Dialogue

    Text Archive:Kinan Chemistry vol.3. Along the Road: Social and Cultural Change through Mobility (Part 2)

    This is part 2 of the text archive for the online talk session “Kinan Chemistry vol.3” held on Aug. 28, 2021.

    The theme of the session is the concept of a “road.” What kind of changes have been brought to society and culture by walking and moving along roads, including Kumano Kodo and other paths around the world. From the varied perspectives of a sociologist who has a deep knowledge of ”street” related contemporary art and two Kumano Kodo guides, we dig deep into what a “road” means to us.

    Click here for the part 1
    https://kinan-art.jp/en/?post_type=info&p=5303

    Click here for the video archive
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pE9UFWr5uKY&t=2s

    Along the Road: Social and Cultural Change through Mobility (Part 2)

    【4】 How to disseminate information

    Miyazu:
    From social networking sites to blogs and picture maps, Ms. Ueno and Ms. Sakamoto have used a variety of methods to introduce the Kumano Kodo and other paths. First of all, we would like to ask Ms. Ueno, “Why did you start to introduce the charm of the road with picture maps?”. Also, can you tell us about the key points when making your picture maps, and any difficulties you had when making them?

    Why draw a picture map?

    (Our Kii Katsuura Station Stroll Map Image)

    Ms. Ueno:
    First of all, let’s start with the question: “Why did I choose a pictorial map as a medium to communicate our attractions?” I’ll tell you why.

    Originally, I used to send out information in the form of photos and texts. But I had a habit that the more things I wanted to tell, the longer the text would be. When I started to feel that I had reached the limit of what I could introduce in writing, I happened to have a chance to see the work of a friend of mine who is an illustrated map artist. Just by looking at the picture maps drawn by my friend, I was fascinated by them and decided to start studying picture maps on my own. It was difficult at first, but now I am able to get work as a picture map artist.

    One of the most important things I do is to emphasise the parts that impressed me and the parts that were difficult. When I used to send out information using photos and text, I would try to cram in all sorts of things, and the text would become too long. But with a pictorial map, I can express any kind of content without hiding it. For example, at first glance, the information that “there is only a 2km stretch of empty road on the national highway” might not be necessary for someone who wants to go on a walking trip. However, there are sections of the road where you can enjoy spectacular views and places where you can find delicious food, so all together, the road can be seen as a “space for  movement”. I think that the charm of an illustrated map is that I can express sparingly the parts of the map that I have lost in my writing, and convey everything as it is.

    The picture map that is currently on the screen also contains text. You can include a sentence saying “This place is amazing!” or just a picture without any text, so I think that the picture map is a flexible way to express what I feel.

    Miyazu:
    Ueno’s pictorial map is a true bird’s eye view, but I’m curious about how you actually produce it. Do you take drone photos of each area, or do you look at the landscape from above?

    Ms.Ueno:
    Eventually I’d like to fly a drone myself, but I’m not quite there yet. At the moment, I’m working from my favourite topographic map, 1:25,000. The slope angles of the terrain are calculated from this topographical map.

    Miyazu:
    I see. So you combine the landscape you actually saw with your own eyes and the topographical map in your mind? In that sense, I feel that your picture maps are created using a “drone in your brain”.

    Ms. Ueno:
    Brain drone, that’s a very good word!

    To be honest, even if I have never been to a place, I can imagine and draw it to some extent by looking at a topographical map. But when I draw a picture map, I have a policy that I don’t want to draw a place unless I have actually walked through it myself. That’s why most of the places I’ve drawn are places I’ve actually walked myself.

    Daily life on the blog

    Miyazu:
    We would like to know what kind of points you focus on to introduce the charm of Kumano Kodo through your SNS and blog.

    Ms. Sakamoto:
    Like Ms Ueno, I also write articles based on my own experiences. There is a lot of information on the internet and it is easily accessible, but when it comes to Kumano Kodo, there are quite a few blogs that are written by people who have not actually walked it. This is immediately apparent to those who walk the Kumano Kodo on a regular basis. Some of the blogs still contain outdated information, which I think is very unfriendly for people who want to walk Kumano Kodo in the future. That is why I want to write what I see, in a way that is not false. The content of the blog is mainly based on articles I have written about my trips and walks to different places. In the future I would like to gradually include information about accommodation and restaurants.

