Wednesday, August 15, 2007

fisherman on Oki Islands

While I was going through old drawings of Seth's the other day, I found this lovely little image of a fisherman, and took it out because it moved me. Then, day before yesterday I received a very nice letter from Ian Flynn, who took over from Seth as the English teacher in the Oki Islands.
In his letter to me, Ian included a Japan English Teachers (JET) newsletter from winter 1994-5, in which this drawing was printed as the illustration to an article that Seth wrote about the lure of the sea and its attraction to people of Oki, especially the men.
I quote from his article:
"During the moments that a fisherman sits perched on his rock, watching his fluorescent bobber through his misty breath, he is transformed. No longer the eternal consumer, at last he becomes an efficient part of the ecosystem--catching what fish nature will allow, living off their meat, and perhaps (in typical Japanese fashion) giving a few choice ones to his neighbors. These men are taught from childhood that the sea is not a supermarket, but their mother. It is not so strange, on Oki, to see a young boy and and old man, side by side, staring at a passing school of fish with the same fascination: a fascination that does not wither with youth."
I think that Seth also was not immune to that same fascination with the sea and its creatures.

No comments: