Memories of the Sea vol.2 – To the Geiyo Islands –

The Geiyo Islands have a position as a waypoint to bridge between Japan and continents. Also, it was such as "an entrance" to across from the continents to Japan.

The Geiyo Islands – these are a group of islands, and there are a remarkable number of islands between the area of Onomichi to Kure in the main island of Japan, known as Sanyo road, and Imabari in Shikoku. The Innoshima Island, the Ikuchi Island, the Ōmishima Island, and the Hakata Island – these large islands appear to stand in a row. There is a long road named the Shimanami Kaido, where runs from Onomichi across many islands to Imabari.

“The tide of the Seto Inland Sea is exceptionally complex. The rising tide and the ebb tide flow in a reverse direction. Each speed is always changing. The complex strait and the submarine geographical feature also cause turbulent waves such as countercurrents. The legend of on the island “Catch the tide rather than riding on a ship.” – it describes the essential secret when getting on a ship in the Seto Inland Sea with the rapid current. (from Ehime History)”

Using ships was only the route to reach each island of the Geiyo Islands before. Therefore, it was necessary to cross the most difficult spots in the Seto Inland Sea. To read a tide is remarkably tricky, and the speed is also extraordinary. The most of ships used to go aground off.

Here has been a critical choke point where establishes the marine transportation of the whole of Japan — bridge the ships from Dazaifu in Kyushu over Kinai, the capital regions of Japan. The ocean’s road forwards to the capital – as if the locals living there become a captain of ships like “a landmark.” Furthermore, they have led all the things, such as visitors, ideas, or cultures from everywhere, to the center of Japan while keeping the marine traffic safe.

These ancient islands, where “the ocean’s culture” remains deeply, has a role of support and have been inviting them to each essential place. Thus, the Geiyo Islands had a position as a waypoint to connect between Japan and continents as “an entrance.”

You can find a fantastic nature such as the beautiful water or flowing slowly large clouds if you land there. It let you feel that you will begin to blend in the scenery at a slow pace as you spend more time.

Today, we can see the same scenery that those who had once landed on the islands would have seen it. Ancient people must have developed their imaginations individually while looking up at the sky, to step into a new world.

Toward each start line – the ocean’s landscape leads you gently.

  • PhotosYoshiyuki Mori
  • WordsAtsuko Ogawa
  • DesignNoriaki Hosaka
  • Translation Mina Ishikawa