Posts Tagged ‘ Hyogo ’

Winter Scenes from a Small Town from Some Years Ago…

It’s been about 21 years since I lived in Asago, Japan, a town deep in the heart of Hyogo Prefecture’s Chugoku Mountains.  I grieve at the thought of all the photos from those days that I’ve lost.  So many moves and several lives have caused photos, in boxes small and large, in envelopes, in the backs of dresser drawers, to scatter away from me.  I’m slowly scanning-in, digitizing, what hard copy photos remain.

Here are three scenes from January, or February, 1991.  That’s the Bantan Line (播但線), the small train line that runs from Himeji in the south to Wadayama in the north.  A few years ago Wadayama was incorporated and consolidated into Asago (朝来), so there’s no more Wadayama now.



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Just a couple miles north of Asago (and its inner town, Nii / 新井, where I lived) is Takeda, home to the Takeda Castle Ruins.  Here’s a photo from my last year’s post on Takeda . . .

I write at length about Asago and my time there in several stories posted on this site, though I call it “Asaki”  in those tales.  Those who can read Japanese get the Asago/Asaki (朝来) joke.   For further reading I invite you to read “Duty,” “Etsuko,” and “Enlightenment.”

“Ishi no ue ni mo san nen…”

In a Front Page piece from back in the summer,  I discuss (among other things) and provide examples of kotowaza (proverbs or wise sayings), including —

“Even monkeys fall from trees” (Saru mo ki kara ochiru / 猿も木から落ちる )

and “Sit on a rock for 3 years” (Ishi no ue ni mo san nen / 石の上にも三年).

“Even monkeys fall from trees” is pretty easy to understand.  In other words, even those with the most apparent skill (whether in social climbing or quarterbacking a college football team [St. Tim]) will someday get their comeuppance.  “Sit on a rock for 3 years” is a little more obtuse.  In sum, it means “be patient”.

So, with that noted, I ask those several of you who’ve emailed me about when I plan to post Satsuma, Part II (the follow up to, surprise, Satsuma, Part I) to please sit on a rock for 3 years, or, perhaps, just 3-5 more days.  I’m very appreciative of your eagerness to read the follow-up.  Hold on, I’m coming.

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With that out of the way I post below, as several brilliant non-sequiturs, a few photos from bygone days, 1990-1, when I lived in the small town of “Asaki” (not the real name), Hyogo Prefecture.  This town forms the backdrop for my story “Etsuko“.  I’ve only recently come across these photos.  I haven’t really “cleaned them up”, yet, so pardon any old pits or shmutz on them.  Enjoy.


Woman walking her dog. Near my house in "Asaki". Spring 1991.


Youngsters at Hyogo Prefecture ski resort. February 1991.


Ruins of Takeda Castle. December 1990. One trainstop and a 30-45 min climb "Asaki", where I lived in 1990-1.