PROLOGUE 2 : Good bye, WADATSUMI / He and a little witch of Tokyo Bay

 *****

 She was not fine. Really was not fine. She was about to try to sigh unintentionally, but,

 “Oops!”

 Because noticed droppings of a seagull on the bridge railing, she moved backward a few steps. But just the moment, got surprised by a bicycle which was ringing a bell and passed through just behind, and at the same moment, noticed the awful possibility that sleeves of a school uniform shirt had been polluted by the gift of the bird. However, fortunately, it had not happened. So, her attention was made face to the river again slowly.

 She was blankly looking over the surface of the water putting her chin on the palms and putting the elbows on the bridge railing. Only water buses were passing one after another on the golden shining road. Though the water itself was mud green containing blackish gray like fragments of rusty metals still yet, that surface was reflecting the afternoon sunshine beautifully and powerfully. She let the eyes narrow against the vast golden mirror. It was dazzling, dazzling, dazzling…, 

 Counting from the river mouth, the fourth is this Eitai bridge. If you look over the estuary area from here, you will notice that the landform which looked to be stabbing the mainstream is dividing the river to unequally two-forked. That is Tsukuda area. Tokyo continues to raise this area based on the half man-made island using the rocky shore and the sandbank in the middle of the river since the Edo era.

 At the beginning period of the Edo era, some fisherman who had lived in Kinai Settsu of Osaka was awarded fishing-right of this place by the Tokugawa shogunate and they had immigrated into and gained flourish here. They mainly used the sandbank for their job and life place. Contrary to that, the rock place had been used for many purposes such as a rehabilitation facility for outlaws, or the first modern shipyard in Japan.

 Over time, by filling in the canals between them, gradually these islands became connected. From before to after World War 2 this place covering the islands prospered in the two faces, as the modern industrialized area and as the one of traditional Shitamachi area in Tokyo. And nowadays it is lively riding on the wave of redevelopment. Constructing luxurious tower-type apartments is very popular, and two subway lines are going through under our feet, and of course, there are many bridges as gates to the other cities of Tokyo, so the convenience of this place is increasing more and more. Because of so easiness in access to around, nowadays, a chance when people recall the original landform naturally becomes few on daily lives. Almost all people may be feeling that the land seems as if a part of an ordinary reclaimed area in the inner of Tokyo Bay.

 But, having said so, this place is an island after all. Especially the view from the Eitai bridge makes us feel this truth. Seeing from here, the north edge of the island called Shin-Okawabata looks perfectly surrounded by the water. And, in the daytime, certainly, the high-rises like a forest of meta-sequoias made of concrete decorate the town with themselves and are showing this area as a clean and peaceful future city. But, contrary to that, in the night time, the pure black shadows of the towers swallow everything into the darkness and show the entire island itself like an isolated military fortress floating on the vast ocean.

 A big working boat passed through beneath her, the breeze containing a faint smell like a rotten egg licked her face. She unconsciously frowned and got conscious of the real world again.

 Now the dark red afternoon sun was starting to let her know that the time would be coming again. The night is coming close again. That time when she has to make an effort to get free from all things coming from the dark world, it is approaching again.

 After a while, she sighed deeply. No longer, couldn’t watch anything, couldn’t hear anything. These days, she was feeling like that she herself had become empty. Especially in this hour.

  (Is this a slump?)

  She asked herself so, but,

  (No, of course, it’s not.)

 Laughing at herself, she blew the serious word away at once from her own brain. Yes, indeed. Such a word seemed too serious.

  (Of course, I don’t think I’m drawing masterpieces…,)

  But, was it true? That had been not the precious time for herself? When thinking about the true meaning of that hour or that working, she really,

  (Can I say so?)

 She made the question to herself who had been living and drawing in the past. Yes. It’s true. Certainly, she had been making the works with carefree, freely, optimistically, without thinking difficult problems. But, in fact,

  (Probably, those were so important…,)

 She tried to recall how conditions she herself had been in these times of last year or two years ago. And recalled it. Certainly, she had been able to watch something until almost this period of last year and had been able to feel something vividly overflowing from her mind.

 But. Then…, how long time passed since she lost it? Why she lost it? In the first place, the thing she believed watching at was what? What she was believing in?

 At the corner of the sight of view, she saw a big fish jumped once on the water surface. Lighted by the sunset the body covered with white scales had shone in glitter orange.

 The night was coming close again.

Ⓒ 2016 Takagi Tokio

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