Image search results - "ako"
000-IMG_0000.jpg
Three-day (Aug. 9-11, 2006) rowing route around the southern half of the lake by the Kyoto Univ. rowing club.1st day: Home base in Seta River to Manohama (crew change), then to Omi-Maiko.
2nd day: Omi-Maiko to Manohama, then to Chomeiji.
3rd day: Chomeiji to Manohama where crew changes. Then to home base in Seta River.
001-IMG_5623.jpg
Three boats are used for the trip, sighted here off shore near JR Hira Station on the Kosei Line. 湖西線比良駅の沖
001-IMG_9000.jpg
Seta Rowing Club's 2-story clubhouse located in Otsu, Shiga Prefecture. The club is a registered NPO. The club is named after Seta River at the southern tip of Lake Biwa. Regattas are also held on the river, Lake Biwa's sole outflowing river.
001-ShigaMapOpen1a.jpg
Lake Biwa is near the center of Honshu island between Nagoya and Kyoto.
001_9162.jpg
One of two giant kitesThis festival has two giant kites and two smaller (but still large) kites. Resting on its side, the kite was scheduled to fly at 2 pm. The kanji characters read "Michi no Eki" in reference to a new train station built in the town.
002-IMG_2517.jpg
Being my first regatta, I was at first daunted by the rowing terminology for the different types of boats.
002-IMG_5645.jpg
Arriving Omi-Maiko on Day 1. Rowing around the lake has been an annual tradition.
002-IMG_9065.jpg
Seta Rowing Club's clubhouse. Boats are stored on the bottom floor, while the 2nd floor has office space, ergo machines, meeting room, locker room, etc. Web site here
002_9169.jpg
003-IMG_2379.jpg
Carrying back a single sculling boat
003-IMG_5656.jpg
The white boat. A song was even composed for this trip, called Biwako Shuko no Uta.
003-IMG_9004.jpg
Oars and boats stored on the bottom floor. The club offers 2-hour rowing lessons on Sundays during May to Nov. Address: 6-1 Ogaya, Otsu, Shiga 520-2144 Japan. Phone/Fax: 077-545-9961, Email: info@setarc.jp
003_9153.jpg
004-IMG_2380.jpg
The place was not as crowded as you would think.
004-IMG_5674.jpg
They use four-man boats (called "knuckle four" in Japanese) with sliding seats. It is stable and safe, ideal for beginners.
004-IMG_9005.jpg
Many boats are made in Italy.
004_9177.jpg
Lowering the kite
005-20171125-0063s.jpg
To mark the song's 100th anniversary, a new song monument was unveiled at Kyoto University (Yoshida-South Campus) on Nov. 25, 2017.
005-IMG_2372.jpg
Rowing team from Nagahama
005-IMG_5684.jpg
Each boat has four rowers and cox who steers the rudder.
005-IMG_9001.jpg
Right across the clubhouse is the Annex boat house.
005_9226.jpg
006-20171125-0074a.jpg
Front side of the monument has the Japanese lyrics and explanation of the song. Monument is made of stainless steel with a brushed-metal finish.
006-IMG_5691.jpg
The green boat. 近江舞子上陸
006-IMG_9027.jpg
Club's boat dock. This narrow canal leads to Lake Biwa.
006_9215.jpg
007-20171125-0066s.jpg
Other side of the monument is in English. See this video of the unveiling.
007-IMG_2465.jpg
Azaleas in full bloom along the lake edge
007-IMG_5694.jpg
The boats are wooden, and a few decades old.
007-IMG_9007.jpg
Rowing exercise machines called "ergometers" or "ergo" or "indoor rower." In Japan, they call it "ergo." エルゴThe machine measures the energy you expend rowing. Also measures how fast and far you rowed if you were on water. They even have ergo rowing contests which is a sport itself.
007_9192.jpg
Patch up
008-20171125-0065a.jpg
Monument's English side has a bilingual Lake Biwa map and Lake Biwa Rowing Song English lyrics.Directions: From JR Kyoto Station's Karasuma side (north side with Kyoto Tower), go to bus stop D2 and catch the No. 206 bus bound for "Gion Via Kiyomizu-dera Temple/Kitaoji Station" (三十三間堂・清水寺・祇園・百万遍). The bus leaves every 15 min. or so (bus schedule here), but it can be very crowded. The ride takes abut 30 min. Get off at "Kyodai Seimon-mae" (京大正門前). Cross the big road (Higashi-Oji-dori) and walk along Higashi-Ichijo street. The main Yoshida Campus will be on the left while the Yoshida-Minami Campus will be on the right. Enter the Yoshida-Minami Campus and walk to the central courtyard area.

