Miyazaki's Muse

Earlier this month, Eddie and I took a two day trip to our next door neighbor, Yakushima. Yakushima is most famous for being a World Heritage Site and the model that Miyazaki used for the scenery in his anime, “Princess Mononoke.” I think the best way to describe it would be “Hawaii meets Oregon.” The scenery is subtropical, but the weather is all Pacific Northwest. While in Portland, I was sometimes surprised at how much I missed the ocean. Not that I spent a lot of time at the beach or anything, but there’s something reassuring about just knowing that it’s nearby. It’s nice having that vastness – that big open space – it prevents me from feeling claustrophobic. However, now I live literally minutes away from the beach, and as we were hiking through Yakushima’s forests, I realized how much I missed trees. Tanegashima has a lot of greenery, but most of it isn’t much over my head. I enjoyed the feeling of being in a forest – the quiet, the solitude, the vibrancy, the way everything feels springy somehow.

This trip rejuvenated me – we ate well, did a lot of walking and had two pretty full days, but it was nice to have the mental break and to experience something new and different. You can get to my journal entries here.

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