Break from a Thousand Years of Rain

I’ve been having long dreams recently.

Last night, I dreamed of a short science fiction novel I read when I was a child that was called “A Thousand Years of Rain”.

It was about an astronaut who crash-landed on a barren, mud-filled planet where there was no life. He had to wait a week for rescue.

During this week, he encountered the rainy season that occurred once every thousand years on this planet. He also met a glass-like life form that only appeared during the rainy season: Jelly. 

This magnificent jewel-like creature reproduced rapidly in a short period of time, but returned to desolation once the rainy season was over.

When the astronaut saw his spaceship coming, he lied about his experience and said that the days he lived there were “all muddy”. 

Later, the topic of “A Thousand Years of Rain” continuously hovered in my mind. In some of my dreams, it even became another story. 

It became a mountain town in southern China. Due to its closed geographical environment and unusual climate, this town had been rained on for a thousand years. No matter if it was sunny or cloudy, the air was always filled with raindrops.

In summer, there were countless rainbows in the air because of the sun and the rain appearing at the same time.

In my dream, this small town had the same hues as Hayao Miyazaki’s movies: cheerful greens, bright-colored rainbows, summer bugs chirping, and clear air. (1)

Of course, I know a place that’s been rained on for a thousand years should be as plain as a barren planet. But I imagined the plants and trees in this town to be aquatic, and you could even see some fantastic aquatic plants on land. This small town had the best drying technology in the world, and the millennium-long rain also supplied endless power. 

Everyone worked hard and lived happily. The girls here were beautiful and all had particularly great skin. Many of them had the Chinese character for “rain” in their names.

The storylines in my dreams are always bizarre. The purpose of my visit to this town was weird. An old man from this town told me that the thousand-year rain would stop for an hour, ushering in a short period free of rain. I traveled thousands of miles just to see this break from a thousand years of rain.

I wrote a short script and prepared to shoot a non-profit animated film that talked about what happened during this hour between two millennia. There was a local girl named Xiao Yu (2) and an innocent teenage boy in a white shirt. I hope to have my little dream filmed by 2016.

<The One and Only Pan Zi in Ten Years><Table of Contents><Extra: Birthday>


TN Notes:

(1) Japanese animator, director, producer, screenwriter, author, and manga artist. Co-founder of Studio Ghibli. Some of his famous works are “Spirited Away” and “Howl’s Moving Castle”. Info here.

(2) Xiao Yu (小雨) translates literally as “Little Rain”.


Yvette notes: This is a Weibo post from the author. It explains the origin of Rain Village. It ties back to “Ten Years Later” Chapter 41: “The people in that village make a dessert from glutinous rice and brown sugar. Since there’s plenty of rain in the village, a special weed called Yuzaishen grows there. The petals of this weed are put into the dessert, and are said to help with memory. Of course, it’s only a local legend.”

Happy Birthday Wu Xie!


Translated by: Yvette
Edited by: merebear226


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