Teshima museum will be at the right edge 豊島美術館が右手に…

This September we had the opportunity to attend a symposium in New York and heard a report by a British sociology scholar about an art project on these islands, that is revitalizing the population of these islands in the Seto Inland sea. Also one of our friends strongly recommended that we go and see the art work there. So today we are here to see how the art program is increasing activity on the island, but we were not convinced …. the island is very remote from the main island cities of Osaka or Kobe and Shikoku island ( the 4th largest island in Japan). There are several ferry services to access these islands but there are not so many trips each day. If you miss one you have to wait another 2 hours. We got up 5:00 and got a car ride from our friends in Shikoku and a rapid boat to arrive at Teshima at 10:00.

9月にニューヨークであったシンポジウムでイギリスの社会学研究者が新しいアートのあり方として瀬戸内海の島々での町おこしをレポートをしていた。そのうえ、 アート好きの友人達から、たいそう良いからぜひ行けと薦められていた。それで今日、豊島と直島を訪れている。アートで町おこしというのが信じられなくて、それを確かめに来た。ここへは本州や四国からでさえ、気軽にはこられない。島へは幾つか航路があるが、いずれも一日に数本しかない。5時起きをして、友人の出してくれた車と高速艇を乗り継ぎ、最初の豊島にたどり着いたのは10時だった。

It seems very difficult to visit one of the another islands today, although we had wanted to visit all three “art” islands including Naoshima and Inushima. At Teshima there was a bus waiting for us at the pier when we arrived but the return bus service is only every 2 hours.  Even so there are many young people waiting at the museum and the pier. They use an electrical bicycle system that is run by the town, it is a great way to get around- the island is hilly and everyone was commenting on how easy it was to use the bicycles, also the art installations are located over the entire island. We soon gave up on the idea of having a sit down lunch and had sandwiches + wine on the foot path of a rice field looking down on the Teshima Art Museum, a picnic with a wonderful view.

This project has been well published overseas so that even at the end of November there were several Europeans there. Another friend who came to the last  summer art festival in Naoshima (held every 3 years) said that the streets were packed by visitors. Every three years is a small point in time for the life of the islands, we wonder how the festival can change the social, cultural and economic lives of the residents, we wanted to see the impact in reality of this program to raise those activities.


アートプロジェクトのことは海外でも報じられているらしく、外国人、特に、ヨーロッパから来た人がちらほら見えた。別 の友人の話によると、前回の芸術祭(3年ごと)の時は道を歩けないほど人で一杯だったそうだ。でも、3年というピンポイントのイベントが、この地域に住む人々の生活に文化的、社会的、経済的な影響をするものだろうかと思う。実際にどのようにして?

Today, at the end of the day of a beautiful long ているweekend autumn holiday we still cannot believe that this small number of visitors will work to enhance the life on the islands. Next week one ferry service will stop connecting with the mainland. Naoshima started this art program a decade ago and Teshima is just getting established, so hopefully their promotion will gradually bring more people. We got on board the 5:00 ferry to return to Shikoku. If you miss this ferry you have to stay on the island, not sure a bad idea….

秋晴れの下、今日は連休最後日。来週からアクセスする航路の一便が減る のだそう。直島がアートで知られるようになったのは10年前、豊島では今始まったばかりだから、まだまだこれからなのだろう。帰りは直島5時発の最終便に間に合った。これを逃すと、その日のうちに家にはたどり着けない。それも悪くないか?




Shikoku Island by bike 阿波の南へ


A year ago we posted about our short trips around a small town on Shikoku island in Japan. This year we took a couple of hours ride to a small peninsula on the Pacific Ocean in the opposite direction from our last trip. It is very tiny road that has thousands of  zigzags along the shore line. Only this one tiny road goes around the shore and periodically there is a retaining wall. The fact that the area is not easy to access keeps it from being exposed or over populated. It was so quiet and peaceful. We hardly saw anyone to ask where we were. As we imagined, as the road followed the ups and downs of the coast and sloped with every corner so that it was too tiring to finish the trip we had originally planed. We reached just ¼ of the full route of our destination, the tip of the peninsula. This infrastructure has been protecting just a few houses and tiny tiny farms up to the tip of the peninsula but with a huge construction cost. There is a lot of conversation about the possibility of a huge earthquake in this area. They say without doubt one of a similar size to that which hit Tohoku 2 yeas ago will come within the next 30 years.  At that time, the wall which wraps the shore line may not be tall enough to work. Let’s go home now before the rain hits and think about it later.

1年前、南四国にある小さな町の周りを自転車で尋ねた旅をここに載せた。今年はその反対側、小さな半島のある海側へ向かった。といってもその町から半島の付け根まで自転車で半時間あまり。とても小さい半島だけれど、子半島、孫半島で数え切れないほどの湾ができている。この辺から室戸までは南阿波と呼ばたりする。その海岸線に沿って、細い幾重にも綴れた道が一本だけ通っている。車で県庁まで1時間だけれど、 このアクセスの大変さがこの地域を人目をから隠しているのだろう。とても静かだ。僕らがどこにいるのか誰かに聞きこうとしたが、誰にも会わない。綴れごとに出くわす坂で、案の定疲れてしまった。目的地の半島の先端まで、まだ残る4分の3の道のり、直ものさしで計ったら付け根から一キロも来ていない。海岸線に沿う擁壁は南海地震の後で作られたのだろうか?全海岸線を包んでいる壁で数十年間守ってきたのは猫の額のような農地と数件の農家。この擁壁の無かった太古の海岸線を想像してみる。ほんのちょっと前までそういう景色が広がっていたんだ。この30年内には東北を襲った地震と同じサイズの大地震が間違いなく来るらしい。おそらくその時は、この擁壁も役に立たないだろう。ここまで考えたら空がますます怪しくなってきた。今は帰路を急ごう。後で考えても間に合うだろう。