Spreading the charms of Japan to the world from Fukui



"Kyokuyako" written by Yusuke Kakuhata



I read the "Kyokuyako" written by Yusuke Kakuhata, a non-fiction writer and an explorer.



In the Arctic Circle, there is a period called polar night that the sun doesn't rise for many days. This book describes his travel with a dog in the dark for eighty days in detail. He traveled without a sponsor and GPS.


In a TV program, Kakuhata once said, "I feel that adventures and explorations are similar to pilgrimages in religion." "Maybe I want to relive experiences of ancient hunting people." When he said these, his straight eye seemed to have a subtle fear, which might be an awe of nature.


For someone like me who are blessed with the sun for granted every day, the lonely darkness for months was far beyond my understanding. But Kakuhata's clear vocabulary, sensitive depictions of scenes and realistic mental sceneries made me feel fulfillment as if I traveled together with him. His exploration itself was not only stoic, but there were several funny episodes, and he even wrote embarrassing information honestly, which was graceful. While reading the book, I experienced a strange feeling that my main purpose of life is the "exploration" in the book, and other everyday things seemed footnotes to me.


Following are excerpts from the book.
"The dog has quickly become debilitated due to reduced feed and moving along at once.
Although it is a dog breed that is resistant to cold weather, it did heavy labor as low as minus 30 degrees C. Its ribs stood out, around its waist got thin, muscles around legs to buttocks were lost entirely. Every time I check it while petting its whole body, I pitied it and I was near to tears."


As for the descriptions of the dog, it has been like a little dispassionate. But when I read this part at last, I really felt relief because I found that he also had a caring kind side. Meanwhile, Kakuhata tweeted the other day, "I swallowed a gastric camera for the first time. It was painful." I thought he is actually an ordinary person.


Next, I will read another book by him, "Uncharted five miles", which is the records about that Kakuhata challenged world's biggest Tsangpo Grand Canyon in Tibet. His writing is very interesting, so I want to read from one to the next, which is highly addictive. (H.S)


Dog training for next travel to the Arctic Circle
The rightmost dog is the one traveled with Kakuhata
(The photo is from Kakuhata's Twitter @kakuhatayusuke)


Kakuhata is making a new sledge.
(The photo is from Kakuhata's Twitter @kakuhatayusuke)


[Video] Interview with Yusuke Kakuhata, explorer-Challenge to polar night- (including video clips that Kakuhata himself shot) (11'44")