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A Sad Day, and Some Happy Ones

Tuesday, May 02, 2006
I'm afraid I've got to start this one out with some bad news. In all my time with Mori, on his boats, at his house, with his family - there were always his two dogs, Maru and Ron. The dogs in the Nakamura family are wonderful and a central part of the family dynamic. Maru, the little golden Daschund who needed to be tossed across the gap onto the boats but always was very eager to sit in my lap, was hit by a car and killed. It's put a damper on things, and I was looking at my pictures of Maru and decided it would be good to put up a few to remember him by.








I'll miss that dog.

It feels odd to move on just like that, but I guess that's what one does in these situations. It's been busy here, but it's also been beautiful out, and I've been taking more pictures. The warm weather means that Mori and his crew (The Circus) have been out skating in the afternoons, and I occasionally head down there to hang out and take some pictures. I was thinking - there are a lot of skate parks in a lot of places around the world, but the little park that they have built down by the water - it's probably the skate park with one of the best views in the world.


Mori.


Takenobu.


Koichi.





A couple weekends ago, I went to Hiroshima for a party - for some reason every time I go to Hiroshima, I don't take any pictures, and this time was no exception. We went to a club full of Marines, which was an interesting way to spend the evening. On Sunday morning I got up after three and a half hours of sleep and took my pounding headache back to Takehara. Rather than wait for the ferry, I had made plans to go to Ikunoshima with Mori and his sister, and along with that plan came a personal boat ride from Takehara to our destination by Mori's new boat. It was very luxurious.

Ikunoshima is a little island next to Osakikamijima, you can see it here, the island in the center is Osaki, the little calliper/pac-man shaped green island to the top right is Ikunoshima. Ikunoshima has a population between 10 and 20, and is slowly being reclaimed by nature. It is a quiet and beautiful place, and we went for a nice two hour walk. First though, check out my ride, and where we parked.


It doesn't get much better than that.

We found a couple old loaders...



...and drove them, of course.


Mine had a nice natural canopy over it.


Mori's still had a key - he gave it to me as a present, it's sitting on my desk now.

The real reason we went to Ikunoshima was to see the cherry blossoms that are overgrown and underappreciated. In front of a possibly occupied house, we found these trees.




Ron checked out all the petals blowing around on the ground.


As this is the last cherry blossoms post I'll be making, it is only fitting that I should again defeat myself in the Ben Duchac flower photography competition.


Maru - these pictures are a little sad now.


Mori's sister Hiroko and the dogs. He had a happy life, at least.


Hiroko.

Rather than walk all the way around the island, we went back to the boat and drove around to the other side. The wind was coming up and the sky was getting dark - it was looking rather ominous.


Maru has such a cheery face on though.


The town on the far side of Ikunoshima - mostly empty, the only signs of life we saw were an old blind dog who barked at our sound, and an old woman who came out and calmed the dog down.




This is my best picture of the factory island yet - it just sits out there, waiting for me.


Mori, carrying Ron past the blind dog, and making a sweet face.


Ikunoshima is where I do all my car shopping. This low-rider hatchback has easy trunk access, a rearview mirror, and a huge aftermarket sunroof.


Heading home - it's not quite the tropical lagoon that we started at, but considering this is roughly my neighborhood, it's not all bad.


Hiroko took this picture from the cabin of Mori's boat. It wasn't raining, but the pockmarks in the Plexiglas made it look kind of stormy and surreal. I liked it, so here it is. Thank you Hiroko.

I'm off to Shikoku for a road trip for the next three days. Hopefully when I get back I'll have time to catch all the way up. Stay tuned.