School has been a bit tense lately, so I’m glad the weekend is here. I had a bit of a slow morning, but decided to go out for a walk and am writing this in a cafe in Yuasa called Ippuku. Quite a nice place with a traditional Japanese vibe, but with folk and blues playing in the background. Coffee’s nice and it’s good to be able to relax, away from the surprising number of ambulances driving around. There’s no panic, so I don’t think we’re in a zombie apocalypse or anything like that. I assume it’s a continuation of the heart attacks, which is quite sad and I really don’t understand what it’s all about. I talked to the cafe owner a little and he said that he’d be closing tomorrow, as he didn’t have the stock to keep going. 

This area is really rural and as there aren’t many jobs around, all of the young people tend to move to Osaka. The population is mostly old people and people with young kids that have returned to the family home to raise their children. I guess the heart attack thing or whatever it is doesn’t just affect people up in the cities. I really hope they can figure out what’s wrong soon because all of these reasonably sudden deaths are pretty unnerving!

Apparently there have been a few fights largish fights up in Tokyo, Osaka and a few other places. They were broken up by police and the people causing a ruckus were arrested, while a few were taken to hospital. Until now I’d barely heard any stories of people fighting and actually injuring each other in Japan. I do understand that everyone is pretty concerned about it all, and I definitely get the frustration though.

Still, the news is still shockingly lacking. The government obviously knows something or else they wouldn’t have closed up the country, but isn’t our right to be informed? People are dying and livelihoods are being threatened. As a teacher, it’s not too bad, but you can imagine all of the companies that rely on foreign imports or tourists for their businesses. At least down here there are still mandarins on the trees, fish in the sea and rice that will be harvested soon. The cities rely so heavily on imported food, so I don’t see how much longer the status quo can continue…

I’m actually thinking about buying a fishing rod after I finish writing this. It’s something I’ve wanted to take up for a long time anyway (like the shamisen, cooking properly, some kind of martial arts and a whole list of other stuff), and this seems as good a time as any!  The town that I live in is called Hirogawa, which means ‘wide river’. The river isn’t actually that wide, but there are a lot of fish in it. Everyone says that river fish aren’t as good as fish from the sea, but I’m sure they’d be alright. Either way, if all of this continues for much longer, people won’t have the luxury of being picky about where they get their fish. I should probably get to the shop before they close, so I’ll leave it at that.

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