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?Voyage to the world of Le Petit Prince -- What we can learn from asteroids --
Makoto Yoshikawa
Here is an essay by Associate Professor Yoshikawa, a world-famous leader in celestial mechanics. Yoshikawa has been involved in the calculation of the orbits of "Hayabusa" and the asteroid "Itokawa".
(JAXA Website Editing Team)
If you please --- draw me a sheep!  What!   Draw me a sheep! (c) Akemi Ogura 2005

This is a famous quotation from the beginning of The Little Prince (Le Petit Prince (*1). A pilot who made an emergency landing in a desert first met with the Little Prince through this conversation. As they exchanged words in the mysterious world of space-time, the pilot was not sure if this was a dream or reality. But the pilot was soon enlightened and realized that something was missing from the kingdom of mankind.

The Little Prince of Antoine de Saint-Exupery is one of my favorite novels. It is a very peculiar story because it can be regarded as a fairy tale for children, but for adults, it can also be a satire against mankind or society. Considering the author was an army pilot at the time when he wrote the novel (between 1942 and 43), we may find a deeper message in this story. (*2)

I have often wondered why the author decided that the prince came from an asteroid, because an asteroid is a very miniscule object in space. Why did Antoine de Saint-Exupery choose an asteroid as the home of the Petit Prince?

(*1) Translated from the original Le Petit Prince of Antoine de Saint-Exupery by Katherine Woods, published by A Harvest/HBJ Book
(*2) The world of Le Petit Prince, Mikio Tukazaki, published by Chuo Shinsho
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