Feels close to but also distant to the Japanese, such a country is the Philippines. I open the photo movie consisted with 25 pictures until February 6, 2011 (Japan time), limited. Please do watch it.
Digibook "Philippines / Time on the Philippines"
I created the second DIGIBOOK of mine, Phil Eye; this time is not only for publishers but also for any Filipinos and foreigners related to the soil of Philippines. Please see! The program expires in 30 days on 6th January, 2011 (Japanese time).
I created a Digibook, Canadians, for presentation to publish a book, the photos & nonfiction for going and coming across Canada in a touring wagon, "A Man Goes to North." That program expires in 30 days on 31st December, 2010 (Japanese time). Don't miss it!
Across the border. Without denying what you've already achieved shouldn't be able to meet your new horizon. The "IBASURA NA LANG" is my first photo diary would be my last challenge to novel photography. See you there.
"Hometowns should be thought of from a far, while singing a sad tune." (Saisei Murou; translated by William I Eliott and Katsumasa Nishihara) : Why did I, Tetsuya Endo, leave Japan? I confessed in English and photographs in 2004, and I will open it to the public on web now: http://expatriate.exblog.jp/ Welcome any offers to publish a book.
March, 2001, at home in Shizuoka Prefecture.
The following morning, I found tony had emailed me. It says that because he has a very early-morning shift after my arrival time he wouldn't pick me up. When I met Tony, at first he looked avoiding speaking to me busily talking on his cellphone. And then, he apologised me that he mistook the day of my arrival as tonight. However, as opposed to what he mentioned in his email, the next day he didn't get up early for his shift.
For several days whenever I met him in the apartment, he was always using his cellphone busily. However, at last he accosted me to report about the travels each other. He confessed that his trip to Beijing was to meet a girl and her family, who were introduced to him for his marriage. It was totally different from what he said previously. He said that since before the travel they exchanged their photos and had correspondence. He looked very happy. I just couldn't believe it.
Soon he requested heating and lighting expenses I used from November 2004 to January 2005. Days later, he mentioned Mr Komada and his family would move from Japan to Richmond at the end of this March. I replied, "How speedy they are!" He said, "You don't know? They bought a house on the No,4 road in Richmond." I was merely surprised, but never expected that Mr Komada used my room.
My absence home was around 8 weeks. Before my departure, Tony asked me if I want to rent my room during my travel. I flatly denied that I want to keep as it is as my address is this place; I already paid one year rent for the first place. However, when Tony brought Mr Komada home in front of me in the living, he opened his speech with hesitation, "Ya, ya, Mr Endo, I was using your room...ya, ya." After that he entered straight washroom." He didn't express any gratitude to me.
What? I was at a loss. I returned my room without words over Tony there. He did it in spite of the fact that he had been told not to. I trembled with rage feeling that I was looked down on by them. Since then I have never never opened my mouth to Tony. Some evening, Tony chased me grinning and said, "Are you all right?"
"Are you kidding on me? I told you I wouldn't allow you to re-rent my room!" He changed colour in a moment, "I didn't re-rent it. He stayed at living at first but implied your room, and I couldn't reject it." "Then why didn't you tell me about that after my return? Or, you even could ask my permission on email, could you?" If Komada didn't confess the matter, I should never be able to know the fact; this man might have been doing everything I can't know behind me. "I was thinking you are my family, I don't think you are others. So I thought you shouldn't care such a small thing." What a weird man he is! Tony and I were merely share-mates, not family. The more I got furious, the more his anger got fired.
Of course, Mr Komada stayed this apartment for free; I doubted Tony's common sense that feel sympathy to such a person as rich enough to buy immigrant status and moreover to buy a house! He should have been able to stay at a hotel paying rent; however, he used my room for free! He used to say that living alone is not bearable for him, and he usually had kept opened the door to his third floor!
I cried out, "I have privacy! Didn't you give it a thought?" He talked back, "I have no privacy. I exist for others. So should you." What he did sounds always right. This man always changes what he said on the spot upon his own convenience; I no longer can believe in him. I become to think their divorce was mainly caused by him no matter how Mei have deficiencies in act. Now I needed his honest attitude in documents, not talks.
I requested it in emails, but he tried to speak out with me again and again. While I ignored what he talked to me, he mentioned his Japanese friends would come to this apartment to stay for a while. Soon, he pressed me for a discussion knocking my room's door, and finally showed his true nature. "This is My place, My place!" His angry voice continued outside, "If you want to stay more in My place, if you want to stay more in My place," "It's Ours, Not yours," "IF YOU WANT TO STAY MORE IN MY PLACE..." After that is not able to remembered, but soon after he came to my door again, and spoke in Japanese, "Such a thing is not good thing for us living each other under a same roof, let's have a talk." What a weird man! I'm not his family. Enough's enough. Some kids must have their own way, and he was.
Meanwhile, Charlie and Peter gave me a last chance for me to stay Canada: they introduced me single ladies with a view to get married! Having shown my ad. works and career in Japan, Yilin, an esthetician, said she would introduce not only a single lady but also a job to me. Although the lady she made arrangement wasn't fond of me, Yilin offered me that she would become a role of sponsor on a paper. However, soon it appeared that she wanted money in return of giving me the status. I flatly declined, because I never have to pay for such a status with my skill and experience. They had to buy me, instead. I thought that putting a cart before the horse is very usual in Canada.
Charlie and Peter then also had a Japanese share-mate for their apartment. When I first visited their place, they guided each room for me. The guy was away at that time like I had done, but they didn't show his room as if as a matter of course. Later I knew he hadn't paid his rent during his absence; nevertheless they kept his room as he left.