(From Kyoto Station, there is also an express bus (京大快速) to Kyoto University Hospital from bus stop D3, but it runs only at certain times on weekdays, mainly in the morning and mid-afternoon (bus schedule here).
008-IMG_2387A.jpg
Four-man boat race. There were also foreign rowers from international schools.
008-IMG_5696.jpg
Notice the rudder. Controlled by a pair of strings held by the cox.
008-IMG_9014.jpg
The rowing lesson starts with an ergo workout.
008_9213.jpg
009-IMG_2395.jpg
Cheering section for Nagahama
009-IMG_5703.jpg
Beachgoers frolick in the lake as the rowing boats arrive.
009-IMG_9021.jpg
Carrying the boat.
009_9273.jpg
Moving the kite to launch point
010-IMG_0407.jpg
About the song and rowing route... この歌について(日本語解説)(日本語はこの下にあります。Japanese follows the English below.)

Shiga Prefecture's most famous and beloved song is called Biwako Shuko no Uta (琵琶湖周航の歌) or "Lake Biwa Rowing Song." I have rendered this song into both pictures and English, according to my own imagination and interpretation.

First composed in 1917 by a bunch of college students from Kyoto, the song has been recorded by many famous Japanese singers and groups. In 1971, it became a major nationwide hit with singer Tokiko Kato's rendition. Today, the song remains a favorite among choir groups in Japan, and a choir singing contest is held for the song every June (since 1997) in Imazu, the birthplace of the song in the northwestern corner of Lake Biwa.

Shiga Prefecture also has stone monuments dedicated to each of the six verses. There's even a museum (Biwako Shuko no Uta Shiryokan) in Imazu dedicated to the song. Okaya city on the shores of Lake Suwa in Nagano Prefecture, the birthplace of the song's composer, Taro Oguchi (小口太郎) (1897-1924), also has a song monument and bronze statue of him.

The song is about a four-day, boat-rowing trip around Lake Biwa undertaken on June 27, 1917 by seven college students. They were in the rowing club at an elite college in Kyoto called Dai-san Koto Gakko (No. 3 High School 第三高等学校) which later merged with Kyoto University. As shown by the red line in the map above, they started at Otsu and rowed to Omatsu (now called Omi-Maiko), Imazu, Chikubushima island, Nagahama, Hikone, Chomeiji, and back to Otsu. They stopped overnight at Omatsu, Imazu, and Hikone.

The dotted blue line shows a longer route taken by earlier members of the rowing club beginning in 1893 when they did it for the first time. Twenty-one of them rowed around the lake in three boats, taking four nights and five days. The school's annual summer tradition of rowing around Lake Biwa thus began.

As the song circumnavigates the lake and mentions famous places in Shiga, the words also express symbolic meanings and sometimes unknown or mistaken meanings. The song is widely interpreted as describing the journey of life itself.

I have visited and photographed all the places mentioned in the song as well as all the song monuments in Otsu, Omi-Maiko, Imazu, Chikubushima, Hikone, Chomeiji, and Okaya (Nagano). I also created some digital images to match the scenes mentioned in the song.

More info about Lake Biwa Rowing Song here.

Photo: This map of lake Biwa is part of the Verse 5 Song Monument recently built in Oct. 2005 at Hikone Port. The English captions were inserted by me with my computer.
010-IMG_2397A.jpg
Four-man race with the cox at the stern
010-IMG_2884.jpg
Verse 1 Song Monument, Otsu (Mihogasaki). In 1973, this was the first monument built for the song. The song's first and most famous line, "Ware wa Umi no Ko" is written. 一番の歌碑。大津市三保ケ崎。This monument is near the boat house in Mihogasaki, a stone's throw from Hama-Otsu.

