This blog is about Japan, or more precisely about my relationship to Japan. You’ll find various articles about various places and topics related to Japan with an emphasis on the Kagawa Prefecture of Shikoku as I fell in love with this place a few years ago.
It is called Ogijima because, among the many amazing things that Kagawa has to offer there is this small island unknown by most, and ignored even by the locals.
Strangely, the first time I heard about it was under a different name: Okishima, and it was a fictitious island. Some of you will have recognized Battle Royale‘s island. I’m not talking about the island where the film was shot (some island south of Tokyo) but about the island where the film and the original novel (and the manga) take place. If you know what I’m talking about, you already know that this island is located in the Seto Inland Sea, in the Kagawa Prefecture, somewhere between Takamatsu and Shōdoshima. And if you look at the map printed in the novel, you’ll see that this island is located precisely between Shōdoshima and… Ogijima! Except that, in the real world, there’s nothing but water there. But strangely, the description of that Okishima is very very close to what Ogijima looks like (especially in the novel).
In other terms, it’s pretty clear that Koshun Takami, the author, who grew up in Kagawa, did more than inspire himself from Ogijima to create his fictitious island. He just didn’t dare to set his story on the real island for fear of angering the local population or something along those lines. So, we end up with two islands, located next to each other, with roughly the same name (especially if you write their names in Hiragana) and that are as similar as twins can be. Saying that we’re dealing with one unique island is not a too far-fetched idea…
So what? You must be wondering. What is the relationship to me and to that blog?
Well, I happen to be a fan of Battle Royale, and when I went to Kagawa for the first time I had to go to Ogijima because I can be a stupid fanboy at times. What I found there was not Kazuo Kiriyma but a more than charming island where I wouldn’t mind having a house in a more or less unrealistic fashion (most people living there are fishermen, there are less than ten ferries a day to go to the mainland, and I’m not even sure there is an internet access).
Basically, this blog is some sort of tale for my metaphorical quest for living one day on Ogijima. In other terms, a blog dedicated to my experiences of Japan, my trips, my learning of the language and the tale of my path to living there someday if ever.