ちなみに英語での発音はフィッシュアンドチップスではなく、フィッシュ ン チップスです！
I love to do art; but while I think painting and sculpting are fun, my true passion is drawing. Every October for the past few years, I have tried to participate in Inktober– a 31-day drawing challenge. The goal is to draw one image in ink every day. The great news is, the drawing doesn’t have to be perfect, it just has to be in ink.
Emily and I have both decide to try to complete Inktober this year. To really challenge ourselves, we wrote and exchanged story ideas. Emily is illustrating my story and I am illustrating hers. I have seen some of the pictures Emily has completed and they are very beautiful and colorful! I like how she uses the whole page for one image. I’ve decided to take a different approach from Emily and am doing her story as a comic. Each of my pages has several small images and they are almost always in black and white. I’m very proud of it so far and feel excited to see how it will turn out by the end of the month!
Do you enjoy drawing? If you do, you should join me for Inktober 2018! Happy October, everyone!
One of the many things I really enjoy about living here in Japan, and Ogaki in particular, is the rich and colorful history that surrounds us. I have always been fascinated by history and how events from long ago continue to shape the daily lives of people even in our modern 21st century society. From Ogaki, we can visit many of the great historical areas in Japan with ease including Kyoto, Nara, Segigahara, and even somewhat lesser-known places to many foreign visitors to Japan but still have a unique and important history in Japan like Seki, Gifu, Mino, Hikone, Kaizu, and of course, Ogaki itself, to name just a few of the seemingly endless list of places within a short car, train, bus, or even bicycle ride away. Over my many years of living and working here in Ogaki I have had the wonderful opportunity to stumble upon many small and interesting places that are steeped in the history of Ogaki that many people don’t know about or have never visited. Most visitors to Ogaki quickly learn about and visit Ogaki Castle, but I am going to dedicate my next several blog entries to some of these lesser known places that I think are also interesting places to know about and to visit.
Today I would like to tell you a bit about the remnants of the Ogaki Castle Ote Gate. It can be found in downtown Ogaki just off of one of the side streets, fairly close to the Kyoritsu Bank home office. At one time, the Ote Gate was the main gate of the seven total gates by which one could enter Ogaki Castle. It was located it what was a commercial zone of the city where traditional wooden townhouses once stood in rows. Even today the area is still considered part of the main commercial zone of Ogaki, as it still in the center of the downtown area. As you can see from the photos I have included in this blog, all that remains of the original gate now are several stones used to form part of the castle wall. What is left of the wall is approximately two meters high with the lovely horse statue standing at the top. It is located at the Hiromine Shrine and if you visit, you will also notice a small canal on the east side of the shrine. These days a person can easily hop across the canal and it doesn’t look much bigger than a simple drainage canal for rain, but at one time the canal was much larger. So large, in fact, that it was part of the moat around the castle!
If you ever have the opportunity to visit, there is a small wooden bench near the stones where you can sit, rest, and enjoy a few moments of unexpected quiet in an otherwise busy area, and just outside of the shrine is a small old cafe where you can have a satisfying and inexpensive lunch or get a delicious ice cream in a part of Ogaki that long ago used to be one of the most important and heavily-defended areas in the city!