Megijima’s Secret to Long Life?

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Utility pole and sunset on Megijima.

Rain put a damper on our interview plans today, but I suppose we’re just paying for all of the unseasonable sun we received on arrival here last month. Anyway, our little experimental garden — which now features rice — likes it well enough.

With the help of three volunteers from the Setouchi Festival, we interviewed three families yesterday, bringing our interview total to 24, which as we understand it, is pretty close to the entire permanent family population of the island.

Suhee photographing Mrs. Okamoto after our interview.
Suhee photographing Mrs. Okamoto after our interview.

The last week was filled with interesting talks, including a 95 year-old woman who drinks a beer every day for good health. Honest. When we asked Mrs. Natsue how it is that she can still work on the field at 90 years old, she wryly answered (as if we should have guessed) “I eat meat and drink beer every day.” And the field? Don’t you grow vegetables? “I hate vegetables… that’s why I only grow beans…”

Still frame from our interview with Natsue Okada.
Still frame from our interview with Natsue Okada.

Hard to argue with that, and so we made meat and beer for dinner this week (ahem, happy 4th of July, USA).

Last night also graced us with a rainbow, just in time for sunset, and also just in time for Suhee’s usual photo shoot and play session with two of the only kids on the island…

Suhee, the local kids, and a rainbow in Megijima.
Suhee, the local kids, and a rainbow in Megijima.

It’s almost always unpredictable in terms of weather here, with rain and harsh winds usually hanging around a bit here and there, often giving way to the most calm, still nights, coverd with a pin-pricked blanket of the deepest blue. Sunset can bring some amazing colors, as it did last night, so, I’ll leave you with some photos of my pre-chicken-and-beer walk. Could I really live to 90 with this kind of regimen?

Utility pole and sunset on Megijima.
Utility pole and sunset on Megijima.
Farmland on Megijima during sunset.
Farmland on Megijima during sunset.
One of Megijima's hillside farms with Takamatsu in the distance.
One of Megijima’s hillside farms with Takamatsu in the distance.
One of Megijima's hillside farms.
One of Megijima’s hillside farms.
Frog on a evening walk in Megijima
Frog on a evening walk in Megijima

The frogs: There are so many of them who hop down from the watering holes in the evening, we often let into the ground floor at night and watch them snap up the bugs with a quick slurp.

 

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