During this series of mess, the arrangement with PRA person to move to the Philippines quite went well. The people I met in the Trans-Canada tour occasionally gave me emails, asking what the photo-works I did on the travel was going. I then explained my situation honestly with adding what I learnt in Canada. They, however, are not necessarily with me.
Some admitted the serious loss of identities for First Nations people these days, but some condemned them on their attitude turning from 'Share' to 'Possess.' However, it was brought by Western people to this continent. In Asia as well. What I came across at my final stage in Canada, the right of a shared apartment, was ironically just like the relationship between First Nations people and Canadian people.
Between two different values, however, whether one side is right or not is not important. Rather whether one side have kept a promise or not is important. In my final destination, the Philippines, should be more mixed-up situation in regard to 'promise' among people with its complex history as a country. Still, I want to keep promises with them to contribute and further contact with native people and things. I believe our happiness only exists in Nature, which Canada told me.
Even though I had already abandoned pursuing an advertising career path in NYC, to know NYC seemed necessary for me as ad. creator as well as photographer. I flew to New York City for the first time, on the way returning back to Vancouver. New York was rougher than Canada.
Upon my arriving at the hotel/residence in Manhattan at night, the front-desk man said I had no reservations there despite the fact that I did by email in advance with telling arrival time. He told a rate per month, which was US$500 higher than they showed in a email. I asserted that it was different than what they had said. He excused that his boss in a different location should have received my reservations and that his is Crazy. If I want a negotiation, he said, I have to go another hotel/residence 10 blocks northwest.
I didn't want to concede due to being a Japanese who was unfamiliar with NYC. So I took a taxi with heavy stuff carrying and explained my situation to the driver. He kindly helped me calling some appropriate hotels, but appeared that the hotel I made reservations was by far cheaper. Then getting to the front-desk for the boss, an ugly-looking Black guy was on the phone; he was Patrick I corresponded in emails. He looked very busy in contacting customers even late at night. I asked him for confirming an email for my reservations on the computer in front of him. He got furious; he insisted on the price the other guy said and pressed me a sheet of unreasonable document printing out on the spot. I besieged him with further explanation, which prompted him to fire. His face was as if a demon. "You take it, or leave it!" The moment he said, he closed the door in the back room.
I had the taxi wait for me. "I don't like his attitude apart from the price," said I. "I understand your feeling, but this is New York where requests money everywhere and the price they offer can't be compared with others," he advised. I didn't have supper yet and it is becoming later, so I had no choice than returning to the hotel/residence. When I tipped him, he complained saying I should pay such and such. It was the first time for me to be required the amount of tip. This first experience of New York induced me to believe that I need to show written evidences in any case in this 'money-is-everything world.' Later, the Patrick asked me for shaking a hand with me, though.
As I mentioned, Mr Saito never emailed me this time. The due date of the submission, 7th February, has already passed when I was in Tokyo, and in Tokyo where he resides I had no contact him. It turned to March, but New York have been having snow almost everyday.
When going out, I had to watch my step for frozen snow as well as melting snow. Black people overwhelmed the towns. Everything in towns were expensive; I regarded Tokyo as No,1 expensive place in the world but NYC. There had all kinds of restaurants like Vancouver, but almost all of them were rough and expensive. The streets and houses, many of them were old high-rise buildings, were not comfortable with overcrowded people. I wondered if New Yorkers were really enjoying their life.
Only place I got fond of was the lower east side where Jazz spots remains. However, I found those cultural places were in the grip of crisis, with some places being torn down, because of the rising rents; I felt Japan became the country where people can't sustain their quality life without money, but New York appeared more significant. Music, pictures, and that sort of culture activities are originally apart from economic activities, and even pure truth which has no application whatsoever has been elevating life; however, these days even art demands economy or profitability.
Walking about art galleries, I saw some were closed and no vibrant life and energy. I had no feeling that here is the centre of the art scenes of the world, which had seemed common sense before 9.11 at least. I thought I am eye-witnessing the ending of the materialism that America developed.
Turning eyes to publications, the famous "LIFE" magazine which reissued recently converted into a comforting brochure for American families distributed by inserting in newspapers. America is becoming something out of America, without roots without originalities; they looked like becoming inorganic matters like robots. NYC was cold in both people and climate. Thus, I made up my mind to leave for Vancouver before completing the one-month-rent, buying the cheapest ticket to and from Manila via Vancouver.
I emailed to Tony to tell the date and time of my arrival, since he told me he would pick me up; it was early March. He had told me before I left Canada that he would trip to Beijing. "Because," he said, "it was the only major city he didn't visit in the world." Even though, until the time I emailed, he was supposed to return home, he emailed me that he was still in Beijing and that he would email again about picking up. Even though I checked emails until the very departure day, he never emailed me again.
When I reached Vancouver airport, it was around 1 am 16th March. As I couldn't find Tony, I took a taxi. His kind way of speaking made me feel relieved. "Have a good sleep at your home," he said. I was very tired and couldn't count the appropriate tip for him with mixed up as NYC. But, he actually didn't want any tip from me! Oh, I lived Vancouver and the area.
The room light of Tony was still on when it was 2 am. Even though he usually noticed the door sounds when opened and closed, he didn't make his figure and I got into my bed soon. However, I found something was strange in my room. First of all, a clock I didn't use was on my desk with a booklet of Richmond City, and each my stuff was put differently as if someone had checked one by one.
Having seen the bright town lights of Vancouver, I was feeling I got back home. Across Canada I sometimes couldn't feel at ease because there were no similar-looks persons; however, in Richmond I shouldn't be conspicuous in crowds. Other than that, it was sure that Richmond was the most active and rich economically among residential cities of Canada for Chinese and other Asian.
