July 13th, 2018


The Cursed Yuzu

About a month ago I mentioned that my little ditty in praise of the humble yuzu was due to be tweeted by the city authorities in Minoh, in northern Osaka. I don't know why, but the prospect delighted me.

The day after I wrote that post, though, than there was a 6.1 earthquake in Osaka, with its epicentre more or less directly in Minoh City. Three people died, and some cats in a cafe were seriously spooked. With writerly selfishness, my first thought was for my poem - and, as I feared, the city authorities postponed my jolly jingle. It simply wasn't appropriate at such a time. It too, I thought portentously, was among the victims of the earthquake.

But time passed. Earthquakes are common in Japan, and the people are resilient. I quietly hoped that the yuzu would rise again. Perhaps what people need at times like this is a little rhyme in praise of citrus? That's what I was thinking, and perhaps the Mayor of Minoh was too.

Then, on 6th July, devastating floods and landslides hit the Kansai region, destroying homes and roads. This time, 204 people died. Inevitably, once again the yuzu poem has been pushed back.

If I were more given to magical thinking than I am, I might read more into this than I do. As it is, I feel ashamed of myself for not quite being able to shed feelings of chagrin about the poem's non-appearance amidst so much disaster. But, shikata ga nai, as they say in Japan.