    At the moment I live in Hongu town, Tanabe City, and I believe that being in the middle of the Kii Peninsula also means that it is “easy to get to all the places in the Kii Peninsula”. In that sense, I think I am in the best place to update information not only about the Kumano Kodo but also about other places in the Kii Peninsula.

    Miyazu:
    Were the photos used in the blog posts taken by Ms. Sakamoto?

    Ms. Sakamoto:
    Basically, I take my own photos. Sometimes I ask people I meet along the way to take a photo of me and my husband together. We don’t go out of our way to interview people and photograph them, we just photograph the scenery as we walk along the road, walk, eat, and walk again. There are a lot of professional photographers out there, so I leave the job of taking beautiful pictures to the professionals, while I myself want to capture the real travel experience.

    Source: Konomi Sakamoto, “Again! I’m walking from Kyoto to Kumano” November20,2020, Kumano Log|The pilgrimage routes of the Kii Peninsula and information website for walkers)

    Miyazu:
    Does this mean that you take “natural photos” that show more of the journey than pretty pictures?

    Ms. Sakamoto:
    Yes, I do . You can think of them as travel photos. For my part, I think it’s more interesting to include people in the photos, so from time to time I include photos of my husband  and I in the articles.

    Source: Konomi Sakamoto, “Iseji & Ohechi 300km Journey Begins” February27,2020, Kumano Log|Kii Peninsula Pilgrimage Routes and Information Site for Walkers)

    Miyazu:
    In this photo, you see two people who look like travellers in the Heian period. Is this a kind of rental costume?

    Ms. Sakamoto:
    There is a costume rental shop called Kumashiroya* near the Kumano Hongu Taisha Shrine. We spent about three weeks walking the Iseji and when we came back to Hongu, we both changed into Heian costumes together. The rickshaw was pulled by a rickshaw driver *6 called Miki Kitahara* of the Ise-based “Rickshaw Nijiiro”, and we arrived at our goal, “Oyunohara*”.

    ※6 A person who pulls a rickshaw for a living.

    Shinya Takeuchi,, “How far does a rickshaw driver in Asakusa walk in a day? comparison with a Softbank salesman” September19,2018, Softbank News

    ※Reference Kumashiroya
    ※Reference Rickshaw Nijiro
    ※Reference: Oyu-no-hara (Wakayama Sightseeing: Wakayama Prefecture Official Tourist Site)

    Kumano Hongu Taisha old shrine site “Osaibara” (Kumano Hongu Tourist Association)

    Source: Konomi Sakamoto, “Iseji & Ohechi300km Journey Begins”February27,2020, Kumano Log|Kii Peninsula Pilgrimage Routes and Information Site for Walkers)

    Miyazu:
    Here’s a photo of the two of you and your husband on a rickshaw ride to Oyunohara.

    Ms. Sakamoto:
    In fact, at that time, I still didn’t think I would marry my husband, or even go out with him.

    Miyazu:
    I see! This is just the kind of event that foreshadows the future (laughs).

    Ms. Sakamoto:
    I think it’s really strange (laughs)

    Miyazu:
    What was it like to wear the Heian costume, even though you had to rent it?

    Ms. Sakamoto:
    In fact, this Heian costume was not a costume for walking. I wore a red kimono, but originally you walk in a white costume. Visiting Kumano, the holy land, is truly a journey of resurrection, so we would not normally wear clothes in gorgeous colours.

    Incidentally, in the olden days, people used to walk around wearing two pairs of Waraji, straw sandals every day. This is also the origin of the phrase “Nisoku Sanmon(二束三文)”. But I don’t think you can walk on waraji (laughs).

    What will you draw on your picture map?

    Miyazu:
    Looking at the pictorial maps and blogs that Ms.Ueno and Ms.Sakamoto usually send out, the two talked about the key points, difficulties and pleasures of sending out information.

    Professor Mouri, can you talk about media theory, or “landscape theory”, such as landscapes and taking photographs?

    Mr. Mouri:
    When I first saw Ms. Ueno’s picture maps, I thought they were very beautiful and interesting. . I think that a map is essentially “something that doesn’t have a fixed point from which to read”, and perhaps the person who draws it doesn’t have a fixed point from which to draw it either. Ueno’s style is one of painting what she wants to paint, of intense experiences, and not of deciding on a starting point and then painting a series of destinations or transit points. I think the reason why Ms.Ueno is able to work in this way is because she is “accessing her memory” in a different way to when she draws ordinary maps. Rather than recalling something in order from the front, he randomly accesses the “memory” of the place she wants to draw. I felt that I was making a pictorial map of the place I wanted to draw by combining the information that emerged as “memory”.

