Somewhere in the beginning of May
 Fumika asked me casually in the evening, whether it would be a
good idea to write a number of stories and to bring them together
around Sakawa, our future municipality.
It's seldom, that Fumika talks inconsiderate. On the other hand I am doing that systematically. It is my experience that it's good to listen, when my love puts something forward.
Most of the foreigners in Japan [have to] work hard to live. There aren't so many of them, who can harvest like you, being able to buy land, can allow himself an architect and have a large, free-standing house built. Much space inside and outside is rare for Japanese. Our narrative probably is captivating to read. Furthermore, I think, that many Japanese make fantasies about healthy living outside the large cities, thus is Fumika's reasoning. I never had realized this. She had a 'point'.
I had done some writings previously in
the last 1 ½ year: about 17 short stories in the Dutch
language and over-half translated into English, 3 project-proposals,
2 book-reviews and a 23 pages long sketch about wine-in-Japan. Most
There is more to come.
Early 2005 I bought a number of
neglected, terraced rice-fields and a connected, wooded, about 80
meters high hill[mountain-] slope, in Tosa Kamo [Sakawa] under the
conditions, that a four meter broad road on the property would be
constructed and that a part of the agricultural destination would be
changed in favor of our new still to be designed and constructed
house. In August of that year the road was ready and the ambulance
and the firemen could come to rescue us in case of an emergency. A
larger part than we needed was destined for our house. Everything
went fast. The ground-broker confirmed that with the
explaining footnote, that he knows a lot of provincial politicians.
The notary marked the property documents full with hanko, the one of the broker, both of ours and of his. Some months before I ordered with capable help a beautiful, official registered, rectangular hanko, which we kept in a bank-vault. A bank-employee arrived sharp on the very second at the appointed time to bring many banknotes: cash down. The notes were counted carefully and quietly and voilà the transfer took place.
The reason to immigrate into Japan and to turn our back up on our recently acquired Garden-Of-Eden in the east of the Netherlands, our motivated and enervating research-travel for a plot in Japan in combination with our intensive learning-process, our very first unsteady steps to make something beautiful from a complete wasteland for the small rest of our lives, which would still be granted to us: about all that could be written something. NARRO, ERGO SUMMUS.
I wrote keywords on the blank backside of a large calendar-sheet, Fumika supplemented, many small 'ingredients' that came into memory spontaneously and before I realized it myself, I already was writing about a breathtaking discovery Fumika made these days.
The story about several sorts of toiling wrote itself by the way, probably because our dismay still was fresh. Already there was no way back anymore.
In 1982 I started to make long and slow travels with a much too heavy rucksack full of books, mainly riding on Shanks' mare, in order to make a reconnaissance in Japan. I never fantasized ever to live there, let alone to marry a Japanese. One can reproach me with a lack of fantasy, a blame, which I don't share with anybody. Looking back everything fits together beautifully.
Our narrative is surely not meant as a
veni vidi vici, but rather as a monogatari of the entertaining, human
and informative sort. Globally it starts around December 2004 with
our search for Japanese ground. The monogatari however is not
constructed chronological and starts on Mother day 2006. The simple
reason is an attractive readability! small jumps-in-time are also a
With cogent reasons I requested Teruaki Uchino, our architect [out of thousands], to write an extended chapter without any [self]censorship. In the end he is one of the main-actors and his view on matters only can enrich.
Writing as such is and was a great pleasure and reading should be that also in the first place. A Dutch rendering came into existence spontaneously. As vehicle the Japanese-and English languages are obvious.
Fumika I dedicate this book to you, of course.
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