Hokkaido Highway Blues: Hitchhiking Japan, by Will Ferguson.
Funny tale of a once was English teacher in Japan who decides to hitchhike from Kyushu to Hokkaido.
He spends a brief amount of time in Shikoku (where I live).
I live in Ikeda, a town near the very small city of Miyoshi. When coming from Ikeda, before you get to the Miyoshi area you drive through Mino town.
About twenty years ago Ferguson was on these same roads and came upon the place I call home from "the expressway [as it] twisted and writhed to offer [...] various angles of the lnland Sea, but all [he] saw was urban desolation. [...] [He] came upon Mino Town, pooled in a valley rimmed with mountains and dotted with lifeless ponds."
Ferguson describes northern Shikoku as a place "like all human constructs, [...] a mix of genius, enterprise, and stupidity."
Once you live here you get a sort of Shikoku pride.
In Laos I meet a Japanese girl from Ehime, another prefecture of Shikoku. When it was discovered that we all lived in this area there was a small of amount of jumping in place and repeating the word, "Shikoku, Shikoku!".
In this bleak weather I have to remind myself of the things that I am beginning to take for granted.
Nights like tonight. When it is not raining the stars give a little bit of light in the maze that is the walk from my car to front door.