Home News Bio Membership Gallery Tour
 


Posts Tagged ‘Rishiri Island’

Summer on Rishiri Island

Wednesday, July 27th, 2011

ハシブトガラス

めったに撮ることの出来ないハシブトガラス。

動きに敏感で、出来るだけ近づこうとしても、直ぐに飛んでしまう。

今回は珍しく、じっと動かないでいてくれた。

一羽でヤマグワの実などを食べていたので、私が離れるのを待っていたのだろうか。

愛嬌のある顔であると感じたが、敏感で人を襲うカラスとは思えなかった。

It is very unusual to see the HASHIBUTO GARASU [Corvus macrorhynchos]; she is very sensitive and cautious and flies away if you try to get close.  This time, however, she stood still for my photo – which is a rare occurrence.  Alone, she was eating the fruit of the YAMAGUWA tree, and paused, as if she were waiting for me to leave so she could continue with her feast.  Her expression was so innocent and charming – it’s difficult to imagine that she will attack humans.

HASHIBUTO GARASU photo by Eiji Nishiya

The YAMAGUWA [Morus bombycis] or wild mountain mulberry has a prehistoric connection to humans.  The use of mulberries has a long history in Japan, traceable to Jomon times. The fruit can be eaten or made into wine.  The tree flowers in April to June with leaves; false fruits ripen from red to black in June to July.  This mulberry is one of the most-common trees in Japan and is cultivated for feeding silkworms. The wood, hard and heavy, is used for furniture, cabinet work, inlaid works, and sculptures.