    Ms. Ueno:
    That’s exactly what you’re saying. The beauty of an illustrated map is that you can randomly put any place you want into the map and draw it, and your idea really resonated with me. I’m not the type of person who can summarise the information I want to convey well, but I think that this quality suits me better when I express it in the form of a picture map.

    As Prof. Mouri says, a map is “something that can be seen by many people from any point of view they like, with no fixed place to read it from”. Actually, when I make a picture map, I tend to try to cram a lot of information into the available space. At some point I began to wonder, “Isn’t it possible that people who see the picture maps can’t enjoy them in their own way? That’s why I’ve been making a series of colouring maps to give people more freedom of imagination. It is a black and white map, without any colouring. I hope that people will enjoy this picture map with freedom, where they can paint it with their own colours or write their own comments.

    I also want to show people in my picture maps who are moved and who are enjoying themselves. In fact, I used to draw character illustrations in my pictorial maps, but people said to me, “You draw people too habitually” (laughs).  Apparently I have a habit of drawing people’s faces realistically, and people said something like “I can’t help but notice the expressions on people’s faces”. That’s why I don’t draw too many people now, I just let them express their emotions through the postcards.

    Mr. Mouri:
    The good thing about maps is that at a glance, you can immediately see a lot of information. But in reality, I think it’s difficult to “capture space as well as a bird’s eye view”.

    Ms. Ueno:
    “Picture maps are a way of expressing my desire to draw this and that without words. However, when I review my work a month later, I see it from a completely different perspective to when I was actually drawing it. Naturally, I give 100% when I first draw it, so I never regret what I have drawn. Nevertheless, I may find that the person I was when I drew it and the person I will be a month later look completely different. So I often wonder: “How does the pictorial map look like from a third person’s point of view?” 

    A means of communicating ‘experience’

    Mr. Mouri:
    I was very impressed by what Ms. Sakamoto said, “It’s more interesting when people appear in the photo. There are a lot of photos in the world with people in them, but most of them are of nature or beautiful things, with people in them. But in you case, Ms. Sakamoto, I think you take photos with your beloved partner not only because it’s interesting to see people in the picture, but also because you want to convey what you yourself felt while walking on the road – in other words, the experience of moving.

    I think it is possible to relive the natural feeling of “beautiful scenery” by looking at photographs. However, I feel that the photographs taken by Ms. Sakamoto are sprinkled with many things that cannot be easily relived. When I look at the photos, I feel like I’m really enjoying myself and I feel like I’m being inspired by what I’m seeing.

    Ms. Sakamoto:
    I use people in my photos, partly because they are certainly ‘friendly’, but also because I want to convey an ‘experience’. In addition to my blog, I also have an Instagram and Twitter account*, but I don’t think the photos on Instagram in particular are meant to be “Instagrammable”. Normally, people would post photos that capture the ‘good moments’ of their travels. But in my case, I basically arrange my photos in the order of the places I walked, so at first glance, many of my photos look plain.

    ※Reference konomi@kumano.log (@kumano.log,Instagram)
    ※Reference Kumano Log|Life in the middle of Kii Peninsula (@kumanolog,Twitter)

    I also think that Twitter is interesting in that you can tweet about your situation while walking. Moreover, it is easy to connect with other users. It’s not easy to comment on blogs, but on Twitter it’s easy to exchange opinions with people who have common interests with you, like people who walk Kumano Kodo on a regular basis.

    With a blog, the downside is that you have to post it all in a post later. But with Twitter, you can update in real time, so when you update during your journey, you can enjoy your trip even more. In that sense, I think that tweeting on Twitter is the same as “building up a record of my journey”.

    However, there is also the worry that posting on social media will identify where you are. I do a lot of road walking with my husband, so we post information about what we’ve eaten, where we’re napping, and other things that you might wonder who would want to know. But I think people who have been through similar experiences can relate to some of it, so I try to update my blog as well as social media as much as I can.

    Miyazu:
    In the case of blogs, it is a record of what we have experienced in the past, but in the case of social networking, it is a sharing of what is happening now. I think this is exactly the characteristic of the new media. Perhaps this characteristic is what makes the Kumano Kodo evolve into something new, even though it is called an “ancient road”.

