I'm living in Kusatsu-shi, Shiga-ken for an undetermined amount of time and teaching English as a second language at a local high school. This journal is to document my experiences, thoughts, and to stay connected with others at home and abroad.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

The Bridges of the Kusatsugawa are conspiring something nasty

"Improvement makes straight roads, but the crooked roads without improvement are roads of genius." --Bob Blake

In homage to the great Bill Blake, I have produced a photo-documentary of the Kusatsu River's bridges, of which I wrote a recent song--the title of this report: The bridges of the Kusatsugawa are conspiring something nasty.
My reason for choosing such an ominous title is easy...there are about 25 bridges without 2 sq km of my old apartment in Kusatsu, Shiga, Japan. 25 bridges--about 10 of which carried regular traffic. Let me now remind you of the earlier quote by mister Will Blake, and continue it for you:

"Improvement makes straight roads, but the crooked roads without improvement are roads of genius. Sooner murder an infant in its cradle than nurse unacted desires. Where Man is not, Nature is barren. Truth can never be told so as to be understood, and not be believed."
(Proverbs of Hell--William Blake)

Let me show you the effect of 25 bridges, and see if you understand the truth: "The road to hell is paved with good intentions." (Dr. Samuel Johnson, author of the first dictionary, Dictionary of the English Language)

So far I've compiled profiles of just 18, all of the bridges from Lake Biwa to my apartment--mind you I haven't gone in the other direction yet. If you think this is bad, don't forget, these are only the bridges on the Kusatsu-gawa. This grievance doesn't include all of the obscure ones (though they are just as significant in their impact on the surrounding land).

Needless to say, thank god I don't live in this hellhole anymore. Thankfully in my current town (Misono in Ritto City), greenery outweighs concrete.

The freshest face of the Kusatsu-gawa brigade.

How many do you see in this photo??? Some are occluded, but I promise there are 4 bridges hiding here malignantly.


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