chapter  6
6 Pages

Ishimure Michiko's "The Boy Yamanaka Kuhei"

There is a village called Yudo that lines the shores of a small inlet on the Sea of Shiranui. The waves in the cove are never rough except once or twice a year when a typhoon strikes. Floating in the bay are small boats and sardine nets, riding the
WithTranslated by Christopher Stevens

Near the inlet on which the village of Yudo is situated there used to be landfall sentinel stations of the Higo clan and a sea entry station at the border of Satsuma. Beyond lies the Sea of Shiranui. The fishennen say things like "We stopped over at Go Sho no Ura last night and then zipped right back here while it was calm in the morning." From Yudo, Go Sho no Ura is in sight in the island group of Amakusa. Facing Amakusa, if you turn to the left, you can see both the land and sea routes that link up with Satsuma. Beyond the inlet is the hamlet of Modo. On the outskirts of this village runs a river where you can wash clothes. Like a moat, it is the prefectural boundary, "The River of the Gods" by name. If you wash rice standing on the pebbled river bank, the milky water will cross over the border towards the farther shore where they speak the dialect of Kagoshima.