-･- From My Everyday Life to Japanese Culture -･- Why don't you see the real Japan, not the typical foreigners' version.
I was born, raised and still living in Azabu, Tokyo, and here is my hometown.
However, if someone asks me where my origin is, I’d say I originate, as an individual, in the land in this photo (I cannot answer a deep question like where is my origin as Japanese or humankind, though.)
A mountain area of Uonuma district, Niigata prefecture (新潟県魚沼郡) It's one of the snowiest areas in Japan
This is my paternal grandfather’s home village.
I spent several weeks there in my childhood. I’m not sure when this photo was taken, but the picture of the village in my eyes is similar to the photo: unpaved winding road, stepped rice paddies and scattered houses. I think there were 20 households at that time.
My mother came from a seaside town in Aichi Prefecture (愛知県), and I do like the town. But, I don’t have such emotional attachment I feel from the village to the town where my mother’s family live.
According to the Tokyo Metropolitan Government, as of Jan. 1, 2010, Tokyo's 23 wards have a population of 8,502,527 people. It's my guess there aren’t so many native-born Tokyoites, and if going back three generations or more, there are much fewer people whose ancestors are all Tokyoites. In my case, my father was born in Tokyo, but my mother and grand parents weren’t, so maybe, I’m not a genuine Tokyoite. Genuine Tokyoites (they can't even equal the pride of genuine Kyotoites, though) have a lot of self-respect.
The land of my heart now has only 4 or 5 households.
An airborne imagery of the village borrowed from google map.
This less-than-perfect Tokyoite sits between one of the world's biggest cities and the depopulated village.