    【5】What is the fun of the road?

    Miyazu:
    So far, Ms. Ueno and Ms.Sakamoto have talked about the “fun of walking”, but now we would like to talk about the “fun of the street”, other than walking. For example, you can see a festival or a street performance on the way, or you can find a good food shop. The two of you have travelled to many different places and we would be very happy if you could tell us about these interesting aspects of the road other than the means of transport.

    Happiness in everyday life

    Ms. Ueno:
    When I talk about the “fun of the road”, the ideas seem to be endless (laughs). What I always think about when I travel is that it makes me realise the importance of everyday life: getting up in the morning, eating, walking to the next town, eating again and going to bed. I feel like I’m repeating what I normally do to survive on the road, and that the road itself has a ‘view on life’. I enjoy this simple repetition and I find it very fulfilling.

    Also, on a previous visit to Spain, I took part in a festival in a small town. I believe it was a festival to celebrate the summer solstice*. By the time I reached the town, I had been walking for about six hours along a road with nothing but the horizon. “I thought  it was so empty that I didn’t know if I was alive or dead. The weather there was bad and I was feeling sad, but I managed to keep walking and I could see the town beyond the horizon. I thought it was getting hotter and hotter, and then I found out that there was a festival going on in the town, which really brightened my heart. It was a kind of event that even strangers could participate in, so I joined them and prayed at the end. Anyway, it was a heart-warming time.

    ※Reference: Itsuko Hori, “What is San Juan, the Spanish fire festival? What are its origins and how is it uniquely celebrated in the region?”(June20,2018,Otra Spain) 

    The next day I set off for the next place. On the way, I looked back and saw that the town where I had just stayed had disappeared over the horizon. Yesterday I could see this town, but soon it will be out of sight and I myself will have moved on. I felt this kind of sadness for what is passing away and hope for what is to come.

    I also think that most festivals were founded to celebrate something or to give thanks for something. I think this is the same all over the world, and even just walking around the towns I visited on my trip, I felt I understood the meaning of festivals, which have taken root in humanity.

    Actually, simple meals like “miso soup and rice” or “bread and coffee” are very much appreciated after having walked on the road. You can feel with all your senses a sense of “gratitude” and “happiness” for the food, clothing, shelter and sleep that you take for granted.

    In the course of our travels, we sometimes meet people who are also walking the same way. We have a good time for one day and then we part, but then we walk again and sometimes we meet again a month later. When you’re from abroad, you often don’t understand the meaning of the words because of the language difference, but it doesn’t matter, you’re just so happy to see each other again. Even after we go back to our respective countries, we still communicate with each other through social networks, even though we don’t speak the same language, and there is this strange sympathy. Once again, I thought about how  the “road” is full of interesting elements.

    Healthy road walking

    Ms. Sakamoto:
    After all, for me, the greatest pleasure of travelling is eating. My husband and I often talk about how it’s like we’re always walking around looking forward to eating. It’s also good for your health, because when you do the basic activities of sleeping, eating and walking on a trip, it helps to keep your body in good shape.

    Also, going back in history, Emperor Go-Shirakawa*  visited Kumano 34 times from Kyoto*. There are many theories as to why he walked so many times, but the main reason is that he was praying for the peace of the nation. We, too, have challenged ourselves to walk the Kumano Kodo 34 times in the hope that Emperor Go-Shirakawa will be honoured. However, this is only our third attempt and we are still very young (laughs).  I think there is a difference in enjoyment between walking the path repeatedly and only once. I feel that people who have done a lot of walking, like Emperor Go-Shirakawa, become strong, full of power and very healthy.

    ※Reference About Emperor Go-Shirakawa (Kotobank)
    ※Reference Kumano Faith (6 January 2020, Kumano Hongu Tourist Association)
    ※Reference: Tokuro Takagi, “Column: Kumano Hongu Taisha Shrine and Kumano Kodo” (Wakayama Prefectural Museum)

    And I think that the interesting thing about the road is that you meet people. It’s not just about meeting people though, it’s also about walking through those roads again staying in the same places . The scenery changes every time you walk, and each place has its own pleasures, which I think is the real appeal of the road.

