Kyoto, Japan

(大原)

“Although the quiet, rural village of Ohara is located within the present-day boundaries of Kyoto city it still remains largely untouched by civilization. The serene valley is narrow and the mountains are steep and populated with a great variety of plants, birds and wandering monkeys. At the end of a road I cut through a bamboo thicket into a wilting lotus grove, which droops its yellow leaves above the water, on past rice-fields and thatch-roofed farmhouses. The sky begins to brighten, the air feels warmer, and birds seem to be singing in every bush and tree. The old ladies who work the fields see me, smile, nod, or are lost in their work and note me only as a passing shadow. Finally the sky itself seems to narrow. The river, the houses, and the road all look as if they have arrived at a dead end. Dark birds rise screeching from the rice-fields into the air like so much winged mud flown upward. In one small plot, full of starlings, it is as if the field itself tries to take flight. Near another, muddy prints from bare feet walk bodiless up the road to the next plot, and stepping along in the tracks gives me the sense of traveling in another time. I feel that I am right next door to the past, in a world that seems bigger than it has ever seemed before.”

- William Corey