Rusted cars were not very rare in countryside of Canada, though in Richmond they seemed to have to drive new cars. Moreover, the half of the cars in Richmond maybe new MERCEDECS; to such extent, unbelievably many luxury cars are seen and almost all the owners are Chinese. However, their selfish ways of driving annoyed me after knowing Canadians' good manners to pedestrians (except in Québec).
I wonder the tendency to insist on materials is a peculiarity to Asian people; they want to identify themselves to brands and their greedy desire for goods seems endless like an ape. They are not happy even though they have everything they need. I can hardly find in Richmond happy and lovely smiles I saw every rural area in Canada especially Indian reserves. There has to be more to life than earning money. I knew it during my travel.
Until before the travel, I had ambition succeeding in my career of advertising director to contribute to sell goods, not only in Canada but in the USA. However, Canada told me it is in vain. Artificial happiness brought by materials, and natural happiness with wild; the latter exceeded by far. Probably many natural lovers including fishers should know this matter, but I have to say the people from developing countries cannot realise it being absorbed in modern technologies.
My business idea has been able to be outlined: I would try an 'Ecology Advertising' in economical way establishing a kind of bridge between Asia and Europe, as well as First Nations and Canada. My hope to immigration getting larger and larger.
When I arrived at my apartment in Richmond at night 16th November, 2004, Tony was watching TV with his son on the sofa in the living. He could expect my return because Mr Saito, my immigration consultant, frequently emailed and requested me to phone to Tony to tell where I was during my travel. Somewhat he didn't want my emails to him; he seemed to have been emailing with Tony.
While my absence, Mr Komada, the applicant for investor immigration, stayed in the living room, Tony said. Taking shower in my bathroom, Tony's bath-towel occupied the bar and several toys and his face-towel were lying around the bathtub. When I tried to pay him heating and lighting expenses which I used before departure, he said, "You don't have to. We are benefiting from you enough with having this apartment." Surprisingly enough, he converted from a Moslem to a enthusiastic Christian in order to sublimate his adherence to Mei.
The long journey with little plane tastes prompted me to Sakae Japanese Restaurant nearby, which used to be my favourite. I told the chief cook over the counter that the tastes of Sushi in Vancouver area was the No,1 in Canada explaining my exploration. I wondered why Sushi chefs in Canada didn't use rich freshwater fishes. He said that it was a common question for him but they can't use because the freshwater fish have bugs; a Steelhead in sea, for instance, is OK, but once getting into a river is NG. "We can't offer freshwater fish in raw for hygiene, but can offer after cooked with vinegar," he said.
6 days after my arrival, 22nd Novemver, 2004, Mr Saito emailed me with CC: Tony. He printed out to me. Now, I can suspect the timing that things have come to this pass. Mr Saito wrote as follows: "Please be advised, the Canada Immigration office (CIC, Seattle) requests you the updated IELTS score sheet, the employment certificate and the etc. by February 7th, 2005. It means, if you are able to submit the IELTS score meeting with score as 7.0 for each category or an additional TAF score sheet of FRENCH to cover up for the IELTS, the interview will be probably waived. I appreciate it if you would consider over the above points so as to take an action, and let me know of your idea."
Come to think of it now, the timing of his advise was too timely to believe that he got that information just before telling me. Actually, he didn't tell me the date he received the letter. Clearly, he emailed me after knowing I returned home. Then, why did he frequently confirm where I was in travel? I, of course, asked him to tell me immediately if anything was needed with regard to my immigration. However, he didn't mention such things at all through his emails. He only wanted me to phone to Tony.
Although I had been fully confident with my English to communicate with Canadian people including business matters, as proved in my achievements in travel, I was not confident enough to get IELTS 7 all score yet. Because I knew the ability to communicate is one thing and the ability to the test is another. Other than that, I had still difficulty to hear out in Canadians' ordinary conversations. I replied to Mr Saito that I shouldn't reach but would sit in for IELTS test once more at any rate with saying I won't insist on Canada knowing a lot of hidden aspects of Canada. This remark came from my confidence to contribute to Canada regardless whether I have IELTS 7 all score or not, and I thought even when I couldn't submit the score the interview should be carried out for Mr saito told if I submit the IELTS score the interview will be probably waived. I was convincing that I would be able to ace the interview.
I was supposed to have the test at Downtown in December. It was the morning the day before test day that I stood at an entrance of public library. However, even though it went over 9 am it didn't open the door. Instinctively I asked to a passer by, "Is it Saturday today?" "Sure." Oh, no! I missed the exam! It starts at 9 am, so I can't make it already!
The library opens at 9 am Mon-Fri and at 10 am Sat and Sun. Why did I mistake? I thought I adjusted the date when it changed from 30th November to 1st December; however, it indicated the day before Saturday! While travelling, I frequently had to adjust to the time zones on top of date and something was wrong this time! The IELTS test in December was the last chance to make it for the dead line set by the Immigration Office since Mr Saito notified it on 22nd November.
I reported this to him immediately; then he consoled for me that those things happen and never mind. Since he didn't mention anything else, I believed that the immigration interview should take place. Meanwhile, Christmas vacation came. I was surprised that even though Christianity is not the national religion of Canada all of the public facilities took a long vacation, though I replaced my Japanese drivers licence to Canadian one believing in my possibility of immigration.
A new year came. However, Mr Saito didn't send me a new year greeting email as he did previously. However, he called to Tony's cellphone, and I realised it was him. I emailed him to tell me when the interview would occur. He returned saying that the possibility of interview was almost dim because I don't answer their request.
