If you travel to the heart of the Snowdonian mountains, tread carefully along the precarious path above the rushing torrents of Aberglaslyn gorge and put your ear to the ground, you’ll hear the rumble of our red dragon deep in the caverns below Dinas Emrys. But today you’ll hear a new sound too: a tune full of light and energy, which draws you in and sets your foot a-tapping. Can you hear her? Follow the voice through the beds of purple heather to a crack in the mountainside and venture into the shadows. Can you see her? There she is: Ena Mai!

She’s a spark in the darkness, a small ball of fire, bouncing fearlessly through the caves. Descended from dragons and weaned on the whispered legends which echo through the stony hallways of her home, Ena holds the wisdom of our ancestors safe in her warm heart for future generations. And there’s nothing she loves more than telling a story. Give her a friendly smile – she’s a little bit shy – and she’ll come and whisper in your ear. Just watch you don’t burn yourself! What’s that? She wants to take you on a journey. She’s on a quest, and you’re invited to join her…

Soar with her now past the craggy peaks and watch her brighten each valley with her endless goodwill, like sunshine breaking through the clouds. Her spirit is never dampened, not even by the gloomiest weather, and come rain or shine she’ll come out to play with the children of Rhyd-ddu, Nantlle, Llanberis: her name is met with a smile in every village on her meandering route down to the Menai Strait. She’ll perch on the walls of Caernarfon Castle, telling you tales, and the hustle and bustle of the Maes will become a little louder, a little more animated. Then, after wheeling quickly over the shores of Ynys Môn she’ll take you east, swooping along the glorious coastline of North Wales and plunging into each town to share a little lightness and laughter.

Tŷ Pawb in Wrexham is a perfect stop-off place for Ena; she belongs in places where the community comes together to celebrate their culture and share ideas. Later on, as you fly over the bald backs of the Cambrian Mountains you’ll hear the distant strains of a choir rising on the breeze from a lonely chapel, and Ena will stop to join in with an old hymn for a chorus or two, before gliding onwards to the western coast. You’ll skim the length of the prom in Aberystwyth together and join the dolphins leaping in the bay, before heading south and circling over Swansea docks. Then it’ll be time to snake through the smouldering stacks of Port Talbot (Ena has a fondness for flames) and zigzag up and down the steep slopes of the Valleys, before finally coming to rest on the roof of the stadium in Cardiff, where the crowd on match day raises a dragon’s roar which can be heard from the very furthest corners of our capital city.

Today the force of that soundwave will lift you both up, out and away to the east; far beyond our familiar shores; weaving with the aeroplanes above the clouds until you spy the distinctive shape of Mount Fuji framed against the dawn light. Nearly there! One final long, wheeling arc past the curve of the mountain and just in time for kick-off you’ll land with a thud on the roof of another stadium in Tokyo, which shakes with the cheers of another crowd. Listen! Amidst the familiar accents you’ll hear tongues trying out the words of Hen Wlad Fy Nhadau for the very first time.

Ena will look at you now, with a glitter in her eye, and she won’t say a word. She’s modest like that. But her quest for today is complete. For once you’ve flown with Ena Mai, you’re sure to feel a little of her fiery warmth glowing in your own heart. But don’t worry – she has plenty more to go around, and she’ll be off again tomorrow, sharing her stories across the land and bringing us all a little closer together with her energy, drawn from the power of the shared and ever-changing lives, histories and experiences which give meaning to the word Cymru.

Ena Mai is a character designed by artist Mark James with animation by Bait Studio. She is an evolving design commissioned by Wales Arts International to support the launch of the Cymru|Wales • Japan 2019  ウェールズ - 日本 cultural programme. Ena Mai's story above was created by Judith Musker Turner.


スノウドニアの山々の奥深くに行ったなら、アベルグラズリン渓谷を流れる渓流を見下ろす山道を、足元に気をつけながら歩き、地面に耳を近づけてみてほしい。ディナス・エムリスの地下深く、洞窟からレッド・ドラゴンの低く唸る声が聞こえるだろう。でも今日は、今まで聞いたことのない元気のいい明るい歌声も聞こえるはずだ。思わずつられて足で拍子をとりたくなるようなメロディ。聞こえる? 歌声に導かれて紫のヒースの茂みを通り抜け、山あいの割れ目の暗闇に足を踏み入れてごらん。見える? ほら、いる、エナ・マイ!

 エナ・マイは、暗闇の中の火花、洞窟の中を輝きながら目まぐるしく飛び回る小さな火の玉。ドラゴン達の子孫で、岩盤を通してかすかに聞こえてくる様々な伝説を食べて大きくなってきた。未来を生きる世代のために、エナはその暖かい心の中に、私達の先祖が残した知恵をしっかりと抱えている。そして物語を語るのが何よりも大好きだ。親しげに微笑みかけてあげれば(彼女はちょっと恥ずかしがり屋だから)、寄ってきて耳元に囁いてくれるだろう。でも火傷しないように気をつけて! あれ、エナがあなたを旅に連れて行きたいって。目的のある旅だから一緒に来てほしいって。



 今日、その雄叫びの音の波が二人を吸い上げ、東へと飛ばしてくれる。ウェールズから遠く離れた彼方へ、雲上を飛び交う飛行機の間をすり抜け、やがて見えてくるのは朝焼けにその美しい姿を見せる富士山だ。あともう少し! 富士山をぐるっと回ってもう一飛び。東京のスタジアムの屋根にドンと到着、ちょうど試合開始に間に合った。ここでも観客の歓声がスタジアムを揺るがしている。聞いて!ウェールズ人に交じって、ウェールズ国歌「我が祖先の地」を初めて歌ってみる人々の声が聞こえるだろう。