bali-miyazaki connect part two!
So today I go out with Dokyu-san, a banker who has lived 30 years abroad from his native Miyazaki, including seven years in Indonesia, but has come home to look after his parents and actualy wants to live here too. He’d like to give something back to his hometown, and he is active in JICA which is a Japan-Indonesia friendship organization.
He is on fire about bringing life back into his hometown, especially wanting to get the youth involved. We hit a painting exhibition in the Miyazaki airport (yep) by a Japanese lady, Atsuko Sasaki, who has lived in Paris and Lausanne for the last 15 years. So there we are nattering away in French (me pretending to be fluent). It is kind of surreal, especially when the big Seiko clock hits the hour, and lo and behold the Japanese version of the Swiss cuckoo clock: a 2 minute rendition, complete with 4 foot moving puppets, of a traditional Miyazaki ritual music performance.
Well somehow I was so stunned I didn’t shoot it, but after seeing a pink coke machine last night, hey what is normal anyway?
Did I mention that the governor of the Miyazaki prefecture, Sonomanma Higashi, is a famous tv comedian?
well it seems he is breathing a lot of life back into the place. Dunno if he ordered the clock though…
After that we end up at Udo Shrine, where one of the emperors of Japan was (if I got the story straight) nursed by a foster mother. It is a Shinto shrine, and I have to say there a lot of souvenirs for sale, just like any other place in the world – except that there are attendants who keep a strict accounting of all contributions. And they are busy.
Lots of things to do test your luck – if you can chuck these clay pellets into a 50 centimeter hole in the rock in the sea 15 meters away you get luck etc. Strictly speaking, according to the law and effect, the lucky one is the temple, since you have to pay 100Ã‚Â¥ for 5 pellets, and men are only allowed to use their left hands (evidently left handers have an advantage here). I didn’t get lucky, and resisted the temptation to buy a tiny bag of used pellets which can also bring you luck. (Actually I might just camp out here for a couple of months and chuck pellets at that hole….). Lots of serious conversation later (Dokyu-san knows his Indonesian politics!) on the way back up the hill and thru the tunnel Dokyu-san tells me that the best quality local mangoes sell for $200 dollars a piece. I try to pretend like he has made a mistake in the exchange rate, but it doesn’t last coz I know that he is a banker, plenty savvy, and I am sure his command of the exchange rate is as good as his English, which is fluent. D..n, if that isn’t obscene enough, apparently there is certain type of melon from Hokkaido that sells for $2000 a pair. Any wonder we are chucking pellets at a hole in the rock. Who buys? People with company expense accounts, they purchase them for corporate gifts. They should send those people to Darfur for a reality check.