In the futon I was listening rustle sound from next room behind sliding
doors. I had looked up at the ceiling in the darkness for long time. Then
I got hardly sleep.
My father's home was in Nagano. I was taken to there every year. Visiting
season were various, sometime in spring, in autumn for the other. Each
season had each attraction. The things that I met in the country house
at elevation of 800m were all new discoveries to me. It's also my pleasure
to be welcomed with aunt's delicious local food.
I, of course, visited there in summer vacation and it was a sericultural
season. Next to the living room was a small dim room. Wooden shelves were
lined up and dozens of baskets placed on the shelves. And in the baskets,
silk worms fed the mulberry leaves day and night. I pictured them in my
mind and the more I could not sleep.
I heard later sericulture is really hard job. Feeding silk worms wasn't
starting line. The first thing what a farmer have to do was farming the
mulberry. Then cropped the leaves and cut it in adequate size for feed.
Now here is main cast, silk worms were placed in the basket with mulberry
leaves. Farmers keep the freshness of the feed, which should not be dried
up, clean up their droppings and food scraps until silk worms make cocoons.
I had no idea how many meters of silk was reeled off from one cocoon. In
addition to it, usually farmers had other field-crops to manage in summer.
After all, sericulture was not paying business. I heard sericulturists
have been decreasing in number year by year.
Both my uncle and aunt might be busy at the time. But as for me, never
imagined their hard work, I enjoyed summer holiday in countryside and even
got a box of souvenir which silk worms and flesh mulberry leaves in. That's
for my summer vacation research project. My silk worms fed the feeds day
after day in the paper box and finally the moths cames out from the cocoons.
They were not boiled up for reeling off the silk, lucky guys. If you have
wondered what the silk worm is so far. Here is the answer. It's a larva
I still visit there from time to time when I stop by Nagano. Most of the
people left the mountain. There is almost no residents in the village.
Same to my father's house. And last month, my father himself past away.
I have never heard from him that he wanted go back to his home someday.
A home town might be boring for anyone.
Although for me, the country house was not boring at all. In the darkness of night I heard howls of animal, hoots of owl, and the rustle sound from the next room. That was the summer I strongly impressed we were not only life living on the planet.
" Scenery of Nagano " Nagano, Japan 2014
Inhabitant of white night forest