2011年12月 のアーカイブ

Lafcadio Hearn’s Residence in Matsue

2011年12月10日 土曜日

A great writer Lafcadio Hearn, Japanese name Yakumo Koizumi, admired Japanese gardens, and wrote them in his book,” In a Japanese garden”. He rented this residence from the Negishi family, former middle class Samurai of Matsue Clan, and lived for about 5 months. This house has 3 gardens. This is South garden. Rocks, stepping stones. stone lamp, trees and others are all allocated as they were in the past.

West garden. The gardens of this house are dry landscale gardens. They are sit-and see style gardens.

North garden. The story says that when Yakumo saw a snake crawling from behind Dozo, a storehouse with thick earthen walls, and eating a frog, he felt pity. He placed  meat on a plate taking from his meal, and put it on the stone steps in front of Dozo, then said , “Don’t eat a frog”.  The story suggests a warm heart of Hearn.

View for South garden from reception room, which was used as bed room or living room by the Hearn family.

The desk and chair are replica. Hearn ordered to make this sort of desk and chair by his special order. Hearn lost his left eyesight in his boyhood days, and his right eyesight was very poor. He used this sort of tall desk to keep his face close to the books for reading and writing. Hearn was about 160 cm tall. Hearn used Horagai, a conch shell placed on the desk to call his family.

Hearn’s bust installed near the Matsue Castle moat.

Horikawa Cruising in Matsue

2011年12月7日 水曜日

Horikawa cruising boat starts here. It takes about 50 minutes to cruise in the moat of Matsue Castle, the river and the canal.

A boat with a small engine cruises in the moat.

A boatman carefully steers the boat through the narrow passage under the bridge.

During the winter, a kotatsu, a low table inside a heat source covered with futon is installed.

Karakoro Art Museum, former Bank of Japan’s office building. The boat stops over at Karakoro point.

Matsue Castle is viewed from the boat.

The boat cruises in the wide moat.

Matsue Castle is designated as a national important cultural property. The stone walls are massive buildings in cyclopean foundation. The castle walls are covered with black planks. This is really a beautiful castle.

Mizuki Shigeru Road

2011年12月6日 火曜日

Mizuki Shigeru Road is situated in the town of Sakaiminato fishing port in Tottori Prefecture. There are many bronze statues placed alone the sidewalk featuring from figures of Mizuki Manga comics. In the world of Mizuki Manga comics, there are two different types of Yokai, which is translated as hobgoblin, goblin, ghost, specter, monster, ghastly apparition, spook, spirit and so on. In any case, one is a good guy and the other is a bad guy. Kitaro,the main character, fights against evil Yokai cooporating with his fellow Yokai such as Medama Oyaji, Nezumi Otoko and others.  Mizuki seems to suggest in his comics that people in the world should cooporate and live in peace with each other.

Medama Oyaji, eyeball father. Many think that Medama Oyaji comes from one of Kitaro’s eyeballs, which is hidden by his hair. But actually it is not true. In the comic story, Medama Oyaji has once passed away, but he has resuscitated by moving his soul to the left eye of the dead. He is the existance of like a walking dictionary, who knows everything and anything about Yokai spectors. He is respected by Kitaro. His body is so small, and sometimes is trampled by enemies. But, don’t worry because he has the power to resuscitate. He also has the tactics to control the brains of enemies when he is eaten by them.

Kitaro and Medama Oyaji. Kitaro is the last survivor of Yokai-Zoku, specter tribes. He is armed with such weapons as Rimocon Geta, a pair of remote controled wooden sandals, Rimocon Chanchan Ko, remote controled vest, Yubiteppo, finger gun, Ke Antena, hair antenna, and so on to fight against and reprehend evil specters. The stories about Ge Ge No Kitaro are not stories about a sort of hero, but making us aware of human selfishness and negligence inflicting from the background of wrong doing by Yokai specters. That’s why Mizuki Shigeru Road is visited by lots of people from children to aged.

Nuri Kabe, wall. When Kitaro is driven into a corner, Nuri Kabe comes and protects Kitaro by using its big body. Nuri Kabe is a very reliable specter for Kitaro. When you struggle with your job or your study, or problems, which are not ease to solve for you, you may feel a wall of obstacle. You can’t step forward or remove the obstacle  when you try to do so. It may be the act of Nuri Kabe. Yokai, specters do not only come from outside and threaten people, but also appear from weakness or ugliness existing inside of people’s mind.

Kani Bozu, crab priest. A gigantic crab as big as two tatami mats secretly lived disguised as a priest at a temple in Kai domain, present Yamanashi Prefecture. People were in fear of the monster because the monster ate visiting priests one after another when they came to the temple. When some nomad priest stayed the temple, the crab priest started questions and answeres dialogue againt the nomad priest saying ” eight legs, two big legs, free to walk sideways and two eyes widely separating. What is this?” The nomad priest answered,”Kan-nin-bo, Kan-nin-bo” ( I don’t understand the meaning of this phrase.) Then, the monster priest disappeared. When the nomad priest drained the water of the pond in the back of the temple, the crab priest disguising gigantic crab and lots of bones appeared. the nomad priest defeated the crab priest. By the way, Sakai Minato fishing port ranks number one in Japan as for landing crab fishery.

Beto Beto san, sound of walking steps.  When you walk after dark, don’t  you feel that someone is following you? When you solely walk forward, your heart will get pounding. It is the act of Beto Beto san. This Yokai has round body and crescent-shaped mouth. There is something charming about this Yakai. When a man walks after dark, Beto Beto san follows him. The man says ” I ‘ll follow you.”  ” If I walk ahead of you, it’s too dark to walk.” Beto Beto-san replies. The man lend a paper lantern to Beto Beto san. The lantern is returned in front of the man’s house next morning. By the way, JR Yonago Airport Station is nicknamed Beto Beto san.

Mr. Yamada, a salaried man. A man, who wear glasses and has buck teeth can be often found around you. Mr. Yamada appears many times in Mizuki comics, with different names at each time. But his appearance is unchanged. He is a mediocre, timid and moderate person. But he always encounters with terrible problems. Mr. Shoiti Sakurai, a friend of Mizuki sensei in the times of a loan picture story show, is the model of Mr. Yamada.

Concert by Kitaro.

Kitaro, his father Medama Oyaji and Mizuki sensei are bound for Oki Islands.  Oki Islands are Mizuki sensei’s ancestors place. Yokai can travel freely anywhere through the tunnel, which is a hole opened at the pedestal.

Mizuki sensei is in writing. This is the statue of Mizuki sensei in writing when he was in his 30s or 40s. Kitaro is around the table being anxious about what kind of Yokai will appear next time.  Nezumi Otoko, Rat Man begs saying,” please give me more appearance in the comics.” Medama Oyaji, eyeball father watchs and listens to such conversation.