Ginko is a traveller, and he has been to many places.
Five places Ginko wishes he could revisit
The cliff, they told him, was cursed, haunted by the ghost of a spurned young woman, who had thrown herself off in despair. The young people dared each other to come up and spend the night, and occasionally morning would find the victim's broken body at the foot of the cliff, even if the person had shown no inclination to sleepwalking or suicide before. Very dangerous, they said. Someone should do something about it.
Ginko made vague noises of agreement. He watched the brightly coloured mushi dance and swoop joyfully through the air, mesmerising and infectious in their mindless, seeming delight, and wished he could fly with them.
Later, he heard the elders were considering the possibility of fencing off the area, but the cliff gave way after the next storm and made the issue moot.
He spent a week in the burnt-out husk of a hut in the aftermath of a severe forest fire that had razed the surrounding area to near bare earth. It was the quietest week he could recall ever experiencing. Afterwards, as green shoots began to poke from the ground, the mushi began to return, and he moved on. Just as well - he was running low on supplies anyway.
One of Ginko's fonder childhood memories involved a brief stay with a retired mushishi unanimously agreed behind his back to be completely bonkers. The old man did not move his lodgings, did not kill mushi, did not use repellents; instead, he spent most of his day wrangling the gathered menagerie, sometimes wrestling the larger mushi out of his way, and setting various of the predatory varieties on annoying ones. Ginko spent a sleepless and fearful five days there before someone with more sense came to take him away, screeching imprecations about the intelligence of everyone who had been implicated in the decision to put a child in the madman's charge, even in the most peripheral way. That much Ginko agreed with, but he thought he had learnt more about mushi during that time than he did in the safe and peaceful summer that followed. Near-death experiences, he decided, were excellent teaching aids.
Adashino's first storeroom for his collection of mushi artefacts was destroyed in an accidental cooking fire that started in his neighbour's kitchen. He had assembled only five items at the time, of which two were fakes, one was a rare but completely natural object, one was the genuine article and one was an ordinary whistle in which a mushi had taken up residence. Ginko had sold him two mushi artefacts, one of which was real, and discreetly removed the mushi living in the whistle, which Adashino had bought from someone else.
His earliest memory was of walking in darkness, following or led by someone whose face he could not see. All about them was only stillness, hushed silence, the world cowering as something prodigiously immense and patient slithered overhead. He thinks he left something behind there. If he could remember where it was, he might go back.