I lost all of my words reading this, but asked him to send a petition for the interview by the due time. I opened my business idea of Ecology Advertising Business developed in and by traveling all over Canada and its people, and insisted that at least such a plan is to be spoken out. However, he rejected saying that it is your freedom if you do yourself; rather, he recommended me to withdraw my application this time in that I would be able to have another chance future since the IELTS all 7 is not very difficult given a certain preparation course as he repeated endlessly. If he repeat that it is easy, he should sit in for it just for try.
After this correspondence in early January, 2005, I have been had no contact with him. I was at a loss literally. Tony and his friend advised me how to remain Canada for immigration. A guy brought a camouflage-marriage for me to get a resident status paying money, but I instantly declined because I do not want to immigrate unfairly. Tony told that if I paid and enter some institutes automatically my status approaches to immigration thus finally I can immigrate; in Canada to have Canadian certificates is must to do anything and I have to know 'Canadian system,' he said.
I already knew it; that's the way of Canada. However, in such a way there shouldn't appear outstanding or innovative businesses or achievements since the graduates from the institutes must be tamed and averaged students for the eking-money-education industry. The government pushes it; however, I have already enough education and enough occupational experience in Japan. If the government of Canada didn't appreciate it, I wouldn't be needed by them. Tony also brought a business talk to invest to a restaurant which his friend was interested in buying, but I flatly turned down saying it's not my area.
I wondered if Canada want leaders with a certain backbone with skills or average solders with good English ability. Someone said no, they want rather instant money. In this country, or in this world, we have to take action and stick it out to the end by ourselves if really want. As long as depending on someone, you can't achieve what you want; in reverse, you have to take any accountability to what you do. This way, I began to think that such me as choosing Mr Saito to rely on was wrong.
I had become to know Canada so closely and deeply by my exploration that I no longer could insist on participating in Canada. If I can't expect immigration, why do I have to spend money for this country paying the expensive taxes? I had another choice as for immigration; more precisely, wherever was OK provided that I can use English as a means of communication, since I regarded English as lingua franca regardless of the background in this world.
Thus, I was changing my destination to the Philippines. I had a friendship with several good Filipino and Filipina in Tokyo, and they said that foreigners can easily get a permanent resident status and living cost there is very inexpensive. Actually, I considered the Philippines as my migration place; however, at that time I had still ambition in my business. Fortunately or unfortunately, Canada told me that living in natural is the happiest thing on earth. Now, I don't care whether I can success economically or not.
However, because I promised Tony having the apartment paying full-rent till June, 2005, I decoded to do away with my stuff there and to close my Canadian life within the contract. After telling Mr Saito this in the asking email for a petition to the Immigration Office, such a man as worry about everything in my travel even hasn't been contacting me at all.
In any case, I had a return ticket to Tokyo when the extended visitor status expired in January, 2005. I didn't want to return to Japan, though I utilised this opportunity as a business research trip via New York to sell my photos as I knew with my visitor status I can't be allowed to in Canada. Thus, before leaving Canada on 20th January, 2005, I declared to Tony and also Peter and Charlie that I'd be back in March, 2005.
The prices I had in and around Tokyo for the first time in a year were expensive; especially the foods were beyond imaginations of Canadians. I thought Japan became such a country as people cannot continue to live without earning big money. The photo market was that just as I expected; rather established works by established photographers in Japan than newer ones were wanted by publishers for their shrinking market. As for photographers themselves, both established and newer photographers seemed becoming more and more superficial. Even having a Buddhist memorial service held on an anniversary of my parents' deaths, one month stay was enough for me. I thought my decision on abandoning Japan was right.
During that time, I exchanged emails with the Philippine government's PRA person (PRA: Philippine Retirement Authority). As a Filipino said to me, the fee for a permanent residential status was far less than that for the investor to Canada, besides it is issued in several days after applying! And what is more, the fee is taken as a time deposit so you can withdraw upon finishing a certain term for your life in the Philippines; whereas, in Canada the extravagant investment is never to return.
While in skilled worker category Canada requires high English ability skills, it never ask any English ability skills and level of the person provided that you buy the status paying a lot of money. Who are you, Mr federal government? You are merely using other people's land, prohibiting me to work with visitor status! Are you gangster merchants with two faces or mercy disciples?
Finally, I got entered BC again. Passing the Crowsnest Pass, I became to know that there are two CPR lines in that here and also in Banff, and that the northern route was the place killed tens of thousands of construction workers, mostly Chinese. However, people, whoever I asked, didn't know the existence of requiem tower or that sort.
At Fernie, a still existing coal mining town, I met a drunk old guy. Looking at my smoking in the frozen air outside of the hostel, he asked if smoking was cool in Japan. "It's not the problem that if they see me cool or not. I want to smoke, that's all." He seemed to get interested in me; he accosted me when dinner again.
He was an Irish descendant. I mentioned both good points and bad finding in my travel to him. He agreed with me in most points; our discussion in the lounge invited another middle aged guy. He persuaded how Canada have been right in its expansion to the West originated from Ontario; he seemed an English descendant. The old guy with his downward head shaking mumbled, "British are brutal, brutal." The other guy's face got red and his tone intensified. I was already drunk, and thought their seemingly endless argument was very interesting. With a loud laughing, I cut in the conversation, "Anyway, without British people the world wouldn't become this much simple! I appreciate it for them!" They were still repeating their opinions, though.
When I crossed Kootenay Lake by ferry, it was already dark at night. I managed to find a motel in Kaslo. The town used to be one of the Japanese-Canadian incarceration camps, and I learnt the motel was built by those Japanese-Canadians around World War Two. The owner family was from Australia, though. At a museum, I observed their photos which showed more like Japanese than those in Japan now.
