Friday, December 02, 2005

Ghost Castle 幽霊の城

I was having an online conversation about Unit 731 when I heard loudspeakers and what seemed to be marching music from outside my window. Jumping at the chance to see a right-wing group in action, I hopped on my bike and attempted to follow the source of the noise. My journey took me along paths through groves and rice fields, rivers and ... uh, well, that's pretty much it. On the way back, I saw a housing project being advertised as an English Country Home. Didn't see any thatched roofs or stonework that is my image of a cottage out in the middle of Manchester, though.
ネット会話で731部隊に ついての話をしながらアパートの外から拡声器と軍隊っぽい音楽を聴いた。右派隊を見る機会かなと思ってたので速く自転車に乗って音の源を探してみた。朕が 旅で森と田圃、川と・・・えーと、それだけぐらいを見た。帰る時は「英国の田舎の家」で広告されている建て場所を見た。朕の理想でマンチェスター州の中に 在るわらぶきの屋根か石造物の別荘を見なかったけどさ。

Had a new school the other day. I like new schools because I don't have to do any real work; just show my Canada presentation and run around in the gym, and that's it. It does give me a chance to bond with the staff, though. It seems kind of laid-back here, but I guess that's because I am not here all day, just in the morning. Kids are great, though. The school is kind of far from my house, and on a hill, so it was kind of hard to bike there before I discovered the Secret Path.
先 日は朕が新しい学校に行った。本物の仕事はしないから新しい学校が好き;ただ着いてカ ナダの発表をして体育館で走る。但し、職員と仲良しに成れるけど さ。あそこはちょっと落ち着いている雰囲気だったけど、朝だけは居るのでそれを感じたかな。子供達は素晴らしい。学校は朕の内からちょっと遠いし坂上に在 るので自転車で来るのは「秘密の路」を見つける前にちょっと疲れる。

The school is beside a temple. Which has an awesome graveyard. How cool is that?

A view of the temple beside the school. It's a Tendai temple, if that has any meaning to anyone.

After my work was done, I saw this sign saying that there had been a castle on top of the mountain. You know that I had to check this out.

Up this mountain. Well, off I went!

A modern Japanese-style family grave, of the Miura family.

On my left, there was a Prefectural Protected Forest. I know because of the sign. Is the castle in there?

I was really enjoying the heavy forest atmosphere when I saw the bane of the Japanese countryside: a construction sign. I mean, fuck. It's the middle of freaking nowhere, on an overgrown mountain! You've got to be kidding!

Then I saw the sign. Actually, I'm happy that Japan is posting the numbers about public projects now. Still, ¥42840000 (think $428 400) for a landslide control project? There are so many trees that a landslide would only occur if Raijin the Storm God blasted the mountain repeatedly with lightning and then rained for six weeks on it.

So now we have the real forest, and ... the encroachment of construction.

Well, someone lives on the mountain, anyway. Or they did. Here's an abandoned house and car.

But here's a very small field. Hmm.

Proceeding to the field, I was greeted by a very pleasant surprise; they were terraced fields, with another garden situated just below me on the side of the mountain. Plus I had a great view of the city! Man, I want to buy this land and make an Orientalist dream home!

I heard a dog bark as I passed by this ... house? Well, at least I don't have to worry about being shot. Swords are another matter, of course.

Where is that damn castle? Up the road we go.

I began to find old farming equipment. What the heck is this?

Some of the fields appear to be abandoned.


Another abandoned car.

I reached the end of the road, finding more fields. Half were being used, half were overgrown.

I got a shock when I turned around to look at the house and found a poster of a woman inside staring at me.

There was a semitraditional house, open to the elements. Dirty, not lived in.

Doubling back, I found a small path going off in a different direction. To the castle, perhaps?

Nope, a shrine.

All it consists of is a stone tablet and a god-house.

The inscription was so faded I couldn't make anything out.

As it was getting late, I gave up my search for the castle and headed back down the mountain. I stopped at the school and asked again about the mysterious fortress, only to be told that there was absolutely nothing left - no walls, no timbers, nothing. Just stories from the old men about the time when a castle stood proud upon the mountain.

5 Comments 論評:

  • Wow that's quite an adventure!

    Of course you should have known the castle wouldn't be there. Everything burns down, Pat. Everything.

    Also, do you plan on biking even when it get to January, or will the weather be okay? I was wondering on what line of latitude you are.

    By Anonymous Chris, at 12/04/2005 2:39 AM  

  • Tendai... Hey thanks Japanese Civilizations class. It's fun to know stuff about Buddhist sects.

    By Anonymous marc, at 12/04/2005 2:28 PM  

  • With the wonderful abandoned cars, I'm surprised you didn't find any abandoned body parts, which is a popular find in forestry remote areas in HK.

    By Anonymous Charlene, at 12/05/2005 3:15 PM  

  • Hah, I actually expected to find some crazy old man chasing me with a sword for trespassing or something. With all the recent murders in Japan it wouldn't surprise me to find body parts; I think I was actually expecting to find human bones or something.

    Also, I have the stomach flu and spent last night in the hospital. More on that later. Still feeling like death.

    By Blogger 羽之助, at 12/05/2005 10:19 PM  

  • Japanese health care?

    OH NO!

    Actually I have no idea how it is. Please inform us.

    By Anonymous Chris, at 12/07/2005 1:17 AM  

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