Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Hamanokawa Spring: Shimabara, Nagasaki Prefecture

Hamanokawa Spring is one of those places that is a page out of yesteryear.   The people, the buildings and the community spirit are all from a bygone era where society was nicer to each other, people lived and acted by another ethos of friendship and support of their fellow man and the community worked together to get things done and create opportunities for all.

I was pleasantly surprised to walk around Hamanokawa town to see the extremely old Japanese houses and I felt the atmosphere of a place that still today in the 21st century follow so many rules and life experiences of a culture and spirit of centuries before.  The Hamanokawa Spring in Shimabara is divided into 4 distinct areas and the system has been in place for 100's of years since feudal times and still holds fast today.

The 1st water chamber is used for the washing of fish and all types of foods such as vegetables and fruits.  The 2nd chamber is specifically for the rinsing of plates whilst the 3rd chamber is used for the washing of plates.  Finally the 4th chamber of water is only used for the washing of clothes.

When I arrived a little old lady was just finishing washing her clothes in the 4th chamber, I wanted to take a photo but she whisked away in a blur.  I really want to see these ancient systems in use by the local community, so I will return again someday and try and capture the process in full operation.

Please check out Hamanokawa Spring on a map:

Click on the photos below to enlarge:

Well sign posted

Abundance of clean fresh water

The whole community uses the water for a variety of reasons

The rules of how the system works

Shared by all the local community

The oldest part of town in Shimabara

Here is a video of the Hamanokawa Spring in Shimabara, please take a look:

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