Spreading the charms of Japan to the world from Fukui



"Subarushima" written by Eiichi Ikegami



"Subaru" means gathering, and integrating together. "Shima" means an island.


The writer Eiichi Ikegami raised in Ishigaki Island, Okinawa Prefecture. He is well known for his popular novel "Tempest." The "Subarushima" consists of eight short stories written about each of the eight islands of Okinawa called Yaeyama Islands. All the stories were witty and very interesting, but in particular the story "Iriomote Island" left a deep impression.


I have been to the Iriomote Island three times. The story depicted vividly the island's atmosphere such as the nature like in ancient times, the strong smell of grass in the mountains and the high humidity. So it made me feel like I was in the island again. The storyline beyond my imagination and the depiction of the primitive instinct as male and female were shocking.


Below is from the story's beginning and ending:
-Iriomote Island called "The roof of Yaeyama Islands" is an unexplored region in the southern sea. It is the largest island among the Yaeyama Islands and inhospitable. The high and steep mountains' surfaces always wear cloud veils, so it is impossible to see the whole picture. There are higher mountains than ones in Iriomote Island all over the world. But the mountains in the island are characterized not by their height but by their depth. What you look up at the entrance now is just the tip of the iceberg. As soon as you step inside the mountains and you are in a rainforest that even a compass doesn't work.


Some young men in mountaineering equipment piled off a boat. A middle-aged man approached them and said, "I study in a lab of this island. Are you, by any chance, going to camp in the mountains?"


The mountains cover over original sin and grow thickly today.-


A mangrove forest and sands of Urauchi River. Nature that doesn't seem like in Japan spreads out.


When I trekked the jungle toward Kampiree Falls, some parts of the trail had become a stream.


About an hour later, finally I arrived at the Kampiree Falls. Kampiree means "place of a god". Although there wasn't that much of height difference, it looked indescribable godly.