われは湖の子 さすらいの
旅にしあれば しみじみと
のぼる狭霧や さざなみの
志賀の都よ いざさらば

Ware wa Umi no Ko, sasurai no
tabi ni shiareba, shimijimi to
Noboru sagiri ya, sazanami no
Shiga no Miyako yo, iza saraba
010-IMG_5312.jpg
On June 16, 2007, Imazu marked the 90th anniversary of the song by organizing a boat cruise on Lake Biwa and other events. Omi-Imazu Station had a sign directing guests to Imazu Port. 90周年の記念「琵琶湖周航クルーズ」の近江今津駅内
010-IMG_5705.jpg
The orange boat. On the left at the ear is the cox, the middle are four rowers, and at the front of the boat is one extra person who can rest and enjoy the ride.
010-IMG_6104.jpg
During July-Aug. 2007, I helped to make the Yokaichi giant kite at the annex of the Yokaichi Giant Kite Museum.where the giant kite is made. Every three years, the giant kite, flown every May in Higashi-Omi, is replaced by a new kite bearing a new design.The new kite was made during July-Aug. 2007, taking about 30 days. The kite is made by volunteers from the public under the instruction of the Yokaichi Giant Kite Preservation Society. For the first time, I helped make this giant kite which was first flown successsfully on May 25, 2008 at the annual kite festival.
010-IMG_9023.jpg
Sleek rudder and steering cables
010-IMG_9106.jpg
Canora Hall, venue for the Okaya International Exchange Association's 15th anniversary festival.
010-IMG_9236.jpg
Front of Yoshida Chiaki's home in Niigata (formerly Niitsu) which I visited in Nov. 2007. Yoshida Chiaki composed a song called "Hitsuji-gusa" (Water Lilies) whose melody was used for the song "Biwako Shuko no Uta" (Lake Biwa Rowi
010_9137.jpg
Festival siteThey did not allow people go enter the launch area at all times. Spectators were kept far away.
011-IMG_2406.jpg
Starting line. The man says "Yoi" (Ready) then "Go."「用意」、次いで「ゴー」
011-IMG_5318.jpg
Imazu Port. A large crowd of people waiting to board the chartered boat for a 3-hour cruise on Lake Biwa to commemorate the 90th anniversary of the song, Biwako Shuko no Uta.
011-IMG_5709.jpg
Most people were oblivious to the boats.
011-IMG_6029.jpg
Entrance to the annex and a sign indicating the day's event or work. Today, July 7, 2007, was the Noritsuke Pasting Ceremony. 八日市大凧まつり のりつけ式
011-IMG_9025.jpg
Rowing seat with moving seat on rails, fixed shoes, and outrigger for the oar.
011-IMG_9239.jpg
Front of Yoshida Chiaki's home. Chiaki's room was on the left end of the 2nd floor as seen here. More about Yoshida Chiaki here.
011_9141.jpg
012-IMG_0970.jpg
July 7, 2007: The making of the giant kite started with Noritsuke Pasting Ceremony where the new design was announced and dignitaries pasted together the first pieces of the kite paper.
012-IMG_2409A.jpg
Four-man race starts with the cox at the front.
012-IMG_2888.jpg
Song monument which reads "Ware wa Umi no Ko," the song's first line meaning "We're children of the lake."
012-IMG_5315.jpg
The "Rio Grande" cruise boat awaits at Imazu Port on a miraculously sunny day during the rainy season. 梅雨でありながら、奇跡的にこんないい天気になった。今津港
012-IMG_9028.jpg
Carrying the boat to water.
012-IMG_9240.jpg
Front gate of Yoshida Chiaki's home
012_9281.jpg
No people on the sides either
013-IMG_2411.jpg
Off they go
013-IMG_5313.jpg
Reception desk for passengers. A little over 100 people joined the cruise. クルーズの受付
013-IMG_5731.jpg
The orange boat decided to go ashore where it was less crowded.
013-IMG_6036.jpg
Before announcing the final kite design, they announced the three best (but not winning) design entries. The public was invited to submit kite designs based on the theme of "Life" or inochi.
013-IMG_9030.jpg
Inserting the oars into the outriggers.
013-IMG_9287.jpg
Inner garden. I met Yoshida Yuki (吉田ゆき), the niece of Yoshida Chiaki who showed me the house and a few materials. Flowers planted by Chiaki still grow in the garden.
013_9317.jpg
Launch point on a low hill
014-IMG_2417A.jpg
Close-up of rowers at Asahi Regatta
014-IMG_2730.jpg
"Umi no Ko" (Child of the Lake) Lake Biwa training boatThe bow of Shiga Prefecture's "floating school." The name of this boat was obviously taken from the song. The boat is owned by Shiga Prefecture and used to educate elementary school kids about the lake. Since 1983, this ship has been serving as a floating school for kids where they stay overnight and spend two days conducting experiments to learn more about the lake. Picture was taken at Hikone Port.
014-IMG_2906.jpg
Back of Verse 1 Song Monument, Otsu (Mihogasaki)Directions: From JR Otsu Station, take a bus to Mihogasaki. It's about 10 min. Or you can easily walk it from Hama-Otsu Station. Just walk on the main road toward the race boat arena. There will be a small marina on the right. Right after passing the marina, turn right into the small road. There will be a small park on the right. The monument is there. There are two stone monuments. It might be roped off and you're not supposed to enter the park. While you're there, walk around the marina and see the boathouse with the cherry blossom logo with three stripes. That's the logo of the school and the place where the boys left for the rowing trip in 1917. Otsu Station also has a tourist information office where you can obtain directions and a map.
014-IMG_5327.jpg
Boarding time at Imazu Port. In the forefront is a song monument for Biwako Shuko no Uta.
014-IMG_5732.jpg
Two boats will lie here overnight.
014-IMG_6042.jpg
Twenty-six design entries were submitted this year. There was no top winner, so the final design was based on the three best designs. This design features the kanji "Yorokobu" or joyfulness. 今回のテーマは「いのち」
014-IMG_9034.jpg
Ready to row on a "quad" sculling race boat. Each person rows with two oars.Sorry for the small image.
014-IMG_9284.jpg
Yoshida Chiaki's room on the 2nd floor.
014_9330.jpg
015-IMG_2432.jpg
Cheering section
015-IMG_5336.jpg
Megan and Jamie Thompson about to board the boat. トンプソン姉妹
015-IMG_5741.jpg
Dark Blue Blades, symbol of the Kyoto Univ. rowing club.
015-IMG_6045.jpg
They introduced the three best designs. 最優秀作品はなく、3点の優秀賞作品を参考に保存会が決めた。
015-IMG_9037.jpg
We now enter Lake Biwa.
015-IMG_9280.jpg
Yoshida Chiaki's room on the 2nd floor. This is where he spent his final days while stricken with tuberculosis.
015_9334.jpg
Also see the video at YouTube.
016-IMG_0994.jpg
The new kite design was then announced. Called Han-jimon (判じもん), the design expresses a certain theme using word play with a pair of animals and one or two kanji characters. 八日市大凧は3年に一度図柄を変える。
016-IMG_2443.jpg
High school spectators near the finish line
016-IMG_2720.jpg
"Umi no Ko" (Child of the Lake) Lake Biwa training boat for kidsThe name of this boat was obviously taken from the song. The boat is owned by Shiga Prefecture and used to educate elementary school kids about the lake. Since 1983, this ship has been serving as a floating school for kids where they stay overnight and spend two days conducting experiments to learn more about the lake. Picture was taken at Hikone Port.
016-IMG_2917.jpg
Near the Verse 1 Song Monument is another stone monument engraved with the words of the entire song.
016-IMG_5333.jpg
Boat name "Rio Grande" operated by Biwako Kisen. Named after Shiga's sister state in Brazil. There is also the "Michigan" paddlewheel boat named after Shiga's sister state in the USA.
016-IMG_5742.jpg
Oars and boats
016-IMG_9038.jpg
Lake Biwa Rowing Course operated by Shiga Prefecture for major rowing regattas. It is near the head of Seta River, and very near Seta Rowing Club.
016-IMG_9114.jpg
Lake Biwa Rowing Song (Biwako Shuko no Uta) exhibition panel by Philbert Ono at Okaya, Nagano.
016-IMG_9281.jpg
View from Yoshida Chiaki's room on the 2nd floor. Sometimes they receive local school children for tours of the house.
016_9338.jpg
Ride'em cowboyAs the kite quickly flew up, the forward kite pullers had to release the rope.
017-IMG_0989.jpg
The top kanji is "yorokobu" (joyfulness) which can also be read as "ki." The pair of hawks 鷹 can be read as "yo." And the bottom kanji is "sei" (living). It's "Kyosei."
017-IMG_2440.jpg
Kyoto University's cheering section for the 8-man raceComplete with cheerleaders.
017-IMG_5341.jpg
Inside the front of the Rio Grande boat. 琵琶湖周航クルージング
017-IMG_5900.jpg
Day 3: Arrival at Manohama beach, near the west end of Biwako Ohashi Bridge. 真野浜上陸
017-IMG_9040.jpg
Oars keep the unstable boat stable.
017-IMG_9109.jpg
Lake Biwa Rowing Song Exhibition panels. 「琵琶湖周航の歌」英語版の展示コーナー
017-IMG_9283.jpg
Stairs from Yoshida Chiaki's room on the 2nd floor.
017_9358.jpg
018-IMG_2446.jpg
Eight-man race
018-IMG_2896.jpg
Small park where the Verse 1 monument is located.This monument is near the boat house in Mihogasaki, a stone's throw from Hama-Otsu. It was built in 1973 as the first monument for the song.

This little park is actually off-limits and you're not supposed to enter it, for some reason. On the left side of the picture is another stone monument hidden by brush. It is engraved with the entire song. In the background, you can see the roof of the boathouse.
018-IMG_5338.jpg
Open deck at the rear. The boat departed at about 11:30 am.
018-IMG_5910.jpg
Manohama is where they change boat crews. Half of the people ride on bicycles on shore, while the other half row on 3 boats.
018-IMG_6061.jpg
Higashi-Omi mayor Nakamura Koichi explains the design. "Kyosei" 共生 means to co-exist (i.e. man and nature) or to live together harmoniously. 中村功一市長
018-IMG_9048.jpg
The oar handles overlap when you pull them. Often my hands bumped into each other.
018-IMG_9255.jpg
Original copy of the magazine "Ongaku-kai" (The Musical Japan) where Yoshida Chiaki's song "Hitsuji-gusa" was first published and made popular. Issued in Aug. 1915. 音楽界
018_9376.jpg
019-IMG_2447A.jpg
019-IMG_5357.jpg
We passed by various scenic spots such as Shirahige Shrine, noted for the torii gate in the lake.
019-IMG_5920.jpg
Landed in fishing lines.
019-IMG_6066.jpg
The mayor and one of the kite design artists wear a sash and pose for a picture before proceeding with the Noritsuke Ceremony.
019-IMG_9047.jpg
Shoes are fixed to a small, angled platform.
019-IMG_9245.jpg
Table of Contents of magazine "Ongaku-kai" (The Musical Japan) 音楽界. Many music-related articles.
019_9381.jpg
01_3053.jpg
Water intake for Lake Biwa Canal No. 2. Near Mihogasaki in Otsu, and adjacent to the boat racing arena.
020-IMG_2449.jpg
Kyoto Univ. comes in 3rd place
020-IMG_5354.jpg
Shirahige Shrine 白髭神社
020-IMG_5932.jpg
Departing Manohama at about 11:30 am. 真野浜出発
020-IMG_6070.jpg
They used a wide brush to apply paste to the edges of a piece of kite paper.
020-IMG_9247.jpg
On the first page is Yoshida Chiaki's song "Hitsuji-gusa" (Water Lilies) which was acclaimed enough to be published here.
020_9384.jpg
Michi no EkiThe kite design is the same every year, but the kanji characters change. They make a new giant kite every year.
021-IMG_2451.jpg
021-IMG_2634.jpg
Misty Horikiri Port in Omi-Hachiman. Boats leave here for Okishima island, Lake Biwa's largest island.
021-IMG_5356.jpg
Shirahige Shrine torii as seen from the cruise boat.
021-IMG_5934.jpg
Small motorboat which accompanies the three rowing boats. I was aboard this motorboat and took pictures.
021-IMG_6072.jpg
They joined two sheets of kite paper together. This marked the first step in making the kite. The finished kite paper will consist of a few hundred washi paper sheets pasted together.
021-IMG_9056.jpg
After a neat rowing trip, the boat is lifted out of the water.
021-IMG_9248.jpg
On the first page is Yoshida Chiaki's song "Hitsuji-gusa" (Water Lilies). Although the melody is different, the lyrics are a direct translation of a childen's song called Water Lilies written by E.R.B. in the UK.
021_9400.jpg
022-IMG_1003.jpg
More dignitaries paste the sheets of kite paper together.
022-IMG_2503A.jpg
Starting line staff
022-IMG_5368.jpg
Omi-Maiko with green pines on white sands. 近江舞子の「松は緑に 砂白き」
022-IMG_5988.jpg
Biwako Ohashi Bridge 琵琶湖大橋
022-IMG_9063.jpg
Rinsing the shell with fresh water.
022-IMG_9256.jpg
Small book titled "A Garland of Flower-Poems" published in Japan. This was owned by Yoshida Chiaki and it includes the UK song "Water Lilies."
022_9413.jpg
023-IMG_2508A.jpg
Starting line
023-IMG_2646.jpg
Boat for Okinoshima at Horikiri Port
023-IMG_5369.jpg
Omi-Maiko appears in the song.
023-IMG_6019.jpg
