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Rice Photo Gallery III  

Kazuko Tomiyama's 'Rice in Japan' Calendar (2004)

Land of the Urashima legend

(Tango Town, Kyoto Prefecture)

When I wrote that Kyoto Culture was Japan Sea Culture, people wondered what I meant. I discussed this equation in the "Cultural History of Water," a series of articles carried by Bungei Shunju in 1979. Since then, the Japan Sea has occupied a special place in my thoughts. If you stand there at the tip of the Tango Peninsula, it stirs up thoughts about the land that lies over the sea. 

Long ago, people bearing rice, tools, and technology landed here and created paddy fields: a great adventure pursued since the dawn of rice growing on the Asian mainland. Besides the flights of terraced fields and many tombs that fill the Tango Peninsula, iron-making and legends also flourished. Just think: 70% of the burial mounds in Kyoto Prefecture are clustered here. Ine Town is associated with legends of both Urashima and Jofuku. 

Three years ago, during the Urashima Forum, farmers, foresters, and fisherfolk all came together and, committed to leaving this beautiful sea to coming generations, discussed how best to conduct and conserve their livelihoods.

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