Tag Archives: yazu

Mementos: Japan Enokitake (mushroom) Farm etc #flashback

Mementos: Japan Enokitake farm: view entering the farm compound in Saji - note this photo was used in Japan Times in an article about changes in rural Japan
Mementos: Japan Enokitake farm: view entering the farm compound in Saji, Tottoria

Note: Above photo published in Japan Times article: Modernity and magical realism in rural Japan By JAMES HADFIELD

Story: Sometime around 1994, I ended up working as a mushroom farmhand (enokitake and shiitake) in a small mountain village called Saji in Tottori-ken (prefecture), Yazu-gun (county) .

Sometimes, i’d haul soggy Shittake logs around in the forest. The culture is injected as plugs into the wood and then grows from one log to another into meandering perpetuity

A sorta friend of friend of my brother was seeking a foreign worker (at the time, Japan’s economy was in a “bubble” with abundant wealth and no one wanted to do the crappy jobs it turns out). They would pay my airfare and so on, I had just finished a stint hitching and drifting around Europe and before the Grateful Dead tour and thought this would be an interesting adventure.

The turn off to the farm which was a warehouse sorta structure with a variety of indoor/outdoor-ish rooms and shelters with various equipments, storage, supplies etc.

Continue reading Mementos: Japan Enokitake (mushroom) Farm etc #flashback

Japan Flashback – Tottori World

Made a map of various places where I lived and worked in Tottori, Japan during 1993-4 including an enoki mushroom farm in Saji, an apartment in Kawahara, another in Hamamura, and a few friend’s homes. Note: many of these communities are now amalgamated into Tottori-shi (city).

Musing from 2008(?): I feel so old thinking that when i was there, there was no internet access, no cell phones or other common communication tools. It seems like so long since i was in japan and i always thought i’d be back time and again. I still remember the smells, sights and feelings of the materials there – paper walls, tatami floors, kerosene heaters, heavy, overhanging ceramic roof shingles i’d always bump my head on!

I almost never get to use Japanese any more. There are heaps of Japanese ESL student here but they are all young kids trying to be cool ;-) and i haven’t urge to make temporary friends, however we picked up 2 lost hitchhiking Japanese girls trying to go snowboarding and they were really surprised when i busted out the Nihongo and explained where i lived (Tottori is the lost Japanese province i think) and i still get excited when i find the REAL 20th century pears from Tottori (rare usually crappy Korean ones).

Update 2017: I’ve since returned to Japan a few times but not to Tottori… yet.

Update 2018: i returned and documented, coverage to come eventually