When I arrived in Shimabara, I first went to Shimabara Castle.
I climbed the stairs of the castle tower up to the 5th floor to the observation deck, where I took pictures.
I am looking out over the Ariake Sea.
I am taking pictures of that sea, a wonderfully beautiful sea.
But what was I thinking at that moment?
I wondered if I could see China in the far distance.
Come on, folks.
Let me show you where the Dutch lived in the past.
You have to see this Western-style house.
If I don’t like my current residence, I’m thinking of copying the interior design of this place.
I went to school for six months to study Chinese in case I might need to use it someday.
One day I could go to China and say “See you next time！” to Mao Zedong in Tiananmen Square.
My visit was not to Osaka, but to Oranda-zaka.
If you had met me there, I’m sure you would have been fascinated by me.
It was as much fun as a Friday night.
It was as if I was living in a foreign city.
Thirty-seven Japanese people visited Confucius Shrine. I was one of them. I took a lot of pictures.
I took pictures because I wanted to remember the masked Chinese better. I want to talk about the masked Chinese at work and do a slideshow on my blog.
I was an East Asian language and culture enthusiast, and a passionate photographer.（I had taken a whopping 40 photos here.）
There was a nice little dragon sculpture on the roof.
Ah, just like China!
Near the end of the evening, I looked around the Nagasaki Traditional Performing Arts Museum, peering at the individual exhibits.
I learned how the Japanese around 1600 used dragons and sailing ships to hold gorgeous festivals.
The Japanese of the Edo period was brilliant.
But putting cushions on the boat is not good.
It would get wet.
I want to write something like a dragon-like Chinese ship.
After wondering how I would survive the winter, I visited the home of a rich man named Glover.
My stay here was a good one. You’ll see.
I enjoyed my vacation away from the trouble of the neighbors, the screaming children, the annoying phone calls, and the hassle of work.
Then I slowly made my way across the lawn, stopping under the bougainvillea to look from left to right.
Without running into anyone I knew, I was eating Champon in the cafeteria. And I asked for more pepper.
Then I walked up the long slope to the Oura Cathedral, the harbor breeze blowing in my body.
I inhaled and exhaled the midday air, paying more attention to the composition of my photos than usual.
It was all for the sake of the beautiful church.
The Oura Cathedral was built in 1865 as a church for foreigners.
On March 17, 1865, the secret Christians who had kept their faith under the ban confessed
their faith to Father Petitjean at the church and became well known in the world.
Oh, Maria, I thought.
The church is real.
I wish I could become a priest at one time.
But where was the priest?
I was only a musician.
I spent a winter morning on a streetcar.
What I still remember as a good memory is a passenger next to me.
I was startled.
I was surprised because the passenger was wearing a kimono in the morning.
I only drink coffee in the morning.
Just this morning, I was looking out the window at the city.
Snow was piled up on the roof tiles of the houses.
The winter sky is white and beautiful.
It’s just that
I feel like something good will come out of it.
Isn’t there such a time?
First I sang this song.
With a renewed pledge for peace
I fold a scarlet crane
And with a pure and noble heart
I fold a fresh white crane
And then I fold a bright red crane,
burning with emotion.
Renewed pledge of peace…
I try to say it out loud a couple of times. Then I thought about the deterrence of nuclear weapons, read a pledge for peace written by an A-bomb survivor, and saw the news about the increase in the toll on the Tokyo Metropolitan Expressway.
Then I wished my friend a Happy New Year.