open sea, its jolts could be unperceived, but if the wave runs up against a shore, it inflates until it transforms itself into a liquid wall, as height as a grate-sky. In 1737, a tidal wave of more than 60 meters was observed in Kamchatka and many others from 10 to 30 meters. Also, the volcanic eruptions are at the origin of a tidal wave. In 1883, the eruption of Krakatoa gave rise to a giant wave which drowned 36.380 inhabitants of the shores close to Indonesia. The tidal wave can be caused by a seism or a volcanic eruption, and this combination of earth tremors, fire and water is frequently found in the topics and legends about the end of the world.

And so, Katsushika Hokusai (1760 – 1849) a Japanese artist of the Edo period translated the fear of such catastrophes: he is the author The Great Wave off Kanagawa, created during the 1820s. 191 years after, on march 11th, 2011, a huge tsunami wave strikes Japan, Hokusai’s mother country.

In Oceania’s mythology, Tane is the son of Rangi, the Sky and of Papa, the Earth. Tane is the god of the Forests: the branches of the trees are its legs, the trunk, its head and the wood of the dugouts and the houses, its flesh. The god Tangaroa who transformed himself into a fish is the enemy of Tane. Some of its children decided not to follow Tangaroa into the ocean and installed themselves on the ground. Tane asked to the descendants of his brother, You-matanenga, the god of the wild Men, to make nets, to fight with their lances and their hooks and to kill the children of Tangaroa. And so, since this period, men are used to eat fish. In order to be avenged, Tangaroa floods the ground and destroys all the shore.

From this ceaseless fight to destruction between Tane and Tangaroa, were born misfortune and death.

Countries of the Pacific Ocean either from the North or the South convey the same legends which are only the illustration of truth: the perpetual fight of islanders against the sea for their survival.


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