Ferris wheel from the Biwako Tower amusement park, now defunct. 琵琶湖タワー(廃墟)
023-IMG_6083.jpg
The pasted pieces are laid to dry.
023-IMG_9059.jpg
The boat is pencil-thin.
023-IMG_9258.jpg
Page where "Water Lilies" is printed in the book. It is very likely that Chiaki found the song in this book, and decided to make his Japanese version. His signature is on the back of the book.
023_9416.jpg
024-IMG_0181.jpg
Waving the signal flag at a checkpoint to staff on shore.
024-IMG_2501.jpg
024-IMG_5378.jpg
Rolling with the waves
024-IMG_6087.jpg
We were then invited to sign our names on the kite paper.
024-IMG_9062.jpg
Rinsing the oars.
024_9418.jpg
025-IMG_2493A.jpg
Two-man boat race
025-IMG_5388.jpg
Okino-shiraishi Rocks, a favorite resting place for birds which turned the rocks white from bird droppings. Four rocks stand 80 meters deep in the lake. Out of the water, the tallest stands 14 meters high. 沖の白石
025-IMG_6045.jpg
South of Biwako Ohashi Bridge.
025-IMG_6086.jpg
The kite design announcement and pasting ceremony lasted an hour, after which a group photo was taken.
025-IMG_9069.jpg
025_9425.jpg
Smaller kite "Yujo"
026-IMG_2496.jpg
Cheering/coaching from bicycle
026-IMG_5412.jpg
So what does "Coral shrine" mean in the song? (There's no coral in the lake.) "I think it just refers to a beautiful place..." 「珊瑚の宮」はどういう意味?
026-IMG_6062.jpg
Rowing past the Ukimido Floating Temple in Katata. 堅田 浮御堂(近江八景)
026-IMG_9072.jpg
Entrance and road to the rowing clubhouse
026_9426.jpg
027-IMG_2476.jpg
Cheering/coaching on foot
027-IMG_5418.jpg
We landed on Chikubushima for about an hour. Jamie and Megan also sang in English in front of the Verse 4 song monument.
027-IMG_6098.jpg
Ukimido Floating Temple, one of the Eight Views of Omi (Omi Hakkei). 堅田 浮御堂(近江八景)
027-IMG_9074.jpg
Near the rowing club is the Lake Biwa Rowing Course where regattas are held. 滋賀県立琵琶湖漕艇場
027-IMG_9173.jpg
In Okaya, Nagano, Nakamura Naoko singing "Lake Biwa Rowing Song." This is the first time this English version was sung in public outside Shiga Prefecture.
027_9428.jpg
028-IMG_2454.jpg
028-IMG_5428.jpg
Jamie and Megan Thompson sing in English in front of the Verse 4 song monument, Chikubushima. Next time we need to have an amplifier.
028-IMG_6122.jpg
Mt. Hiei 比叡山
028-IMG_9172.jpg
Nakamura Naoko singing "Lake Biwa Rowing Song." The first Japanese person to sing the song in public. 「琵琶湖周航の歌」の英語版も歌われた。
028_9436.jpg
"Yujo"This is a smaller kite. It means "Friendship."
029-IMG_2512.jpg
Awards ceremony
029-IMG_5425.jpg
Jamie and Megan Thompson sing in English in front of the Verse 4 song monument, Chikubushima. They sang up to Verse 4. ジェイミーとメゲン・トンプソン姉妹が歌う
029-IMG_6142.jpg
Omi-Fuji (Mt. Mikami) and Karasuma Peninsula. 近江富士(三上山)と烏丸半島
029-IMG_9169.jpg
Nakamura Naoko singing "Lake Biwa Rowing Song" up to verse 3. 中村直子さんが三番まで歌われた。
029_9438.jpg
02_3055p.jpg
Water intake for Lake Biwa Canal No. 2. The Lake Biwa Canal (Biwako Sosui) supplies water from Lake Biwa in Otsu to Kyoto. After four years of monumental construction, the canal was completed in 1890.
030-0314-31APR11.jpg
Entrance to the road leading to the Cherry Dance theater (Gion Kobu Kaburenjo) in the Gion district. The sign says "Miyako Odori."
030-20180421-0050.jpg
Verse 2 Song Monument, Omi-Maiko (Omatsu). On the lake shore in Omi-Maiko (Omatsu) behind Hotel Biwa Lake Otsuka. Built in March 1989. 二番の歌碑。近江舞子(ホテル琵琶レイクオーツカの前)Pine trees are very green, on sands very white.
Omatsugasato is, a young maiden's home.
Bush of red camellia, hides her teary face.
She's weeping o'er a lost love, much too short to last.