    Travel and ‘enriching experiences’

    Miyazu:
    Ms. Ueno and Ms . Sakamoto talked about the joys and encounters of various journeys under the theme of “the fun of the road”. They talked about how walking on the road can remind you of the “importance of everyday life”, or how by walking repeatedly you can experience a different “pleasure of travel” than before.

    I would like to ask Professor Mouri to talk about what was discussed before , and to relate it to his own research.

    Mr. Mouri:
    In a way I was “envious” and listened to their story. We’re currently suffering from coronary heart disease and, especially in Tokyo, We can’t even get out of the house. We feel trapped all the time and I feel a kind of ‘need to move’. So you both have a rich experience of ‘road-tripping’, which I really envy.

    There are many different ways to travel. For example, the most common way to travel is to visit a tourist attraction, see a famous place, visit a museum or do some shopping. I think that taking the time to travel to a certain place is an enriching experience, but I don’t think that many people have experienced this. In this sense, Ms. Ueno and Ms. Sakamoto may have made a journey that is an exception to the general rule of travel. “Taking time to travel to a certain point” may seem like just moving, but I think it actually means “having various experiences while moving”.

    In modernised cities, the road has become simply a “means of transport”. There are always cars on the paved roads, but the people living in the cities want to spend as little time as possible on the road. I think this is because the road has become a mere function of “getting around”. Originally, there must have been a “way of using time” that roads have had since ancient times, or that was shared not only by humans but also by animals. That’s why I think we should find a way to make the road more than just a means of transportation.

    In addition, when it comes to festivals, festivities often take place in the precincts of shrines and other places, and involve carrying a portable shrine and “moving from one place to another”. This “experience of movement” is the result of the connection between the people who take part in the festival and the community, such as the local community. In other words, there are also “modernised paths” which are not simply paths as we know them, but which are based on people’s experiences.

    The Kumano Kodo is regarded as a “road”, but perhaps the true charm of the Kumano Kodo is that each person who visits it returns with a different experience. In this sense, the two of them, who have walked and experienced many different paths, both in Japan and abroad, are truly “masters of walking the path”.

    “Muro in Seclusion ” and “Kinan in Openness”.

    Source: KINAN ART WEEK 2021

    Miyazu:
    Lastly, we were talking about  “masters of walking the path”, which I think showed how interesting travel and movement can be when it is not really packaged. I hope that today’s chemistry session will help us to start thinking about the roads we think of as “means of transport” and the meaning of “transport”.

    As mentioned at the beginning of this session, the Kinan Chemistry Session is a talk session to review and rediscover Kinan’s history, culture and customs from a variety of perspectives in preparation for Kinan Art Week. The theme of Kinan Art Week, “Muro in Seclusion ” and “Kinan in Openness “, also has a connotation of “seemingly contradictory things being done at the same time”. We would be grateful if Professor Mouri could give us a brief comment on this theme.

    Mr. Mouri:
    I think you have chosen a very interesting theme. In fact, there is a lot of discussion about “openness”. “How do we attract people from all over the world in a global society?” or “How do we ensure diversity? ” These are questions that are probably being discussed not only in tourist destinations, but also in companies, universities, cities and many other places.  However,  nothing happens by simply being open, and we end up with a lot of “uncharacteristic things” – similar policies, cultures and lessons. After all, I don’t think anyone would be attracted to a place that is just open to the unspecified.

    From the outside, Kinan seems to be a closed space with very little information. Unfortunately, I have not been there yet, but I have always thought that the Kinan region is like a black box, an “invisible space” in Japan.

    I am from Kansai and I have lived in Hyogo, Kyoto and Osaka in the past, but Wakayama was an invisible area for me. However, when I think about it again, I think that being an “invisible space” is the biggest attraction of Wakayama and the element that attracts people to the area. I think the Kinan region has also been a ” secluded place”, where people have cut off certain relationships and created their own culture within a local network. I don’t know if it’s a good thing to be globally connected, but I feel that in Kinan, as a region, we can form connections with the outside world through special channels.

    To relate this to the theme of today’s talk session, “the road”, I think that Kumano Kodo was originally a “secluded place “, but in recent years it has suddenly opened up to the outside world. I think one of the reasons is that information on Kumano Kodo has been disseminated all over the world through “new technologies” such as SNS and blogs, and the number of tourists from outside has increased. Of course, this is not the only reason, but I also feel that “masters of walking the path” like Ms. Ueno and Ms. Sakamoto are connecting the ” secluded space” of Kumano-kodo with the outside world. When I think about it in this way, I feel that there is a very interesting dynamism* at work on the Kumano Kodo path.

