HOUSE SALVAGE ON SUO-OSHIMA - YAMAGUCHI KEN - SOUTH JAPAN
The current property tax increase encourages Farmer's families to dismantle their magnificent heritage: the traditional farm houses peopling Japan country side.
In this country, where ghosts are never too fare, I experienced that day a world aside my own, were spirits carried on their life and labor, protecting the world who was once theirs.
After a quick and delicious Soba lunch in a near-by local restaurant (address bottom page) we started our house hunting.
Entering this spirited houses, I stargaze at the old chimney covered in tallow, its pungent smell mixing with my dream: the vision of a large earthenware pot boiling on its hashes, the sweet white rice perfum mixing with the acrid scent of spilled vinegar from the dusty, overturned pickle pot stored on the wooden shelf above the sink. the re-insuring sound of a kettle boiling above the Irori, while the soft dimmed light from the wooden louvers wrapped the room in a ghostly halo as if the family would soon return from their Mikan orchard (Suo-Oshima Oranges) to sit on the once freshly weaved tatami floor. Their past mixing with my present, I wander through this abandoned places, as if everything could come to life again.
A life made of labor, domestic pain and joy, cemented by simple objects now abandoned, orphans, scattered around as the only soul witnesses of human's grandeur.
Several decades ago, death might have knock on this doors, peasants had opened, leaving only this few useful things and the fading memories of those who had known them.
That day, I don't remember where exactly, the coral pendant i wore around my neck was ripped. I realized it much later but it was like an invisible hand had snatched the precious stone as an act of revenge as we scavenged through the remains of the dead, disturbing the peacefulness of this abandoned places. I did not want to pick-up anything myself as I felt family of ghosts around me and lives in parallel...
Driving back with Takashi san, I would still fee the souls of the elderly, grazing my hands, pointing at the vacuity of LIFE - Our lives, made of tiny moments of preoccupations, fears and infinite hopes, doomed to emptiness.
ADDRESS / KUKAHIROBA Local restaurant / SOBA NOODLE & TEMPURA
4177-1 Kuka Suooshima-cho, Oshima-gun, Yamaguchi ken
Open at 11.30 until late