島語り Shimagatari (2005~2014)

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Apart from the larger main islands of the archipelago, there are about 300 inhabited islands in Japan. Most of them are tiny islands with small population of few hundreds, and almost of all inhabitants are elderly people. Those remote islands used to be vibrant with many inhabitants who were engaged in fishery and trading, but the islands’ population started to decline sharply just after the period of rapid economic growth in the 60’s and 70’s, thanks to the youngers who left the islands for seeking better jobs.

I suspect that most of those islands will be deserted in the near future. I overlooked the sea, sitting on the empty beach. I believe our ancestors also overlooked the same sea, sitting on the same place. The sea never changes. Only our human life does the change, which grows, matures, and dies out as time goes by (The title Simagatari means “talking about the islands”).