    ※Reference:What is dynamism (Kotobank)?

    [6] Question and answer session

    Morishige:
    Thank you very much Dr. Miyazu, Professor. Mouri, Ms. Uenoand Ms. Sakamoto.

    We had a really interesting talk with you .

    Ms. Ueno and Ms. Sakamoto told us realistic stories based on their own experiences on the road, from different perspectives. Professor. Mouri gave us a very clear explanation from a more objective and academic point of view.

    For me personally, I thought that the road was “something that connects places to places”. After listening to your talk, I feel that the road has the role of “connecting people to people”. Especially in the case of Kumano Kodo, which has a long history, I feel that it also connects the ages, including the past and the future. I also think that the Kumano Kodo has a special existence as a path and as a sacred place of revival.

    Now it’s time for a question and answer session. Please feel free to ask any questions you may have about today’s talk session on “The Road “, or about the personal lives of the speakers.

    Question 1: What is the best route for beginners on Kumano Kodo?

    Morishige:
    The first question is. The first question is: “For a beginner, where would you recommend to start walking the Kumano Kodo? And how many days should it take?” We have been asked this question.

    Ms. Sakamoto:
    The route I would recommend for beginners is the 7km route from Hoshinmon Oji* in Hongu Town to Kumano Hongu Taisha Shrine. This is the golden route of the Kumano Kodo and is relatively easy to walk as it is beginner friendly.

    If you feel that it is too strenuous to walk 7km, we recommend that you start from Sangenjaya Ato*, also in Hongu Town, to reach Kumano Hongu Taisha Shrine. From here, you can reach Kumano Hongu Taisha in about 40 minutes on foot. If you want to walk a bit further, you can start from Sangenjaya Ato.

    ※Reference Model Route: Hoshinmon Oji – Kumano Hongu Taisha Shrine (Wakayama Sightseeing: Wakayama Prefecture Official Tourist Website)

    ※Reference Hoshinmon Oji – Kumano Hongu Taisha Shrine (Kumano Hongu Tourist Association)

    ※Reference   Hoshinmon Oji – Kumano Hongu Taisha Shrine: Sangenjaya-ato (Kumano Hongu Tourist Association)

    ※Reference: Hoshinmon Oji – Kumano Hongu Taisha Shrine:  Sangenjaya-ato and Kukigakuchi Sekisho (Tanabe City Kumano Tourism Bureau)

    “Hashinmon Oji” 
    Source: Hashinmon Oji – Kumano Hongu Taisha Shrine (Tanabe City Kumano Tourism Bureau)
    Ruins of Sangenjaya and Kukigakuchi Sekisyo ato 
    Source: Hashinmon Oji – Kumano Hongu Taisha Shrine (Tanabe City Kumano Tourism Bureau)

    Morishige:
    Thank you very much, Ms. Sakamoto.

    The Kumano Kodo is a really long road, so you need to think about how long you want to spend on it and what route you want to take. We hope that you will come to Kumano Kodo and conquer all the paths if possible.

    Question 2: Which ancient paths would you recommend for a first walk?

    Morishige:
    The second question is a bit similar to the previous one. The second question is a bit similar to the first one: “Which ancient paths would you recommend for a first walk?” How about this one?

    Ms. Sakamoto:
    Apart from the route we have just described, I recommend you to walk along the “Daimonzaka*” in Nachikatsuura Town. This place is very popular as a tourist spot. And not only that, many tourists walk this path while going to Nachi-no-taki* and Kumano Nachi-taisha*. Daimonzaka is very famous for its “mossy stone pavement” and you can feel the air of the forest as you walk through the cedar forest. If you are walking for the first time, I think this is the best choice.

    ※Reference Model Route: Daimonzaka – Kumano Nachi Taisha Shrine and Nachi no Taki (Wakayama Sightseeing: Wakayama Prefecture Official Tourist Website)

    ※Reference: Daimonzaka (Wakayama Sightseeing: Wakayama Prefecture Official Tourist Website)

    ※Reference Nachi no Taki (Wakayama Sightseeing: Wakayama Prefecture Official Tourist Website)

    ※Reference Nachimotaki and Hirou Shrine,Kumano Nachi Taisha

    Daimonzaka 
    Source: World Heritage Kumano Kodo (Nachikatsuura Tourism Organization)

    Ms. Sakamoto:
    If you are a beginner on the Kumano Kodo, it is also recommended to have a guide. Many beginners don’t know where to walk or don’t know much about Kumano Kodo. Even now, the more I know about Kumano Kodo, the more I don’t understand it myself (laughs).

