Takahata, Yamagata Jun, 2019

Kameoka Monjyu, Nekonomiya and cold beer

I made a visit to Takahata, a town of some 22,000 bordering Yonezawa city to its west in Yamagata prefecture. They produce rice on the flat area and peaches, pears, apples, grapes, cherries, etc., on the hilly areas. Takahata town is the largest producer of ”Delaware grapes” in the nation. With its abundant gifts from nature, the town has been called as “Mahoroba” in ancient Japanese word, or a fertile land surrounded by hills and Mountains. My grandmother of my mother’s side was originally from this town. My mom and her siblings moved from Yokohama and spent there during the wartime evacuation around 1945. Her cousins are still living now. I remember I drove near Kameoka Monjyu-do, a buddhist temple enshurining the Monju Bodhisattva once I was around 22 year’s old. I neither stopped by the temple, nor I thought I had any connections with this town.0 Fast foward 36 years, I am puttintg my footprints.

My mom passed away all of sudden the previous year. I decided to take the pod of her ashes and visit her cousin with my younger brother by his car in two days.