I wish you all — all of you reading this — could teleport here right now, right in this very moment, and I could take you on a long walk around one of the peninsula’s towns on a Sunday morning, all blue skies and sunshine, to bear witness to the pride with which it’s all being maintained. Just a few folks left. And yet: streets swept, shop gates lifted, kissaten beacons flashing. One imagines flying carp in the spring and the last of the summer festival shrines carried on the shoulders of shirtless men in white-rag fundoshi underwear.
But you’d have to come now. Right now. Like a tiny nub of glowing charcoal, this brightness and warmth isn’t long for our world.