Showing posts from February, 2018

Has anyone seen my camel?

Well, actually, yes I have.

On the East coast of Chiba, just north of Katsuura, you'll find two camels. One ridden by an arabian prince and the other by his princess. Why are these beautiful statues here? You may well ask. The beach is fairly dune-y in these parts, but it isn't what you might call a desert. Quiet yes, desert no. Japan does have one desert area though, in Tottori, which is where you might have expected this artwork to be placed, but no...

In the early part of the 20th century the poet and artist Masao Kato, came to live in Onjuku to take the sea air and recover from tuberculosis. While he lived there, he wrote the captivating lyrical poem Tsuki no Sabaku (Desert of the Moon):

The travelling camels came from far away
To the desert of the moon
One with a saddle of silver, one with a saddle of gold

On the gold saddle, a jar of silver 
On the silver saddle, a jar of gold
The two jars bound by a simple thread

The first saddle carries a prince
The second saddle carries a princ…