Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Land in Inakadate • 田舎館の土地

Just last week I described Mt. Hakkoda and said it was a beautiful place it you get up into it. That's very very true. There is something amazing about such natural spots where the effects of humans are hardly noticeable. Mt. Hakkoda is one place in Aomori where such nature abounds.

Often in Japanese (and in English) people say 'there's lots of green' and they mean that there's lots of nature. However, you can't accurately say that in Inakadate. Here there is lots of green (most everywhere you look is a field or something), but very little of it is natural.
日本語では(そして英語でも)「緑が多い」という表現を使うと、それは「自然 が多い」という意味になります。しかし、田舎館ではそれは正しく言うことができません。田舎館ではどこを見てもと言えるほど緑がたくさんありますが、その 中で自然のものはかなり少ないというのは事実です。

Last week I heard a speech by Inakadate's mayor Suzuki and one of the things he said is, 'Inakadate is one of only two municipalities in Aomori prefecture without a mountain.' And if you look around, he is perfectly correct. There are a couple of small rises in Inakadate's 22.31 square kilometers, but there is nothing you could even call a hill.
先週、田舎館の鈴木村長の挨拶を聞いて、その挨拶の中で興味深く聞いた一つは、「青森県内山がない市町村は2つしかなくて、その中の1つは田舎館村です」ということでした。そして、この村をよく見れば、その通りです。この村の 22.31平方キロの面積にはちょっとした坂がある程度で、「丘」と言えるほど高いものはありません。

And this beautifully flat land is used to the fullest. Honestly, every square inch of this village has a rice field, an orchard, a garden, a house, a school or a road on it. Outside a few big trees in people's private gardens, the largest trees in the village are found in shrines or temples. Outside of the narrow floodplains along the village's two rivers, almost every plant seems to have been planted by someone.
そして、田舎館村の人々はこの平らの土地をフルに使っています。本当に、この 村の土地の全てには、田んぼ、りんご園、畑、家、学校と道路かなにかが乗っています。民家の庭の数本の大きい木以外に、村の一番大きい木はお寺か神社の敷 地で延びています。そして、村の川の両側に茂る藪以外に、村中の全ての植物は誰かの手で植えられたように見えます。

I am a big fan of real nature, but in its own way, Inakadate's green is also very beautiful. By any measure, it is better than the concrete and asphalt surrounding everything in big cities. In the next couple of blog entries I am going to explore some of the ways that Inakadate uses its land. Please be sure to come back and read those too.
僕は本当の自然のファンですが、ある意味では田舎館の緑の大変美しいです。ど う見ても、植えられた緑は大都市のコンクリートやアスファルトよりいいです。これからのブログには、どのようにして、村民が村の土地を使っているか紹介し たいと思いますので、どうぞ楽しみにして下さい。

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