memory archive – day 97


Besides lots of general items and items of the other family members that I parted with (I have to admit) easily in the lead up to our move, there were some  items that I felt more strongly connected to. A good  example is this poster. Once – back then in really good shape – it adorned one of the walls in our hallway. That was before it came crashing down (and subsequently) my son jumping onto it. It had clearly seen better days, however, I kept hold of it  (by now, hiding in storage)  until the very last couple of days prior to our move. It is not just the design of the poster that I liked so much but also its story.

ドコココ?シレトコ!– very loosely translated, “Where am I?” “At Shiretoko”! Shiretoko National Park is located at the North-Eastern end of Hokkaido. The park is known for its stunning nature, great hiking and its abundant wildlife (most famously the park’s brown bears). We visited Shiretoko  a good three years ago. At one of the visitor centres I spotted the poster and wanted to  get one straight away. Sadly this poster was, inexplicably,  never meant to be sold. Even after leaving Shiretoko, back in  Tokyo, I was still thinking about it and we researched whether there wasn’t after all a way to get hold of one. There wasn’t…

In a last attempt my partner took a desperate measure. He bribed (I think) a Japanese colleague of  his, to call the National Park pretending to enquire on behalf of a German association. The  association was in the process of organising a promotional event to  bring more Germans to Shiretoko and therefore required posters to  decorate the venue. The event organisers were specifically interested in receiving the National Park’s bear poster. And so we got hold of one! Sadly it arrived rather battered in the mail. However, we had it mounted on board and my partner was (understandingly) very proud of himself .


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