To explain or not to explain.
I've been working on the next draft of Sister Soul, and I'm wrestling with how much explanation I should provide regarding some Japanese mythology that adds an extra level of intrigue to the story.
The opening scene of my book takes place in L.A.'s Little Tokyo district on the first day of Nisei Week. The main character is watching a taiko drum performance while she waits for her dance performance to start. Things don't go smoothly, as one of the drummers falls into a trance and drums away to his own beat.
On its own, I think the scene is working to hint at some supernatural intervention. The taiko performance is something that's always popular at Nisei Week, so, on a surface level, I'm not reaching too much to include that in the scene.
But the mythology of how the taiko drums were created adds another element to the story that isn't necessarily obvious to people who aren't that familiar with Japanese culture. The maker of the first taiko drum is said to be Ame no Uzume, who used the drum to summon out the Amaterasu, the goddess of sunlight.
It so happens that, in my story, the goddess of sunlight plays an important role, and it's her absence that leads to much of the main conflict.
I've tried adding some hints to the myth among the characters' banter, but everything I've tried so far has felt awkward. So, I'm wondering if this is something I should explain, or if I should simply leave it as an extra information nugget that only a few people would understand.
What's Peanut eating? Ham.