Japanese Mountain Mulberry

Early Summer on Rishirito

Sunday, June 26th, 2011

Rishirito torilis japonica

島に咲く花たち

いろんな花たちが咲き始めている。

島をまわる道路際には、シャク、エゾカンゾウ、チシマフウロがなど見られる。

のびてきている緑色の草の中に、群生している花たちを見つけて歩くことが楽しい。

海岸草原にはオレンジ色の花、エゾカンゾウが群生しています。

自然の花園の彩りは、いつも心を癒してくれます。

Rishiri Day Lily June 2011

Pure white Wild Carrot (torilis japonicus) and bright orange Ezo-kanzou [Day Lily] grow in colonies  in the meadows along the coast.  The natural colors of the flowers  always warm our hearts.

~~~ photos by Eiji Nishiya ~~~

Seal on the Rocks

Monday, February 28th, 2011

ゴマフアザラシ

海岸の岩場で日向ぼっこするゴマフアザラシ。

近づいて行くと

「どうしたの、何かあったの?」と、聞かれた。

「シバレルね」と応えると

「そんなことないよ」と言って、岩場を降りていった。

I spied a spotted seal “sunbathing” on the rocks.

As I approached he asked, “Can I help you?”

“It’s really cold, isn’t it?” asked I.

“Not for me,” he answered as he slid into the icy sea.

2011-02-28-rishiri-seal-on-the-rocks

photo and 'poem' by Eiji Nishiya, FOM, Rishiri Island

Last Rishiri Sunset of the (old) Year

Thursday, February 3rd, 2011

2011-02-03-rishiri-new-year-sunset

日の入り

二月三日は月暦正月朔。

一年の初めに紅く丸く、海に入る日の入り。

利尻山頂が紅く映えていた。

明日は立春。春の気立つ日。

今年は暖かく晴n日が続くのだろうか。

“The sun is entering the ocean.”

“The red and round sun goes in to the ocean for the last time this year” … Rishiri mountain in the alpenglow of sunset on the last day of the year [according to the old-style, Japanese lunar calendar.]  Tomorrow, February 3rd, is “risshun” [considered the first day of spring in Japan].  The “sense” of spring begins.  I wonder if we will be blessed with warm, sunny days?  ~Eiji Nishiya

Today is also the eve of Ranald MacDonald’s (187th) birthday.

2011-02-03-new-year-sunset

西谷榮治 『利尻の語り』 を読む

Monday, November 1st, 2010

文・写真:谷口雅春 / 2010年11月1日

なんと途方もない聞き書き本が僕たちにもたらされたことだろう。
前稿で露口啓二が紹介したように、このたび利尻町立博物館学芸課長の西谷榮治さんが著した「利尻の語り」は、1986年から23年もの長きにわたって北海 道利尻町の広報誌「広報りしり」に連載されてきた、島民やゆかりの人々の聞き書きを再編集したもの。B5版464ページの大部に、146人の語りと、内容 にちなむ写真がおさめられている(編集者西村淑子さんの丹念な仕事が偲ばれる)。

例えば伊勢から渡った海女たちの暮らし。ニシンの爆発的な大漁や、クジラが浜に寄り付 いた挿話。樺太との深い関わり。集落ごとの祭りや演芸会、相撲大会に血肉を踊らせた青年団の活動。盆や節句、あるいは学び舎の行事の数々。各地からの開拓 移住のあらましに、襞のように入り組んだ地名や地誌の言い伝え…。明治、大正、昭和にまたがるおびただしい主題が、欄外の注釈が欠かせないような独特の言 い回しで展開されていく。話し言葉をていねいになぞる筆致も魅力だ。

利尻に本格的に和人が移り住んだのは安政年間(1854〜1860)のことだという。 その前史として17世紀後半にはすでに松前藩の場所経営があり、時代を下れば今号のカイでもふれた、津軽や秋田藩士たちによるロシアへの備えがあった。北 海道本島と共通する水産資源と地政学的意味によって、利尻島の近代は急駆動される。内地とは比較にならない厳しく複雑な気候をまとった利尻山 (1721m)が海底から一気にそびえ、ごく限られた土地と海で繰り広げられてきた濃密な歴史は、この島の輪郭に北海道史の縮図や、「もしも世界が100 人の村だったら」といった思考モデルを誘うかもしれない。しかしそんな紋切り型のまなざしは、語りのディテールの強度の前に恥じ入るばかりだろう。本書に 満ちているのは、郷愁の下味がついた北方イメージの断片などではなく、記(しる)されることもなくひっそりと記憶に眠っていた、ひとりひとりの固有の身体 から編み上げた利尻島の風土であり、なまなましい人生そのものなのだ。

カイにも、まだ9回にすぎないが井上由美が連載している聞き書きシリーズ、「北海道の 物語」がある。聞き書きにおいて話し言葉から書き言葉への変換は、書き手をつねに正解のない問題の前に立ち止まらせる。本書からもその困難との折り合いの 軌跡が浮かび上がるが、464ページというボリュームは、口語と記述をめぐる日本語の成り立ちまでも意識させるだろう。読み進みながら想起したのは、水村 美苗の「日本語が亡びるとき」(筑摩書房.2008)だ。水村は、19世紀に「西洋の衝撃」を受けた日本の知識層が、その現実を語るために日本語の古層を 掘り返し、日本語のあらゆる可能性をさぐりながら「出版語」を作りだしたこと(その言葉によって日本の近代文学は立ち上がった)。言文一致とは、単に口語 を書き言葉に移した取り組みではなく、幕末から明治の東アジアの激動の中で考案され磨かれてきた壮大なプロジェクトだったこと。そうした史実に無頓着なま ま、緊張感をなくした日本語はインターネットの時代に英語に飲み込まれようとしていることをスリリングに論考する。同次元で「利尻の語り」には、亡びゆく 土地の記憶をなんとかつなぎ止めようとする、現代日本語の格闘が浮かび上がっているともいえる。

マネーやイメージは根を持たないが、人間は土地を離れて生きることができない。20年 以上の歳月をかけ、これからもなお続く聞き書きは、利尻で生まれ育ち東京で学び、利尻に根ざし続けることを選んだ西谷さんにしかできない仕事だろう。受け 止める僕たちは、亡びるものへの感傷などで視界を汚してしまう前に、語りのリアルな細部から、北海道がほんとうに守るべきものや受け継ぐべき価値をしっか りとまさぐっていきたい。

eiji-nishiya-book-of-rishiri_0

(自費出版。3,360円で実費発売。問い合わせは利尻町立博物館 tel:0163・85・1411へ)

Rishiri Island in the Autumn

Monday, October 18th, 2010

利尻昆布漁

今年は天候に恵まれず、昆布漁が少なかった。
7月中旬から始まった昆布漁。
海が凪ぎても、雨・霧。
晴れても時化る海。
晴天と凪の組み合わせが少なかった。
明日は昆布採りになるかも、で、朝3時頃から起きている漁師。
昆布かウニ漁かは、朝に決まる。
天気予報しながら、昆布の製品化で夜遅くまで作業。
夏は、体力と気合との勝負と、漁師が言っていた。

Collecting Konbu on RishiriHarvesting Konbu.   (Photo by E. Nishiya.)

Every autumn the strong winds and the ocean waves bring “Rishiri konbu” to the shores. The competition among the fishermen (and fisherwomen) is fierce.
You’ve got to gather better and more konbu than the others!
The hearty men and women of Rishiri go out to the ocean and to the beaches,
oblivious to the blustery fall weather.

Rishiri Island konbu

Rishiri Island konbu is reputed to be the best-tasting konbu in Japan!

Ezo nyuu (Angelica ursina – “bear’s angelica”) of Rishiri

Sunday, July 18th, 2010

リシリヒナゲシの咲く麓から
エゾニュウ群生 島を周回する道路際や海岸草原で見られるエゾニュウ。

背が高いことから、目立つ。

今年は6月末の暑さからだろうか、いつもより多くエゾニュウが咲いているようだ。

july-13-4-ezo-nyuu_0

Ezo-nyuu –  you see them in the grass fields and on roadside along the coastline of Rishiri Island.  Because of their height, they stand out and are quite noticeable. This year more Ezo-nyuu than usual can be seen.  I wonder if that is because of the hot  days we had on the island in late June ?  ~~~ Eiji Nishiya, FOM Rishiri, Japan  – Mt. Rishiri in the background

Towering above the surrounding lush summer herb growth stands the hollow-stemmed monster known locally as Ezo nyuu (and to botanists as Angelica ursina – “bear’s angelica”). These plants appear at the height of summer, a potent reminder that the longest days are past and that, despite the heat, autumn is not far around the corner.

The umbel (flower head) of Angelica ursina has many small white flowers on thin stems attached to a main stalk.  Their flowers fade in a matter of weeks, but their weathered, dried stems are strong and persist even into winter, when they rattle and buzz as the wind vibrates them, scattering their tiny seeds.

This tall perennial can be found in damp, cool places, along roadsides, around marshland edges and in sunny woodlands, wherever there is plenty of moisture. It grows in central and northern Japan, in China, and in areas of Russia surrounding the Sea of Okhotsk.

Whereas many members of the Angelica family may only grow to heights of between 50 cm and a meter, the bear’s angelica is a monster – the largest in the family – reaching a height of 3 to 3.5 meters!

Since he came ashore on or about July 1, 1848 – mid-summer – no doubt Ranald saw plenty of these giant Angelica ursina growing in the grass fields of Rishiri Island.

july-13-2-ezo-nyuu

Photos by Eiji Nishiya, FOM Japan

