200 津軽石 Tsugaruishi,Iwate 1985


The hazy horizon stretches endlessly beyond the breakwater. There, I had just seen a sailor in blue shirt, hastily preparing for departure on a deck. Sailing away, the foreign ship eventually became small as a dot, as if it were being swallowed by the sea. The bus halted at the stop in front of a variety store, where three vending machines stood side by side. No one got off. The bus started moving again, turned the corner of a cross section and disappeared into the scene of the neighborhood . A man with a straw hat, tied with a towel , approached on a bicycle from the small pass leading to a pine wood. The rhythm of his pedaling feet was strangely synchronized with the splashes of the waves against the beach, where fish nets hung to dry. There was no one to be seen at the rather small fish market. A gash of wind hurled a styrofoam box for the fish, making it disappear into the bottom of a half-painted boat which was on the shore fore repairs. I guessed there had been a festival , because a "torii " (a gateway at the entrance to the Shinto shrine) with a brand new "shimenawa" (an ornament for "torii")was visible. By its side, there stood a mercury lamp, forgotten to be turned off. On top of its rusting pole, the lamp was burning dull and white as if were being bullied by the sunlight. About an hour passed. I heard a small sigh, coming from the opposite bench from where one could get a full view of the sea and the city. A little while ago, when I had reached the lighthouse at the top of a cape, after climbing a long stairway, I had met a boy in a white open-necked shirt, holding a sketch book with a few lines drawn, under his arm. He had told me not to look until it was finished. I stepped over the white chain with many coats of paint on it, and peeked quietly. There, the boy was standing proudly with his picture, which looked as if the lighthouse had cast its shadow on the sketchbook.