June 03, 13 | Takako Chiba
"Inoue Yasushi Memorial" - One of Japan's greatest authors was born right here in Hokkaido!
One of Japan's great authors is Yasushi Inoue. Among his well known works are titles such as Tun-huang, Shirobamba, Chronicle of My Mother, and The Samurai Banner of Furin Kazan.
Born in Asahikawa in 1907, the family soon returned to his mother's hometown of Shizuoka. Because of this he has no personal memories of Hokkaido, just stories he heard from his mother.
▲A model of Inoue Yasushi's house.
He later visited Asahikawa four times in his life, the last of which was in 1990 at the age of 83. The visit was in preparation for the unveiling of a monument dedicated to his literature as part of the celebration of Asahikawa's 100 year anniversary.
At the time he was working on a piece about his memories of Asahikawa, but in 1991 he passed away, leaving the work unfinished. Sadly he was unable to see the monument's opening in 1993.
Featured in the memorial are his notes reflecting on memories of Asahikawa, handwritten manuscripts for his novels, and various other works. Details about Inoue's life are also on display.
Other monuments for Inoue exist in Shizuoka and Tottori, but there are certain items which can only be found here in Hokkaido. For example, this Order of Culture merit. (1976)
The above award is the real thing, a must see for fans of the author and a rare sight indeed!
Below is the centerpiece of the memorial.
The study and drawing room from Inoue's house in Setagaya-ku Tokyo. Relocated from Tokyo in May of 2012, the objects in the room are all the originals used by the author himself, and the layout of the room was left untouched..
The desk featured here was used for many years and marks from repairs are still visible. The cushion used for relaxing, as well as the well worn pen were all used in the creation of his many masterpieces. For any fans of the author, this is a sight that brings tears to the eyes.
This is the drawing room, where his manuscripts were reviewed by publishers. As I stood there taking in the sight I began to imagine the scenes that must have taken place in the room.
▲The parlor, relocated from the original house. All the books on the shelves were left untouched.
These two rooms were used in production of the 2012 movie "Chronicle of My Mother."
We obtained special permission to take photographs for this article, but usually photographs are prohibited. I know the temptation to take photos is overwhelming, but please be considerate.
When visiting the memorial, you must travel to Asahikawa. If you go by train you'll be able to stop by the wonderful new Asahikawa Station!
It just so happens that we recently did an article about the station here on Hokkaido Likers, the link is below.
[ Place ] "JR Asahikawa Station" - The concept behind the station on the river.
Naturally, while on the train to Asahikawa I suggest bringing along a book to help pass the time. Why not pick up a copy of one of Yasushi Inoue's novels for the ride?
■井上靖記念館 (Inoue Yasushi Memorial)
(5-Jyo 7-Chome, Shunkou, Asahikawa)
●Hours: 9:00-5:00 (Entry permitted until 4:30)
●Closed on Mondays. (If Monday is a holiday closed on the following Tuesday) Also closed from December 30th through January 4th for the New Year.
Open without breaks from June to August.
●Admission: Adults - 200 Yen. High Schoolers - 100 Yen. Younger - Free.
※For more information please visit the homepage below!
(Hokkaido Likers Writer - Takako Chiba)
Photographs provided by 諏訪写真事務所.