Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Rites of Spring

Had to run up to Matsumoto yesterday to do some errands. Luckily, the cherry blossoms on the hillsides were in full bloom.

Woke this morning to the sound of children yelling "ohayou, Ontake-san"--"Good morning Ontake!". They are part of some sort of program taking place; will have to go check it out today if I get a chance.

Later this week the village-owned forests will be closed to all but village residents, who gather edible plants there. Using communal forests is an old tradition in Japan, but one that has been difficult in Otaki due to the high value of their forests for timber, which has brought external control.

Today I'm going to be out in the village trying to meet as many people as possible. In a village of 1,000 I'm guessing that news of a foreigner living here has already passed most people's ears. So, I'd better get my face out there so people can start figuring out just what the hell I am doing.


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