Thoughts on Daisen in the summer of 2015 鳥取県大山町

The original article is written for a local newspaper. However it didn’t get proper translated and tons of my emotion got shrink down to a simple description of Daisen. It’s a pitty that I can not share my true feeling that’s why I’m posting it here.

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Hello everyone, this is Xue, a Northeastern Chinese girl in her late 20s who has been exploring southern Japan for about half a year since March of 2015. I’m a freelance graphic designer and have been fond of Japanese design and its aesthetics since I was in high school. Because of this intense love to design and the urge to solve my mysterious love to this country, Japan has always been my No.1 travel destination.

My love relationship with Daisen-cho started this March. I had my first intimate contact with nature by walking alone in a heavy snowstorm. There were absolutely no living creatures around me. I was surrounded only by the strong wind that tried to blow me away, and the endless snow that tried to blind me. I bought a bag of senbei on my way back, and devoured them all in order to combat with the coldness and the scary sense of silence I felt by facing wild mountain alone. The concept of time disappeared, so did my own existence. The sound of strong wind, my own breathing and the pure white world all made me feel enlightened somehow. It’s quite an experience for me, for a girl who’s stuck in a city and never had the experience of living with nature. This was the first time I was truly touched by nature. And I knew I wanted more of this.

So I came back here again and again. I moved in to the newly opened sharehouse Nomadoma and proudly became the sixth member. I lived in Nomadoma for the entire May and July and will stay another month until I used up all my visa allowance.

This is how much I enjoy Daisen-cho. It really feels like my second home. The expression of “ただいま” is what I have when I come back to Daisencho each time.

Daisen people has taught me the spirit of sharing and loving. As Nogawa-san said: “we love people.” Yes, I can surely approve this. Everyone is super welcoming and uplifting. The positive and friendly energy circulates around this area. My heart feels really warm by staying here. I tried my first hands-on experience of tofu-making with Endo-san; saw the whole process of ketchup-making with Kojima-san; had my first fishing experience with Takami-san; spent lots of dinner times with different groups of families and neighbours. Food never disappoints me as it’s impossible to find someone who’s bad at cooking in here. Language is never a strong barrier although I wish I could speak more Japanese to have deeper conversation without bothering my friends to translate for me. Occasionally local farmers bring their veggies and fruits to Nomadoma. Neighbours greet us and bring super yummy homemade food as well. The generosity of Daisen people influenced me and made me want to become a person who love to share and care as well.

Speaking of nature, Daisen-cho is amazing by having the mountain and the sea so close to each other and so easy to reach. I still can’t believe that on my way to grocery shops I can easily pass by the seashore under fifteen minutes with my bicycle. It’s a luxurious thing to do compared to my city life. Mt.Daisen is no further neither. Daisen-cho is filled with green and blue. The infinite rice fields, the singing of the frogs and cicada, the soothing sound of running river, the summer breeze, the refreshing rain, the glorious cloud at sunset and so much more this land are capable to offer. These all helped me finding my inner peace and let me really concentrate on my work. The creative juice keeps flowing and I picked up my drawing and reading habits again which I gave up for quite a few years. I do believe in the power of nature and love now because I saw how much I’ve changed inside and out.

We should never take nature for granted. Its beauty and holiness have the power to heal our body, mind and soul. This is real natural remedy and we as human beings should always be grateful for the nature’s grace. I cannot express how lucky and blessed to live here, to meet everyone here, although I’ve only been here for less than four months.

The only thing that I’m not getting along so well in Daisen-cho is the insects. However, this has trained me to have a higher tolerance for them. From screaming to ignoring, now my nerves can stand much worse surprise compared to before. So far I’ve encountered two kinds of centipedes, various sizes of spiders, gigantic cockroaches, groups of dragonflies, beautiful butterflies and metallic beetles which I’ve only seen in fancy colour-printed books. What’s more, for the first time in my life I saw fireflies. Thanks to these little creatures, my knowledge of insects is expanding day by day.

I’d like to thank Jeremy-san who introduced me about Daisen-cho at first place. And also, Jeremy’s wife shiho-san who introduced so many of her friends to me and enlarged my social circles and life experiences as well. Thanks to my Nomadoma family for the happy times and to everyone I meet in Daisen-cho.

Cheers for all the great memories and there will be more to have.


2015. 07.28