About the locations in Mirage of Blaze

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imperfekti
imperfekti's picture
About the locations in Mirage of Blaze

I recently stumbled into a piece of history about a certain place that is featured in Mirage and thought I should share it.

In a book called Lost Japan: Last Glimpse of Beautiful Japan by Alex Kerr, there is an interesting passage about Iya, where Takaya goes around book 21 after running away from Naoe.

"Since ancient times, Iya has been a hideaway, a place for refuge from the outside world. The oldest written record concerning the valley dates back to the Nara period: a description of how a group of shamans fleeing the capital disappeared into the neighboring mountains. Later, in the twelft century, during the wars between the Heike and Genji clans, fugitives of the defeated Heike fled into Iya Valley. From that time on, Iya became known as an ochiudo buraku (a refugee village). - -

During the period of warfare in the mid-fourteenth century, when Japan was divided between the Northern and Southern courts, Iya became a stronghold of guerillas fighting to restore the Southern Court. Even during the peaceful centuries of the Edo period, the valley people fought off integration with the rest of Japan. The villagers bitterly resisted incorporation into the Awa fiefdom of Lord Hachisuka of Tokushima, rising in numerous peasant revolts. As a result, prior to twentieth century, Iya existed virtually as an independent country."

Sounds familiar, doesn't it? The book also mentions Iya starting to suffer from depopulation, especially after 1970's as people moved to cities, something that Mirage briefly mentions as well. Apparently after that time there where a lot of abandoned houses around. In the mountains the houses were not organized as close together as in the villages situated in the lower regions, but maybe they were still too close for comfort and kept Takaya from inhabiting one of them when he settled in that region.

I'm sure Mirage has lots of these kind of things integrated into the story, so if anyone has some information to share about all the places featured in the series it would be interesting to learn more!

Katinka
Oku-Iya

Iya (Oku-Iya, specifically) is a very remote place indeed, quite hard to get to without a car. From the nearest train station (Awa-Ikeda) there isn't even a direct bus, I had to transfer once. And there's only a few buses per day. It was an adventure going there, but I liked it a lot. Picturing Takaya under the vine bridges :)

imperfekti
imperfekti's picture
Iya

Wow, the place looks so beautiful. Those bridges are amazing.

Thank you so much for sharing such nice photos! It makes the story come alive in a whole new way when you know more about its environment, I think.

Katinka
Iya

It makes the story come alive in a whole new way when you know more about its environment, I think.

That's true. The thing with Mirage is that it has hapenned literally everywhere (except Okinawa and Hokkaido, but we'll see about that - the Showa story is still ongoing :) And it's impossible not to be aware of this when you're in Japan and travelling. I'm still amaized (although not surprized anymore) to discover every now and again that the places I know and have already been to are also Mirage places. Makes me want to go again to take another look - and better pictures :)

jackthomaser
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Nice Place Its looks so beautiful

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