    Morishige:
    Thank you very much, Ms. Sakamoto.

    “We hope that you will be able to come and enjoy the experience of walking down Daimonzaka in Heian costume*.

    ※Reference: Honmamon Experience History and Culture Experience -Daimonzaka in Heian Costume (Wakayama Sightseeing: Wakayama Prefecture Official Tourist Website)

    Question 3: How long does it take to make a pictorial map?

    Morishige:
    The third question is: “How long does it take to make one of your picture maps, Ms. Ueno ?

    Ms. Ueno:
    Depending on the size and colour availability, I can answer your question about the A3 size colour pictorial map that I am often asked to work on. One A3 size colour sheet takes a minimum of two weeks to complete. Within two weeks, I have surveyed, drawn and checked the map. You can also order three copies at the same time, if you need them in two or three months.

    By the way, the picture map in the picture is a work when I received 15 requests at the same time, and I finished it in 3 days (laughs).This is a really exceptional speed, normally I don’t say “I can draw it in 3 days”. It was an urgent request, but because I didn’t have any other work to do, I managed to finish each piece in three days.

    Morishige:
    If you tell people that you finished it in three days, they’ll probably ask you to do it in three days in the future. (laughs)

    Ms. Ueno:
    If you have to, I can do it on request (laughs).

    Question 4: Which of the picture maps do you like best?

    Morishige:
    Ms Ueno. “What is your favorite pictorial map of your own work?”

    Ms. Ueno:
    The one I like the most is “Kumano gigantic picture map (Zue)”. This is one of the largest works I have ever drawn, and is a picture map of about 2m in length and width. It is a huge picture map of the Kii peninsula and even Osaka and Aichi prefectures. When I held the Kumano Giant Map Exhibition in Tanabe City before, the local news paper called Kii Minpo wrote an article about it*.

    ※Reference: Kumano giant exhibition at Tanaberu in Tanabe city until 30 May” (May 11,2019, Kii Minpo AGARA)

    Source: “Kumano Giant Zukai Exhibition at Kinan Tour Design Center, Kimoto Town, Kumano City, Mie Prefecture” 5 April 2019-21 April 2019 (24 April 2019, Travel Atelier Chikyu no Michi,Facebook)
    Source: “Kumano Giant Exhibition at Tanabe City Library “Tanaberu”, Tanabe City, Wakayama Prefecture, Japan”,9 May 2019-30 May 2019 (8 May 2019, Travel AtelierChikyu no Michi,Facebook)

    Ms. Ueno:
    Kumano Kodo is a road that connects Kyoto to Ise*, and I wanted to capture all the roads on one picture map. It took me three months to make this work, but I am glad that I was able to create a work that I am satisfied with.

    ※Reference:  About Kumano Kodo (Shingu City Tourism Association)

    Morishige:
    I think it’s a really wonderful piece of work, and I feel that the “Kumano Gigantic Picture Book” contains the soul of Ms. Ueno.

    Question 5: What is the road for?

    Morishige:
    This is the ultimate question, and I would like to ask you to answer it, Professor Mouri.

    Mr. Mouri:
    It’s a very difficult question, but actually I wrote something similar when I wrote Street Philosophy, so I’ll talk about it as I remember it at the time.

    We tend to think that a road connects some point to another point, but I believe that the opposite is actually true. In fact, I think it is the other way round: the roads existed in the beginning, and the places where the migrating people stayed were formed into villages and communities. It is more correct as a historical fact to think in this way, and I think it reverses the way of society and the way of thinking. That is why I feel that the Kumano Kodo has always existed as a place to move through from the past. I think that the road, or “moving”, is a very important theme, and I would like to examine it while actually walking the Kumano Kodo.

    Morishige:
    That answer was very convincing and I would like to hear more from him. But we are now out of time. With this , the 3rd Kinan Chemistry Session comes to a close. Thank you all very much for your time .

    Miyazu:
    Thank you very much.

    Mr. Mouri:
    Thank you very much.

    Ms. Ueno:
    Thank you very much.

    Ms. Sakamoto:
    Thank you very much.