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Tsunagi no Nekko ( つなぎの根っこ, Roots of Tsunagi ), one of the art projects in Tsunagi Town ( 津奈木町 )

Walking in Tsunagi station, you will come across those drawings on pavements.

Yusuke Asai, who is an artist, and locals had workshops and drew on the pavements from 2014-2017. Those drawings are called “ つなぎの根っこ ( Roots of Tsunagi ) “ and it was one of the projects to promote Tsunagi town as Town of Mountains and Sculptures.

Tsunagi no Nekko ( つなぎの根っこ, Roots of Tsunagi ) in Tsunagi Town ( 津奈木町 )

Promoting Tsunagi Town as “ Town with Mountains and Sculptures ”

Tsunagi Town has lovely scenery of both mountains and the sea. The town has been working on promoting it as “ Town with Mountains and Sculptures”. Why sculptures in Tsunagi Town?

The town is located in the southern Kumamoto and stands next to Minamata City ( 水俣市 ) which drew attention for Minamata disease. Minamata disease was caused by pollution. Chisso, a chemical company in Minamata, used to discharge waste water which included mercury to Minamata Bay. Back then, fishing was the main industry in the area so people ate fish which contains mercury. It is a dark history which was cased by the high economic growth after the World War II. As described in a film MINAMATA which was starred by Jonny Depp and released in 2020, people who suffered from the disease had to live with aftereffect for the rest of their lives. Minamata disease had drew attention not only in Japan, but also from overseas. Even though decades have passed, people,  who have aftereffect and also those who have not been certified as patients of Minamata disease called by pollution, have been fighting for their human dignity.

Because Tsunagi Town is located next to Minamata City, many locals were also affected by the disease in the past. Since 1980’s, the town has tried to heal the people and also revitalize the town by placing works of art all around the town. Tsunagi town itself is a big museum now.

Find Tsunagi no Nekko ( つなぎの根っこ ) 

Tsunagi no Nekko was one of the art projects of Tsunagi Town to heal the locals and also make the town more unique and attractive. Those paintings on pavements stretch from Tsunagi station to some tourist spots in the town. I’ll introduce some of them. Visit Tsunagi town and find more.

Hisatsu Orange Railway ( 肥薩おれんじ鉄道 )

It is a local train company which runs from Yatsushiro to Sendai, Kagoshima Pref. They run along the west coast of Kyushu so we can see the great view from the train windows. There are many small but attractive stations to stop by.  

Tsunagi Station (津奈木駅)

The more I look into it, the more I got fascinated, not only with the lovely sceneries but also with their interesting history. Hisatsu Orange Railways was established as the third sector company and because of their background, we can see some unusual things, such as diesel trains with overhead wiring. 

Check out the article below and get to know about Hisatsu Orange Train. Highly recommended!

Visit Tsunagi Town and find Tsunagi no Nekko!

Taking a walk in Tsunagi Town and finding the sculptures and Tsunagi no Nekko is a lot of fun like finding treasures. Tsunagi Town is a lovely town with both mountains and the sea. Hisatsu Orange Railway runs their train almost every one hour. It is easy to take one or two hours in the town just talking a walk and enjoy their works of art. Hope you will find your favorite one!

Information and Links

Hisatsu Orange Railway ( 肥薩おれんじ鉄道 )

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テーマの著者 Anders Norén
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