Here’s a little excerpt from my project. What you see here and will hopefully enjoy are the (tentative; subject to change; will likely be scrapped) first few pages, which represent an excerpt from a grade school history book. It’s called world-building folks. That’s right, I’m building a world which is painfully similar to our own, except with giant monsters in it. Actually, a world full of giant monsters would probably be less painful than our own. Sigh. Nevertheless, enjoy this snippet.
Excerpts from A History of Our World: Past and Present Education for Students in Grades 4-7, by S.R. Williams:
Discovery of the Monsters
In the year 1615, a famous Japanese explorer named Tanaka Shōsuke was carrying an embassy of more than 150 men and women across the Pacific Ocean to the Americas. A fierce storm took his ship, the 500-ton galleon (gal-E-on) San Juan Bautista off course. The storm was so bad that Shōsuke and his crew became very lost since they could not see the night sky, which was like a map for explorers.
Eventually, after many hours of battling the storm, Shōsuke and his crew found themselves upon a strange new island which had not yet been found by any other explorer. It was there that he discovered what he called rikujira (ree-ku-jee-ra) which in his language meant “land whales.” In English, we call these animals “monsters.” He later wrote of the island and the creatures living on it:
“There we saw great beasts, many as tall as mountains but others smaller than cats or birds, living upon the island. While all as large and fantastic as Yamata-no-Orochimaru or Watatsumi (ancient Japanese Dragons. – Ed.) themselves, the nature of these creatures varied like the colors of leaves. Some seemed calm, like stilled waters, but others were fierce, raging like the very waves that brought us to this strange place. Often, they would fight among themselves for seemingly no reason other than simply to do so. As they battled, they appeared oblivious to the world around them. They toppled many forests worth of trees — enough to build cities — and scorched the land with breath of fire, burrowed beneath it with massive claws or filled the air with devastating gales from the flapping of their wings. They took no heed of us, and more than once my men and I would have to seek shelter within caves to avoid being crushed beneath the falling of their mammoth steps.
Shōsuke named this previously undiscovered island after the animals living there. He called it “Land of the Rikujira.” We now call the island simply “Rikujira Island” or “Giant Monster Island … ”
… Since their discovery on Rikujira Island, the giant monsters have become very popular. They often appear as the subjects of books and film documentaries. They have also been featured in cartoons and in many movies. Their distinct growls, cries and roars have even been adopted by many popular hip hip musicians, who frequently sample these sounds in their music … and are often heard as ring tones. Better answer quick …
… Although they are often seen fighting among themselves on their home and have a few times killed men and women exploring there, most experts believe they do not pose a risk for people. The monsters have never left Rikujira Island for the hundreds of years they have been there. Most believe they never will. In order to continue to learn more about these fascinating animals, scientists and explorers frequently brave travel to the island … One day, we hope to learn where they came from and everything else about these wonderful and unique creatures.
Comprehension Question: How have the rikujira helped shape popular culture?