~~~~~

July 2010 ~ FOM Annual Meeting

Sunday, July 11th, 2010

The day was fair, the turn-out was gratifying and the conversation lively at the annual membership meeting of the Friends of MacDonald held in Astoria, OR over the weekend.  We greeted many old friends and welcomed several new members while enjoying a delicious lunch at the “Baked Alaska” restaurant (shameless plug) on the waterfront overlooking the wide mouth of the Columbia River and the blue-green hills of Cape Disappointment and Chief Comcomly’s Chinook territory in Washington — the same view eyed by the likes of Meriwether Lewis and William Clark in 1805-06 as well as Ranald’s father, Archibald McDonald in November of 1821, the year he arrived at (then) Fort George.

img_0017-cropped_1

We were honored to welcome Consul General of Japan in Portland, Takamichi Okabe and his wife, Kozue.  According to Richard Read of the Oregonian newspaper, Mr. Okabe spent three months in Baghdad as an involuntary “guest” of Saddam Hussein during 1990, when Iraqi forces invaded Kuwait. [He had been serving as first secretary in Japan’s embassy in Kuwait.] During his next foreign assignment – in Kenya – Mr. Okabe and a colleague braved warfare in Somalia to investigate opportunities for humanitarian aid there. Later in Nepal, Mr. Okabe was posted in Kathmandu when members of the royal family were massacred at the palace.  Most recently Mr. Okabe served four years as Consul General of Japan in Auckland, New Zealand.  In Portland, he is joined by his wife, Kozue, and we all hope that Mr. and Mrs. Okabe will have the opportunity to enjoy the peace and beauty of the Pacific Northwest.

FOM was happy that Mac Burns,scan0005 Executive Director of CCHS was able to take time away from his busy schedule to attend the meeting.  Mac, who was fresh off the “Goonies 25th Anniversary” celebration the week before, noted that over 100 Goonies fans showed up for the grand opening of the Oregon Film Museum in Astoria the previous Saturday, and mentioned that people had come from all over — France, Japan, and from across the United States.  Mac also passed out buttons and other information about the upcoming “Astoria 1811-2011 Bicentennial Celebration” happening next year.  A link to that website can be found here: http://www.astoria200.org/ .  If you have never visited Astoria, FOM encourages you to do so – it is a sleepy little coastal town with a lot of secrets and surprises, not to mention a rich history.

Mr. Tadakazu Kumashiro, Charter Member of the Friends of MacDonald, was also in attendance. After his retirement, Mr. Kumashiro, or “Kuma” (the Bear) as he likes to be called, joined the Peace Corps in 2001 and was stationed in Namibia for a couple of years working for the Namibian government where he promoted AIDS education by visiting schools.  Kuma-san gave talks to students, teachers and school principals about what they should be doing to prevent an AIDS pandemic.  Kuma-san reports that he had to be hospitalized himself four times while he was there – probably, he noted, because of the unfamiliar germs he encountered.  Mr. Kumashiro rather depreciatingly says he thinks he became ill because of his “old age” – he was 67-69 at the time – but having met him myself I have to say he is one of the most vigorous and energetic “seniors” I have ever met [both mentally and physically].

