Monday, October 24, 2011

The world of Miyazawa Kenji

Kenji Miyazawa who was from Iwate was a poet, an author of children's literature and a social activist in the early Showa period of Japan. Among the works which he left are a peculiar view of his world. And they are loved by many people even now.

Moreover, he was also a geologist who had relation with Ichinoseki. Near by Geibikei, there is the Northeast Macadam Factory where he worked as a engineer later his life. The factory is registered tangible cultural properties of the country. And it is opened as a museum for general public. He must sometimes have visited Geibikei, while working in that factory.

Especially the poetry "Ame ni mo Makezu" that he made is famous. We can see his personality in this poetry.

-Ame ni mo Makezu-

ame ni mo makezu                                        
kaze ni mo makezu                                        
yuki ni mo natsuno atsusa ni mo makenu
jobu na karada wo mochi 
yoku wa naku
kesshite ikarazu
itsumo shizuka ni waratte iru
ichinichi ni genmai yon go to
miso to sukoshi no yasai wo tabe
arayuru koto wo jibun no kanjo ni irezu
yoku mikiki shi wakari
soshite wasurezu
nohara no matsu no hayashi no kage no
higashi ni byoki no kodomo areba, itte kanbyo shite yari
nishi ni tsukareta haha areba, itte sono ine no taba wo oi
minami ni shiniso na hito areba itte kowagaranakute mo ii to ii
kita ni kenka ya sosho ga areba, tsumaranai kara yamero to ii
hideri no toki wa namida wo nagashi
samusa no natsu wa oro-oro aruki
minna ni deku-no-bo to yobare 
homerare mo sezu
ku ni mo sarezu
so iu mono ni watashi wa naritai

His literature, "Night on the Galactic Railroad" was made an animation.


Friday, October 21, 2011

What is the Akakaki?

Geibikei whose colouring of autumn is increasing. Unfortunately, it was a rainy today but many tourists have visited here.

The above are the two photos which a boatman is doing the work called Akakaki; a dialect about here Agagagi.

The Akakaki means the work which drains off the water which collected into the boat. Our boatmen use the stick which collect the water called the Akakaki stick made of the wood. The Aka means the water.

I wish the rain would stop tomorrow...rain, rain go away!

Monday, October 17, 2011

Otsuki's Three Wise Men in Ichinoseki

In Ichinoseki,the historical character called three wise men that are deeply related to the opening of a country of Japan is in which we live. Their bust sculpture is put on the station square.

Otsuki Gentaku (1757~1827)
He studied Dutch medicine and Dutch. He also had published the primer "Rangaku Kaitei" of Dutch study book at the age of 26. He opened the first Dutch private cram school in our country. Then he contributed to a medical advance including the completion of "Jutei Kaitai Shinsho" for revised edition of "Kaitai Shinsho".

Otsuki Bankei (1801~1878)
He was the second son of Otsuki Gentaku and played an active part as a Confucian scholar of Japanese spirit and Western Learning who appealed for the opening of a country to foreign trade and diplomatic relations.

Otsuki Fumihiko (1847~1928)
He was born as the third son of Otsuki Bankei at the Edo age. He completed the first dictionary "Genkai(言海)" in our country. It was reorganized by "Dai Genkai(大言海)" later.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Yugendo Cave

There is the cave called Yugendo where it takes about 5 minutes from Geibikei Gorge by car.


Yugendo cave with the stratum in middle period of the Paleozoic is also a treasure of a leading fossil in Japan. The full length of a cave is 500 meters and average temperature is 13 degrees. The fossil of the sea lily used as the data of a theory of Seafloor spreading was discovered for the first time on a Japanese bedrock. Moreover, many precious elucidation data on biology, such as a perfect of the fossil of a trilobite, Fusulinida, and ancient coral, are discovered. Yugendo cave discovered in 1980 belongs to the stratum of 350 million years ago, and is called oldest limestone cave in Japan.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Murone Mountain

Area of Murone Mountain

At 895 metres above sea level, Murone Mountain is about 30 minutes drive from Geibikei Gorge. Its prime location in Iwate prefecture enjoys panoramic views of the other neighboring mountains of Hayachine and Kinkasan and the horizon expanse of the Pacific Ocean.

The seasonal scenic changes induce a variety of activities ranging from hiking through to birdwatching, the intellectual pursuit of astronomy, mountain biking and the adrenalin seeking sport of paragliding.

Azalea Festival
 Azalea flowers grow in abundance on the mountain. The swathes of pink and red with the subtle scent of fragrance are celebrated with a festival in the last week of May and continues through to the following month June.

Kirara Mount Murone Astronomical Observatory
 Near the peak of Murone Mountain lies the dome of Kirara Mount Murone Astronomical Observatory. It houses a 50cm caliber telescope which probes deeply into the reach of space.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Boat Wedding

On Sunday October 2, a boat wedding was held in Geibikei Gorge. It was sunny, the weather was calm and everybody enjoyed it regardless of the cold wind that blew. The bridal couple arrived by jinrikisha and alongside the many guests they boarded the boats. They then proceeded through the River Satetsu aided by the long poles of the boatmen .

The boat stops at the front of *Bishamon-kutsu where a couple of Shinto priests dressed in traditional manner oversee the ceremony.
*Bishamon-kutsu: At the base of the rock is a cave, inside which stands a shrine to Bishamon-ten, the god of treasure. The cave also provides a fine home for bats.

The Shinto Wedding Ceremony
This ceremony became very popular after the wedding of the Crown Prince who became the Taisho Emperor  on March 10, in the year 1900. Since then it has grown even bigger with many Japanese people choosing the Shinto style of getting married.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Sukawa Kogen (Mt Kurikoma)

 About two hours drive from the pleasurable river trip through Geibikei Gorge lies a mountain that rises a significant height of 1, 628 metres above sea level. It also stretches out its prominent girth over three prefectures: Iwate; Akita; and Miyagi. In the latter two, the mountain is also known as Dainichi-dake and Kurikoma-yama respectively. Clouds of mist emanate from the hot spring water that are heated from the volcanic core. The steam as it makes contact with the colder air from the higher altitude sometimes enshrouds the peaks from view - adding mystery.

The peaks attract many hikers and the more adventurous who like the challenge of a climb. It is open to the public from the middle of May through to November when public access is restricted due to the colder season making the area more precarious.

This is a lake formed by a crater of Sukawa from a small eruption during the Showa dynasty in 1944. The surface of the lake shines an emerald green, rich in intensity with the smell of sulphur . The autumn attracts many visitors with the forested trees, fauna and the lake lending to the impressed sense of its seasonal hue.

Located at the foot of Sukawa mountain, at a thousand metres above sea level, lies this famous hot spring. It is highly prized for its natural properties that are known to help support the symptoms of rheumatism and chronic toxicosis. It is milky white in colour with a blue tint and is known to give a mild stinging sensation when submerging into its health giving waters.