In a cafe in town, I found an elegant local old couple who look like Japanese were chatting with Caucasians at table. I asked the waitress if she usually see Japanese in this town. She replied that not so many but in Banff there are quite a few Japanese. She herself was speaking French to other customers; yes, she was a French Canadian. She said that she was from Québec, and that such a moving about to and within BC was pretty common for French-Canadians.
It was turning the middle of November, and the possibility of fishing seemed almost dim; learnt that this huge Kootenay Lake was also contaminated enough not to be able to recover its ecosystem by agricultural chemicals. I had no choice than heading for another Japanese-Canadian incarceration camp of New Denver nearby.
Unexpected as it was, the famous Nikkei Internment Memorial Centre was closed for off-season. I asked for information to a Caucasian group on a street in the community, then he brought me to one of the shacks. It was the manager's house, though he was away. He, then, indicated another house where a lady would help me with. Visiting there, a half-Japanese girl appeared on the house which was hanging a peeled Elk to drain blood. Soon, a seemingly Japanese lady followed the girl. She didn't speak Japanese, so might be the second generation, but phoned to the manager.
She said he can speak Japanese a little; thus, I could enter the Memorial Centre. The man came by his bicycle opened the lock without saying anything. Having heard my thank, he only waved his hand. He said he resided in Vancouver until the War but after confined this camp they couldn't reconstruct their lives out of this place; thus the camp including shacks remained as it used to be until now.
His English can't be said good but his Japanese was worse. He insisted that they were victims of the war as 22,000 Nikkei were forced and got no compensations so far, and wanted donation for the facility. I asked him, "Why didn't you return to Japan when the war started?" "Japan got that war selfishly. It was no connection to us." "Then why did you come to Canada?" "Because it has more freedom, more opportunities!" I'm afraid, but I felt something low-blow with him. He got deeply hurt by BC government all right, but why doesn't he try a new life if saying freedom and opportunities of Canada. Either way, immigrants have to risk security when coming to another country; and he got worst one maybe. He was still living in the victim. He didn't want to help me with my hotel tonight, partly because he didn't have much relationships to the people outside of the community. He was no longer a Japanese of course, but nor a Canadian.
From New Denver to Revelstoke was under the storm with shabby snow. There was almost no visibility out of front window so I chased the cars in high speed before me tooth and nail. Why I had that way was to see the Revelstoke Railway Museum to have information of the victims of the CPR construction. I had already asked that question at a similar museum of Cranbrook, but they couldn't reply.
The displays included the railroad construction process of most miserable work; however, I could hardly find the explanation of the victims. In 1880's over 15,000 Chinese came to Canada and were made to work long hours and paid a mere one dollar a day, almost all of them only to be killed. Among them were also included considerable Japanese. Having already learnt this, I asked why they didn't disclose the fact to the receptionists.
They were volunteering there as wives of CPR men, and said they are railroad maniac mistaking me too. Knowing my intention, however, one woman agreed with me saying that the CPR was not fair hiding the significant fact of the construction. I also asked if there are any requiem towers. They couldn't reply. Asking where should have killed most, a woman said should be around Hope to Kamloops rather than in the Rocky Mountains because of the blue clay which easily falls down. When I said good-by pointing out CPR's lack of humanity, she didn't even smile a wiry smile.
You never can tell what will happen in a travel of Canada. When I ate breakfast at Spences Bridge along Thompson River, the Filipina waitress asked me if I am Japanese and said there were Japanese fishermen in the river. I noticed not a few fishermen were standing along the banks. Hearing the name of Steelhead from her, I became fired again imagining the frustration when missed in Ontario. I have long given the fish up for finished.
Getting down the rocky bank to the edge of the water, it smelled very bad and found a lot of decomposed Salmons here and there. Soon, I became to realise those means they finished their life after spawning. On the distant opposite bank was the CPR line blue clay hills behind it. I thought many Asian compatriots might have killed here. I thanked to them for being able to enjoy fishing in such a tragic place.
The one first came was a young Steelhead. Reeling a spinner until near the bank, he were following behind and then when stopped he bit; I could see all of this just beneath me. Having hooked strongly, the hook pierced an eye; nevertheless, when released he managed to swim. After that, I found a large one was jumping around the border of the rapid flow over there. I aimed at it, then it easily bit in the quiet water.
I never want to miss this big one by all means. She moved strongly enough to pulling the line bending the rod, sometimes rapidly. The quick motion was less than the smaller one I missed in Grand River, but it was like a heavy rolling stone against a stream. Its violence reminds me of the excitement for a Northern Pike in Labrador, but more fun. It was absolutely a fair fight between she and I. I shook with glad. My full-body became hotter and hotter. She approached showing her huge body under the surface; my excitement got to the boil, when suddenly the hook came off. "What?"
I was standing on the spot vacantly with my full-body trembling yet. I might have been able to be satisfied with it, but I was a fisherman. Without being able to stop my shake, I began to cast again. No longer she jumped on the pool beside the flow; she might be back to the flow. There might be no large one in this pool any more. But I made up my mind I would continue before finally succeeding. The moment the large spinner dropping in the water of a distance, it was pulled to the offing like slipping.
Got it! I hooked up firmly, but it couldn't feel heavy. What's that? Then, in a distance a huge Steelhead began to jump up making sounds. I thought it another one; however, as unexpected it was the one I hooked. This time, somewhat she didn't escape to the offing but approached in accordance with my reeling the line. She showed final resistance to me, but I was no longer Rainbow beginner. I carefully observed if she got weakened enough. When I pulled her up out of water with my fingers inserted her grill, she was completely exhausted.
