The following is an excerpt from Don George | June 29, 2018 | BBC.com |
On Shikoku, the smallest and least visited of Japan’s four main islands, one woman has had a mind-spinning response to a common crisis.
I had set out to explore the heart of Shikoku, the smallest and least visited of Japan’s four main islands, and was white-knuckledly navigating my rental car along a one-lane road through a mountain valley toward a storied vine bridge. I drove through a seemingly deserted village of a dozen homes perched precariously on metal stilts over a river, turned a corner and saw in the distance three figures slumped against an electricity pole.
They were dressed in rubber boots, rough-spun farmers’ trousers and windbreakers, and wore white gloves on their hands. Baseball caps covered their heads. Yet something was odd in their postures. They didn’t seem quite human. As I got closer, I realised they weren’t human. Their faces were made of white cloth, plump and pillowy, with buttons for eyes and black yarn for eyebrows.
Five metres further on, I saw another of these human-sized figures pushing a wheelbarrow in a field, then another pulling weeds, then five of them sitting on a bench at a bus stop.
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