Matsu wa midori ni, suna shiroki
Omatsugasato no, otomego wa
Akai tsubaki no, morikage ni
Hakanai koi ni, naku toka ya

松は緑に 砂白き
雄松が里の 乙女子は
赤い椿の 森蔭に
030-hitsujigusa.youtube
YouTube video of the song Hitsuji-gusa (Water Lilies) by a choir called Koai Gassho no Kai (小合合唱の会) performing at a memorial gathering on the anniversary of Chiaki’s death in Feb. 2013 at Chiaki’s birth home.Video uploaded by Ichii Yasuzo in Niigata.
030-IMG_2510.jpg
Boat landing
030-IMG_2875p.jpg
Mihogasaki harbor, Otsu. The arrow points to the boat house where Oguchi Taro and crew departed for their rowing trips.Mihogasaki is accessible by bus from Otsu Station. Or just walk west from Hama-Otsu. This is also where water from the lake is drawn into the Biwako Canal's first canal which feeds water to Kyoto.
030-IMG_3115.jpg
Old photo of Verse 2 Song Monument in Omi-Maiko. The tree was cut down and lyrics later painted white.
030-IMG_5433.jpg
The man holds the 90th Anniversary tour sign as a guide for the tour guests.
030-IMG_6105.jpg
July 8, 2007: On the day after the pasting ceremony, the Kamitsugi or paper joining was next. 紙継ぎ
030-IMG_6185.jpg
She is the cox sitting at the rear and controlling the rudder with a pair of strings. コックス
030_9454.jpg
031-IMG_0042.jpg
More signposts reading "Miyako Odori." "Miyako" means capital (Kyoto was once Japan's capital city), and "Odori" means dance.
031-IMG_0211.jpg
Lots of putty line the seams.
031-IMG_2365A.jpg
Temporary boat landing
031-IMG_5441.jpg
Getting back on the boat. Little over a hundred people came on this cruise. If people knew it was gonna be such a beautiful day during this rainy season, more would have certainly come.
031-IMG_6120.jpg
Starting at 9:30 am, members of the giant kite preservation society began pasting and joining about 400 sheets of washi paper to make the giant kite paper.
031_9459.jpg
032-20180421-0048.jpg
Verse 2 monument is on the lake shore, in front of Hotel Biwa Lake Otsuka, near what appears to be a boat pier. Short walk from Omi-Maiko Station.Directions: Near Omi-Maiko Station on the JR Kosei Line. After exiting the station, walk left toward Kitahama. Then get to the lake shore and walk along the lakeshore road until you see the monument under a large tree right on the shore. It is in front of Hotel Biwa Lake Otsuka.
032-IMG_0039.jpg
"Miyako Odori" sign post. Performed for over a century, the dance makes April a very special time in Kyoto. It helps to hone the dance and musical skills of the geiko and maiko who diligently practice for this annual dance.
032-IMG_2519.jpg
Carrying the boat back
032-IMG_2685.jpg
Entering Okinoshima Port. Okishima is the largest island in Lake Biwa. MAP
032-IMG_2855p.jpg
Mihogasaki harbor, Otsu. The arrow points to the boat house.
032-IMG_5445.jpg
Sachiko Tsuji, the MC, interviews the sisters before they sang on the boat. 自動販売機前でインタービュー。船内の客は姉妹の顔や姿がほとんど見えへん。
032-IMG_6109.jpg
The top two rows of washi sheets already pasted together.
032-IMG_6243.jpg
Torii on shore (Hiyoshi Taisha Shrine) near Sakamoto. 鳥居
032_9470.jpg
033-IMG_5471.jpg
Jamie and Megan Thompson sing in English while cruising on Lake Biwa. 船の真ん中で歌って自動販売機がバックになって最悪。客に背中を向くばかりで申し訳ない。船の一番前に歌いたいと頼んだけど...
033-IMG_6122.jpg
The size of the room almost exactly matches the size of the giant kite which is 12 meters by 13 meters or 100 tatami mats.
033-IMG_6246.jpg
Otsu Prince Hotel in the distance.
033-IMG_9888.jpg
"Miyako Odori" poster in English.
033_9480.jpg
034-20180421-0056.jpg
Across the road from the Verse 2 song monument is this small music box. Press the button and you can hear the song play (sung by Kato Tokiko).
034-IMG_0043.jpg
"Miyako Odori" poster and paper lantern.
034-IMG_2713.jpg
Side of boat
034-IMG_2959.jpg
Boat house where Taro Oguchi and crew departed on their rowing trip. No longer used by the university's boat club. Mihogasaki, Otsu
034-IMG_5476.jpg
After they sang, there was a mad rush to buy the CD priced at 800 yen. 英語版CDの購入者が殺到。
034-IMG_6123.jpg
The paper is Mino Washi, from Gifu Prefecture. It is white, and surprisingly thin. I thought it would be thicker. Six or so sheets are stacked while slightly spread apart.
034-IMG_6272.jpg
Cooling off
034_9482.jpg
She fell
035-IMG_0020.jpg
035-IMG_5482.jpg
Then they signed autographs on the CD. CDのサインを求める。
035-IMG_6113.jpg
The stacked paper is put on a table where water-based paste is applied to one horizontal and one vertical paper edge.
035-IMG_6282.jpg
Karasaki Pine Tree (One of the Eight Views of Omi or Omi Hakkei) as seen from Lake Biwa. 唐崎の松(近江八景)
035_9492.jpg
Patch up
036-IMG_0029.jpg
PR posters and paper lanterns for the Miyako Odori are everywhere.
036-IMG_0140.jpg
Making repairs. The boats are decades old.
036-IMG_0926.jpg
Verse 1 Lyrics (Otsu) 一番の英訳(大津). School logo on boat house, a cherry blossom with three stripes for Dai-san Koto Gakko.We're children of the lake, off to wander 'round.
This journey fills my heart with, intense happiness.
Rising mist evaporates, ripples come and go.
Shiga's Miyako dear, bid farewell for now.

