1. Early Fall in the Tashiroyama Swamp of Minami Aizu|
I was born and raised in Tokyo, so I have no rural hometown. But I have discovered a nostalgic place in Japan. I should probably keep it a secret, but if you're willing to read my clumsy writing, I'll share it with you.
"Chasing rabbits in this mountain, fishing for crucian carp in that river" is probably sung about this setting. An ordinary rural district- in the past, it could have been found anywhere but now cannot be found anywhere.
No, that's not true. Throughout the world, there are beautiful and nostalgic villages where nature and people exist in harmony.
Stillness, clear streams, mountain waves, mushrooms, edible mountain plants, buckwheat fields, paddy fields, apple orchards, tasty vegetables, pure spring water, local sake, rustic fishing docks, landlocked salmon, charrs, crucian carp fishing, hidden hot springs along mountain torrents, hollows covered in colorful flowers, cool breezes, dry and clear air. And the people of the land- awkward with words, but sincere.
When the day lilies are in full bloom, the area is crowded with people who've come to appreciate its beauty. But today- although it is a Sunday- I have only met about 20 people. Even so, in the ten years since it's been possible to go part-way up the mountain by car and with the clearing of a logging road, the number of people coming here has increased. There are also plans to build a campground. And talk has come up of cutting down the Ohara virgin beech forest, the water source for the area, to build a promenade. The local people are worried about the effects of these activities on nature's systems.
Copyright1998 Setsuko Watanabe