Photography in Nabari, Japan (2021)

Three days before Obon, I visited Nabari. It was six in the morning when I left home. I woke up early, which was not what I usually do. I wore a black undershirt, a hat, and sunglasses.

Nabari is famous for being the site of the Nabari Poisoned Grape Wine Incident, which took place on the evening of March 28, 1961, at a residents’ get-together held at a community center in Kuzuo, Nabari City, Mie Prefecture.

One of the residents, a man named Masaru Okunishi, was charged with murder and attempted murder. He was 35 years old at the time. Okunishi continued to appeal for a new trial, but without success, he died in prison.

The party was held after the general meeting of the “Mina-no-kai,” a club for improving the lives of the residents of Kuzuo, Nabari City, and the neighboring Yamazoe Village, Yamabe County, Nara Prefecture.

Soon after the toast, all the women collapsed one after another; five died on the spot, one was temporarily in critical condition, and eleven others suffered from poisoning. Of the 20 female participants, only three who had not drunk any wine survived.

Tests conducted by the Mie Prefectural Institute of Public Health revealed that the wine was contaminated with a pesticide containing TEPP, an organophosphorus agent. In the early morning of April 3, 1961, six days after the incident, Okunishi admitted to the crime and was arrested.

Generally speaking, I was killing time in Nabari. I looked at maps a little, did a little photography, went for walks, and hiked a little.

It was fun to watch the children dressed as ninja enduring a raft ride on some rope along the riverside at the foot of the mountain. The children are training for the ninja experience.

Women are just people. They want new curtains, and they drink wine. What was Okunishi thinking? A rosy love triangle?

I gulped down an iced coffee from my water bottle and headed for Akame 48 Waterfalls.

I was bored. Or rather, I was boring even myself. No one likes to be bored. Why do people prefer to live like a poodle in a tatami room? I may never understand.

The last time I saw a waterfall in the mountains was in November. I like the mountains in the morning. The air in the mountains was still cool and clean, and everything was shining. Before I entered the mountain, I did some last-minute grooming. I made sure my hat was in place. My hair was in order.

I love the old-fashioned shopping streets, the aging signs, and the atmosphere at the entrance to the valley. The owner bakes the first sweet bun of the day and puts it on the glass showcase with a small handwritten menu next to it.

I like to take it as a souvenir and savor it slowly. Locally baked sweet buns purchased at a quaint store – there’s no substitute for them.

It’s crazy that I slept in every day on such a beautiful morning. Still, there’s plenty of time. Let’s go for a hike. I’ll make coffee.

It’s been a beautiful day. A brisk breeze. I could hear the rugged old beech trees across the street whispering to each other.

Hiking was becoming my life’s work, my joy. But I could only vaguely try to make money. For a living. That should never be a satisfying reward for me though.

I took a walk around Akame 48 Waterfalls. I passed the time there for about three hours.

Among the many waterfalls in the 48 waterfalls, I saw Fudo-daki (Fudo waterfall), Senju-daki (Senju waterfall), Nunobiki-daki (Nunobiki waterfall), Ninai-daki (Ninai waterfall), and then Biwa-daki (Biwa waterfall).

I parked my car in the area in front of the Akame 48 waterfalls and walked from there. In my business, I am often involved in nature. So I know a lot about it.

The waterfall is 8 meters high and beautiful. I took a picture of it. The waterfall was flowing down two sides with a rock in between. It is not a single disturbance.

I had a couple of iced coffees, enjoyed the moment, and I took too many pictures.