Hayama – the town

Various thoughts regarding the community

As I wrote under My way to Japan I came to Japan when I was 22 years old young. Today I am 66 years old. That means, I have spent two thirds of my life in Japan.

And among those 43 years I have lived in Hayama for more than 30 years (do not remember the exact number) now. Maybe that is why I call this place “home”, even though it is not my ‘ancestral home’.

My favorite author during puberty, Hermann Hesse, wrote in one of his works “home is not any specific geographic region, but rather the place where your heart feels at home“.

After I came to Japan: I lived (a few weeks) in Tokyo -> next (about 3 years) in Kamakura -> followed by (about 5 years) Taura -> and finally by now for about 33 years in Hayama (where we moved 3 times). I have been living here so long, that even though I am definitely a foreigner, I sometimes consider myself a “local resident”. As such, tourists or people who recently moved to Hayama always strike me as “strangers”.

Little guardian deities quietly – other than the noisy outsiders – watch over the community.
I really wish, the Japanese people could regain a little of this QUIET attitude.
The trend of the time demands that everything has to be quick and easy. Taking your time seems to give the impression of “loosing” something. These little stone deities are not in a hurry and might be still here in 500 years. Not like the fashionable crazes that drive people mad.
Erich Fromm:
“Modern man thinks he loses something – time – when he does not do things quickly.
Yet he does not know what to do with the time he gains — except kill it.”
The sunset, a torii, pine trees, the ocean … all my favorite things are right here.
希望があるとしたら・・・ 私は「戸締り」が嫌い。出来ればそのような門を何時までも空いている事にして欲しい。
命 - どの命も - それは人間が作った / 造れるものではない!。





The “veranda” of a Japanese house

しかし、最近の町並みはそのような役割を果たしていないような気がします。「並」は「個人主義」の「(津)波」に飲み込まれ、立ち並んでいる家、特に最近出来ている物はどこの時代や文化圏が由来かが不明で、本来開放感や通気性を確保するための大きな窓はどちらかと言うと要塞の「狭間」か「銃眼」に似て来ました。開け閉めは出来ないものは「羽目殺し」と言い、窓が殺されました。 日本の長い歴史を通じてこの国の気候1)に合う建築、そしてそれを支えてきた世界最高峰の技術を持っていた日本の大工さんは何処風が分からない、技術を要しないプラスチック素材組み立て式の犠牲となってしまった。 


英語では自分の故郷を無くしたことはいかにも “uprooted” (根が堀起こされた)と言う。偶然か。