われは湖の子 さすらいの
旅にしあれば しみじみと
のぼる狭霧や さざなみの
志賀の都よ いざさらば

Ware wa Umi no Ko, sasurai no
tabi ni shiareba, shimijimi to
Noboru sagiri ya, sazanami no
Shiga no Miyako yo, iza saraba
--
This first verse refers to the start of the journey of life. The lake mist symbolizes the uncertainty of what lies ahead.

The capital of Shiga is Otsu, where they departed from Mihogasaki boat harbor on June 27, 1917. For some reason, the kanji characters for "Shiga" is incorrect for Shiga Prefecture.

The photo above shows part of the stone monument for the first verse of the song. It reads "Ware wa Umi no Ko" (We're children of the lake). This is the song's first and most famous line. The monument is in a small park near the former boathouse in Mihogasaki pier. The photo has been digitally altered (the colors are not real).

All photos and English translation by Philbert Ono
写真・英訳:オノ フィルバート
036-IMG_5485.jpg
More autographs. 姉妹はやはり人気者。
036-IMG_6127.jpg
Each person holds one edge-pasted sheet and line up to align and join the sheet. Each sheet measures about 90 cm by 60 cm. There are also half-size sheets.
036_9501.jpg
037-IMG_0018.jpg
Ichiriki, a famous geisha tea house.
037-IMG_2692.jpg
Okishima Port
037-IMG_5489.jpg
Newspaper reporters ask questions. A nice article about the cruise and the sisters appeared in the Kyoto Shimbun the next morning.
037-IMG_6129.jpg
Anybody can help do this. The public is invited to sign their names on a sheet and paste it to the big kite paper.
037-IMG_6321.jpg
Mixing with sailboats.
037_9511.jpg
038-IMG_0027.jpg
Maiko and geisha can often be seen in Gion.
038-IMG_2976.jpg
"Rising mist evaporates, ripples come and go." のぼる狭霧や さざなみのImage composited by computer. The photo was taken from the boat house looking out toward the lake.
038-IMG_5323.jpg
Water lilies. The melody of the song originally came from a song called "Hitsuji-gusa" which means water lilies.
038-IMG_6119.jpg
The sheets are joined in the same pattern as a brick wall. Every other row of sheets has a half sheet along the edge. Notice the autographs of people on the paper.
038-IMG_6328.jpg
038_9517.jpg
"Nakama"This is another smaller kite. It means "Circle of Friends."
039-IMG_0045.jpg
Gate to Kobu Kaburenjo Theater. Four shows daily in April, lasting about 1 hour (too short). Ticket prices range from 1900 yen to 4300 yen.
039-IMG_5324.jpg
Water lily (Hitsuji-gusa). ひつじぐさ
039-IMG_6133.jpg
So the giant kite is actually made of many smaller sheets of paper joined together. Notice my "philbert" autograph on the bottom.
039-IMG_6333.jpg
Near miss?
039_9522.jpg
Anchor truck
03_3061.jpg
Water intake for Lake Biwa Canal No. 2
040-IMG_0049.jpg
Gate to Kobu Kaburenjo Theater. You can make ticket reservations by phone, or go directly to the theater ticket office and buy tickets.
2413 files on 10 page(s) 1