After climbing up the steep slope of rocks, I walked on the highway over 200 m for my car with the Steelhead in my right hand and the rod and fishing stuff in my left hand. Several cars passed by. I couldn't look at them for I was like a mad. When reached, my right hand was like a wood. I laid the Steelhead on the gravel there. Well over 80 cm, I thought. Reacting to the flush of camera, she jumped a final jump.
Driving on the Highway 1 along Thompson River and Fraser River towards Vancouver, I became aware that the Stealhead came upstream from Richmond to Spences Bridge over 300 km! The stream is not only fast in the upper part but also dirty in mouthes; incredible! amazing! unbelievable! I must respect them.
Regret to say, however, cooking it appeared that the taste was pretty bad not because of the maturity but because of the pollution it suffered when passing Greater Vancouver area. The contaminated taste of meat reminds me that the officer of Ministry of Natural Resources said the pollution levels are same everywhere in Canada.
I then followed the way Gerald, the guy I met at the first stage, told me. Even though I came near his town, I hesitated to and didn't phone him because I remembered that he wanted me to call him one week prior to the arrival and I thought making appointment well in advance is common sense for them. What he told me was that the old coal mining towns in the southwestern end of Alberta. Those were as if forgot places. The mobile mining people's remains were not to be seen, instead newly people were re-constructing old buildings for tourism business.
Soon, a lined-up windmills appeared on a ridge line of Rocky Mountain foothill; here was another site generating wind energy than Prince Edward Island. Further going down south, I reached Waterton Lakes National Park in which the accommodations and restaurants intended on the riches. On the returning night high way to Pincher Creek, however, enormous number of Deer or something welcomed me on and off the road ahead my head lamp. I couldn't tell Deer from Elk yet. The town lights in complete and absolute darkness of the wild can't be compered with anything; having seen that of Pincher Creek after a long day, I wanted to embrace it.
I visited the Museum of the North-West Mounted Police at Fort Macleod near Pincher Creek. I learnt there the purpose for establishing the NWMP (the predecessor of RCMP) was to bring order preventing smuggled whiskies from the US to the Indians who was so addicted; their alcohol addiction was such extent as forgetting work for themselves that not only among them but also European settlers suffered disordered circumstances. However, after succeeding in guarding Indians and European settlers from smuggling, RCMP didn't care about First Nations at all where the mess remains under the still continuing alcohol addictions and less education system.
At Blood Indian Reserve near Fort Macleod, an old guy witnessed that the opposite bank of Waterton River used to be also their reserve but RCMP deprived them of it by force. "Why? You don't have the documents of the Treaty as the evidence of your territory, do you?" "No, we don't. Ours is oral culture so we don't leave promises in records. But we are filing a suit against federal government at the International Court of Justice. For us, Canada is still foreign country." Covering up a scandal shouldn't go with this information age.
It was the beginning of November, and roads began to freeze here and there. Before entering Calgary, it snowed a lot over a night. Asking if I need chains, a young front-desk lady of my motel replied, "No." It hasn't accumulated so much and chains doesn't work for frozen surfaces; only I needed was to drive slowly. Even young guys seemed to know how to drive in snow well.
From Maple Creek, the southwest of Saskatchewan, I became to see Cowboys with hats on frequently in towns. Southwestern Alberta were claiming the "Cowboy Trail." In Calgary, I saw a lot of souvenir shops display cowboy hats and what not. However, I wondered if it was the original culture of Canada: even when it was not Canadian original like the cowboys were just the same as the Wild West of the USA, people here somehow insisted that it is a Canadian culture.
When I was taking pictures in Calgary, a dirty young vagabond told me it was a Salvation Army place and asked me to take a picture of him also. He asserted, "We are different from the United States! Why the USA call it America? America is not the United States." Even such a poor man insists on the originality of Canada; I admit that they try to be unique but not, for having no roots on this continent. As I focused on at night a nearby historical old hotel, which was rather conspicuous among new buildings of Calgary, a drugged boy and girl found me from a distance and rushed at me saying, "You cannot take pictures! Give me money! Give me money!" You want money all right, but I want justice. Do you sell justice for money?
Southern Saskatchewan area was showing the rough prairie with few trees areas. Later I realised this continues before Rocky Mountains in Alberta, though I didn't realise that this geographical feature is the proof of having oil and gas and so on under the ground. When I was taking pictures around Cypress Hills, a RCMP (Royal Canadian Mounted Police) car stopped and a youth cop investigated me. I kept still and motionless for a moment. I wondered why in such a wild without anyone at that time, but now I suspect the place should be one of promising places for oil; to such extent, the resourceful field were not developed yet.
However, as farmlands I saw an awful scene in the Great Sand Hills; a lake which is on the map was completely dried up with white-coloured. These things should happen in the dry climate and the white should be thin frozen water, I thought at first; however, taking a good look at, I noticed that was not ice at all! That mustn't be salt; I was amazed at the result of pesticide on the vast area. Asking this to a person of gas station on Highway 1 nearby, he even didn't realise it.
Lions are Mother Nature's way of limiting number of grass-eating animals. However, European settlers' influence on Buffalo on prairie was far beyond it. By 1879 the wild Buffalo were vanished. Not until we lose our Nature do we realise its value; however, I wonder the activities of Canadian government to recover Nature aim at humans' own sake for them to be comfortable, as the name of department of Ontario shows 'Ministry of Natural Resources.' Wild animals are not their pet. As long as they believe they can control Nature, I think, they shouldn't be able to recover Nature. There is nothing new under the Sun between Nature and human beings; we must do something, on however humble a scale for the sake of earth itself.
