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The stories, or essays, or perhaps poems in disguise, collected here are somewhat whimsical. They emerged from simple questions: What is Zen? Who was Confucius? What was it like to be a kid in Japan 10,000 years ago, or 1000, or 500? How did death come to seem, as it did for many centuries, so much more important to the Japanese than life? It is the author's proud boast that, though the questions are treated in some depth, not a single definitive answer emerges.