| @@Umi no Shirouma is a story for younger children by Yamashita Haruo (1937- ). It is about a grandfather and his grandson living by the sea. Yamashita himself grew up in an island in the Seto Inland Sea.|
@@The narrator is gIh (Haru-bô), whose father died in the sea on a stormy day. His mother is bed-ridden by a serious illness and is taken care of at a relativefs house. Haru-bô always waits in a tree for the return of his grandfather from fishing. His grandfather has made a watch tower with wheels for Haru-bô, which looked like a double-decked bed. One morning after a storm, Haru-bô meets a big white dog on the beach, and thinks that it is the transformation of the white horse of the sea, a messenger of the storm god, about which he has heard from his grandfather. He named it Shiro and he spends every morning with it on the beach. However, his grandfather thinks it is dangerous for Haru-bô to be out on the beach alone, and hits him because he does not stop going out. Haru-bô hates his grandfather for the first time. Later, his grandfather goes fishing and does not return. Haru-bô watches the sea from the watch tower in the storm, worrying about his grandfather. A white horse appears and pulls the watch tower into the sea. There is a herd of white horses. While Haru-bô is crying out gCome back, Grandfather, I love you!h he hears his grandfatherfs voice. When Haru-bô comes around, he was in bed. He had been babbling deliriously in high fever. His grandfather gently let him taste the early sweet fig.
@@White horses are white waves in the stormy sea. Grandfatherfs story of the white horse produces a conflict and also becomes the opportunity for reunion. Haru-bôfs growth can be traced along the story, and Yamashitafs description of the sea is vivid and fresh. The powerful touch of Chô Shintafs illustrations based on blue is appropriate. This is an important work in the world of Japanese childrenfs literature where stories about the sea are rare.
@@Yamashita heard the story of the white horse from a fisherman when he was young. He himself saw the white horse when he was sailing. The experience and his love of the sea made him write Umi no Shirouma. He was influenced by Lucy M. Bostonfs The Sea Egg and wanted to write a similar kind of fantasy.
@@Umi no Shirouma received the Noma Award for Juvenile Literature, Honor Book in 1973. Rironsha published a reprint in 1980.