It was by chance that I found the Treaty Four Grounds, which modern building was symbolised with a huge tepee, in Fort Qu'Applle, Saskatchewan. Treaty Four is that signed between 32 Indian Bands and Federal government in 1874 (The seven numbered treaties were signed each from Ontario to Alberta in 1871 - 1877). The data shows that the 'reserve' system for First Nations people dates back to this time (Prior to this, it had also started in the East Coast).
I asked to the spokesman how they are preserving their culture. He deplored that more and more younger people these days didn't care about with being Americanised forgetting the Indians' common sense, 'People belong to land.' "How about your population," asked I. "The number is increasing." "Is that the pure blood?" "No, since many married White." "Why don't they claim as Metis?" "Metis didn't participated in Treaty Four." They seemed to be still living in the world of spell which put on them over 130 years ago.
They distinguish the clans by whether they were on the table of Treaty or not. It should be ridiculous; think the age and the area for the treaty! It seems that the clans who joined the treaties have been able to get more fund from the federal government than the ones who didn't. That should be also ridiculous; it was almost by chance that there were on the table. If such a rough determination in such an old days goes on openly even today and is being one of the hotbeds to produce the difference between poor First Nations and rich, Canada has to be said irresponsible country.
Indian people's figures were very common in the cities of Saskatchewan as well as those of Manitoba. In Saskatoon, I met an interesting one. It was an old main street and many closed shops were lined up, which really made me feel I was in Saskatoon. Stepping forward slowly observing each half-ruin hanging my camera, I heard a queer voice behind me. Looking back, no one was there already. Soon, across the street on a bench in front of a building, I began to order my camera stuff, when an middle-aged Indian accosted me.
"Are you a teacher here?" "What do you mean?" "Here is a school for bad boys and I thought you are a new teacher just arrived. My nephew is a teacher of this institute." "No, not at all. I'm just a traveller. Is this school for Indians?" He nodded. "Are there a lot of First Nations around here?" "Indians are everywhere in the world." "Well, I have a question for you. Can I?" He nodded. "What is the difference between Bison and Buffalo?" "Same thing. A Buffalo give birth a Bison, and it becomes a Buffalo." I asked if I can take a picture of him. He nodded.
Like a vagabond as he looked, his face had something dignity and I wondered wherever it came from. After that, he said that he had little money for the bus home and if I could add some. I was willing to hand him a dollar or so. Then, in a moment, his eyes gazing at me got hold water. I was embarrassed, but he crossed with his forefinger on my forehead. "I'm not a Christian. I'm a Buddhist," said I, though he didn't care at all.
On the way just before Winnipeg, simple but odd houses for being appeared among wild along the highway caught my eyes. At first I wondered if it is a First Nations. However, at the entrance of the premise was shown as 'Paradise Village.' They prohibited outsiders in it; no one, however, was to be seen but only same shaped houses lined up lonelily under the cloudy weather. Many of the houses seemed vacant; a mystery invited another mystery. Finally, I came across a moving dealer carrying stuff from a small truck to one of the houses.
"Excuse me, but what is this village? What are these houses for?" The bared man flatly said, "This residential place is for retired people. A developer constructed recently. It's close to Winnipeg, but the price is pretty cheap." "Is this ordinary thing for Canadian people to reside such a place after retirement?" "It's a new attempt, but many old people who spent a life in cities should want such a quiet life." What I felt hearing this was loneliness, only loneliness. If I was asked, I wouldn't want to live in such a dreary town; for me the back of line-upped houses looked like coffins.
When I arrived in Winnipeg, it was already night and cold enough as breathes turning white on the streets. Strolling around in my car, though, people were moving about in a cold wind by twos and threes every old streets, which looked very Winnipeg and I loved. In a shabby grocery store and gas station, people were lining up before the counter. Buying cheap food for supper, I felt the warmth of the people and the town. People of Winnipeg seemed to be exchanging kindness each other bearing the cold temperature each other.
Off the Trans-Canada Highway and across Riding Mountain National Park where used to have a German incarcerate camp, I got to a historical farm land which hold Ukrainian churches and row of standard country grain elevators. As I had a lunch at the only restaurant in Inglis, the owner family was those who just returned from Vancouver to the wife's home. Having asked why the group customers who were eating lunch were dressed up, the landlord replied they went a church this morning; I remembered it's Sunday today. That was the atmosphere city dwellers lost.
It was a small restaurant, but I stole a snapshot after washroom. A man noticed it. As I was checking out, he questioned me closely about my taking the picture. He requested me to send the photo to the local newspaper in his town along with the introduction of the new owner from Vancouver. I replied I wasn't sure if I got a photo well. Then, he asked me to visit his village, Roblin, also. I replied that I ate breakfast this morning there; behind the restaurant standing on frozen soil, I took pictures of the sky gradually getting bright. I remembered a man asking me if I was shooting on a vapour trail in a distance. I wondered why a resident didn't realise the delicate beauty of the sky; maybe living there had them dull for it.
In the same way maybe, I was getting bored with the landscapes of Canada then. Either way the scene was similar to each other, since wherever I went it was Canada. However, the expression of sky was very varied from place to place. Cirrus, cumulus, nimbus, stratus, etc., with dramatic lights, I sometimes couldn't tell if was focusing on the objects on earth or sky itself.
Like other provinces, every town in Southwestern Ontario were busy under the constructions of roads, and surely had something to claim as a sightseeing spot. However, none of them attracted me for their intentions. I was still searching for something natural, and met another Mennonites region in a rural area.