A big “thank you” to Jim Mockford for bringing his laptop so the group could access the new web page. It was the first time most of the FOM members had seen it (we hope it won’t be the last time!)  We all appreciated that the Baked Alaska staff worked so hard to make sure their wireless network was workable for us.  And we missed the presence of Bruce Berney, who was back in Portland celebrating his grandson’s birthday.

During the meeting an interesting, if not recurring, question was presented by Consul General Okabe, e.g., what was the status of Ranald MacDonald’s “citizenship” at the time of his landing on Rishiri Island in 1848?  A second comment [also in the form of a question] was presented by Mr. Okabe and was definitely food for thought – was Ranald MacDonald really the first teacher of English in Japan?

Will Adams, map of Japan circa 1600Map of Japan drawn by William Adams, circa 1600

The Consul General’s second question referred to one William Adams, who, as the British pilot major of the Dutch trading ship Liefde (“Love” or “Charity”) landed off the island of Kyushu in April 1600.  [The true story of Will Adams was the basis of the romantic novel Shogun, written by James Clavell and published in 1975; Adams’ adventures were also documented in the historical novel Daishi-san written by Robert Lund in 1961.]  According to one source “ … soon after Adams’ arrival in Japan, he became a key advisor to the shogun Tokugawa Ieyasu and built for him Japan’s first Western-style ships. Adams was later the key player in the establishment of trading factories (in Japan) by the Netherlands and England. He died in Japan at age 55, and has been recognized as one of the most influential foreigners in Japan during this period.

William Adams – known in Japan as Miura Anjin –  may have been the first Englishman [Briton] to set foot in Japan; from historical information [including writings from Adams’ own journal] it seems likely that it was the Anjin who needed an interpreter [the ever-present Portuguese Jesuits, in this case] to make himself understood. Prudence dictates that circumstances – and the Japanese people – taught their language to Will Adams, rather than the other way around.

Regarding Ranald MacDonald being the firsranald-ca-1853t American to “set foot in Japan” [the way Will Adams was the first Englishman to do so] we know this just isn’t so.  There were Americans who had visited Nagasaki while in the service of the Dutch during the late 1700’s.  In the mid-1800’s there were scores of American whaling ships in the Sea of Japan, and historical record tells of some crew members that had either been shipwrecked off the Japanese coast or had deserted their vessel to seek their fortunes ashore.  As far as is known, however, Ranald MacDonald was the first American to intentionally go to Japan for the express purpose of learning about the Japanese people and their language and to teach English to them, and to perhaps ‘work’ as an interpreter.  As to the question of Ranald’s citizenship, regardless of the fact that Fort George was under a British flag in 1824, it cannot be denied that half of Ranald’s DNA came from a Chinook Indian mother, a fact that made him a truer “American” than any geographical accident of birth.  Later in his life, through both choice and residence, MacDonald became sufficiently “American” enough to justify that we may say that Ranald MacDonald was the first American to leave his mark upon the people and the nation of Japan, and the first native-English-speaking individual to teach the English language there.

***

Rishiri Island Wildflowers

Monday, June 14th, 2010

朝の通勤途中で道路際に咲く紫のチシマフウロを見つけた。4月はじめの花は瀬の低い花たち。6月になると野の草の背丈が高くなるので花たちも背の高い花が咲く。チシマフウロの群落から、それを撮るかなどと、楽しみながらカメラを向ける。

Chishima Fuuro (geranium erianthum)

On my way to work I found clumps of purple Chishima Fuuro [Geranium erianthum] on the road side.  In early April they are relatively short plants, but by the time June comes the wild grasses are growing much taller, and the Chishima Fuuro, not to be outdone, grows taller as well. For several moments I concentrate on which flowers to photograph, forgetting that time is passing while I make up my mind.

~photo by Eiji Nishiya,Rishiri Island, FOM Japan

Rishiri Island Sunset

Saturday, April 17th, 2010

rishiri-island-sunset-april-2010

日の入り。

久しぶりにきれいに見えた。

気になるのが、水平線上にある雲への日の入り。

観天望気、晴かそれとも強風・雨・曇か。

気象台の天気予報は「西の風 やや強く 晴れ 朝晩 くもり」。

春来となっても、冷えを感じる強風が続く。

A beautiful sunset !
It’s been a while.
The strong West-wind keeps whipping, bringing shivers.
Though Spring has come (to the island)
A small patch of clouds above the water worries me.
Weather tomorrow will be sunny? cloudy? or rainy?

~poem & photo by Eiji Nishiya, April 2010