つれづれの記

Traditional Responses

I received letters from elementary and middle school students in Isa, Kagoshima. That’s where I sent 10 years of my life, from 3rd through 12th grade.

At the end of last year, or maybe the beginning of this one, a city employee asked if they could put a copy of my sketch book into each elementary and middle school library.

I was honored by the request, but wondered whether it was a good use of precious city money. So instead, as a donation from our company, we sent them the required number of books.

And for that, just the other day, I just received letters, pictures and drawings from the children of each school. Everyone worked so hard at writing the letters that I want to thank them all instead.

It was my good fortune to have spent my youth in such a nature rich town.

Even though it was 30 years ago, I can easily remember waking up at 4 in the morning in the summer to catch beetles with my friends fishing in the river and diving in to spear fish, and my grandfather taking me to gather bracken in the mountains. I clearly remember, as if it was my first time seeing it, that I was a bit nervous on my way to school on my first day after transferring schools and that I saw a lot of frogs among the lazily floating water plants in the irrigation channel that ran beside the road.

Even now, the smell of lumber as I pass in front of a lumber mill brings back memories of that time. Did we have a lumber yard? I don’t think so…

The smell of a campfire also brings back those memories. I’m not sure why.

My parents have moved and it has been a long time since I’ve had the chance to go back. But I’ll always have a special place for it in my heart.

2013.10.31

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