It was when my car ran up a little slope of a road surrounded by farmlands that in a distance a lady wearing a black dress on a open horse-buggy glanced at me and turned to a path to a house handling the horse. It struck me as if I were in a moment transported into a movie. By the moment I reached her, she was already showing her back making her way from the main road to a house. I wondered is she resides there or visits someone.
The world of Mennonites can't be described merely as the people riding on carriages. As a matter of fact, the Mennonite in Manitoba I met were quite modernised without old things. In short, they were divided into small sect in accordance with detailed precepts, but they choose their church by themselves instead of being baptised by someone else.
It was amazing to see such a simple or primitive life-style in this developed country. I don't believe in Jesus Christ so can't understand the belief, but I can say at least that they haven't been utilising Jesus Christ for their own benefits. In that term, I can't help sympathising with them. Interestingly, in spite that they are not allowed to marry another sect person the Mennonites have been spreading all over the world.
A boy was carrying a large bucket with both hands by full force leaning his body on a road. The house he was heading for had a beautiful farmland, which looked an ideal for farmer-immigrants to Canada. While getting off my car and taking pictures of it, the boy was back and passed by me on a bike joyfully; I thought since he completed a chore he must be allowed to go out to his friend's place. Then, suddenly a black carriage with a horse passed towards the opposite direction. And then, another adult man wearing a hat on a bike approached me from the house. His clothing smelled animal. He asked me to take pictures of his house also just behind us and to send to his place. He said the boy was his nephew. I had no chance to send the photo yet. Sorry, Amon Weber.
What I had to be surprised with Finger Lake was that even such an area as few people reside the water, and that are quite large, was polluted as fish decreased. Lake Huron as well. Of course, it is not only the fault for Canada but the United States which share much of Finger Lake. I made up my mind to stake my fortune of off-shore fishing in the most north's Lake Superior.
At the Ministry of Natural Resources, Wawa, I asked for the fishing information. He suggested several points at the mouthes of revers to Lake Superior, where are not only for Rainbow but also Coho Salmon. I asked why Lake Superior as well as the other Great Lakes has sea species such as Salmon; actually, the each lake has Chinook, Pink and Coho salmon.
His explanation was this: Coho salmon were to be incubated at the hatchery of Thunder Bay to make them inhabit and multiplied in the saltwater of James Bay for fishing industry. It was in the 1960's when the importance of ecosystem was not realised yet. Meanwhile, an airplane carrying the eggs of Coho Salmon dropped it to Lake Superior by mistake. Then they got increased significantly spreading into the waters of the other lakes. "Interestingly," he said, "though they couldn't go with the saltwater of James Bay, they have fully got accustomed to freshwater of Great Lakes."
We laughed at the same time for this story. Maybe other Salmons should have followed the similar process. However, later I noticed that Atlantic Salmon have also been stocked in Lake Ontario and North Bay recently, when the importance of ecosystem was fully recognised. Needless to say, the Rainbow, which are mostly preferred by fisher for aggressive and showy fights, were introduced from West Coast to Great Lakes, too. Now, the each lakes are busy for cruisers or what not to do enjoy their so-called Sports Fishing in that they don't eat them.
Come to think of it, it might well say that people here changed the environment for their game's sake. I don't know what extent the Christianity influenced such humans-oriented activities, but certainly Japan as well as other Asian countries are being influenced by North American people.
Later I knew that hatching fishes for humans' own sake has long history in this country: by 1950 federal and provincial hatcheries were producing approximately 750 million freshwater fish annually, primarily for the purpose of re-stocking wild populations. It means improving the yield of aquatic organisms by deliberate manipulation of their rates of growth, mortality and so on.
From the stand point of Japanese or Orient, who feel that people are made to live by Nature, this humans-oriented behaviours were totally acceptable and equal to blaspheme Creature. The earth is not yours; the earth is its very own.
Let's getting back to the original topic: his advice on fishing didn't work at all. I couldn't for the life of me remember having such an experience before. Well, after all maybe he was a scientist not a fisherman. The rivers were full of dirty water for recent heavy rains, and the fish were all washed out to the Superior! Far from fishing, due to a destroyed bridge by flood I had to stay overnight and wait for the re-construction.
Meanwhile, I sticked the off-shore fishing out. Visiting a bate and smoke fish shop, I learnt the landlord, John, was the Nipigon Metis Council President. He said that from a certain coast of Lake Sperior nearby I should easily fish Rainbow. However I searched the coast, it never appeared. I couldn't for the life of me remember having such an experience before! This maybe the Canada.
Reporting this to him, he wasn't ashamed but looked at each other his White wife. As she went out, the old two kissed deeply with sound. There was a phrase from Bible on the wall behind them. He then introduced and gave Metis goods in the shop to me. My interest to them made him offer a cap of coffee sitting at a table.
I asked him about what I couldn't understand about Metis and First Nations so far: "Why don't many mix-breeds in First Nations call them Metis?" "Because they are ashamed of being a Metis. They are proud of being an Indian." "Why are Metis between British and Indians scarce?" "Because, because of their Christianity. They didn't admit our way of thought, 'People belong to land, not land belong to people.' Thus, we were always looked down and discriminated not only in schools but also in the society in this English environment of Ontario."
I thought he meant the system established by British people. At the same time, I thought, he may have been having great contradiction within himself, because his wife was a Christian. As his story went further, I saw his eyes show more and more complexity with anger. The light of his eyes were like orphans in the third world, as if losing the target at which he angry. "Until recently," he said, "we were sleeping. But now we got up establishing the Metis Nation of Ontario in 1993."
It was very interesting that his thought of English quite agreed with me and I could quite easily understand him. His English was perfect of course, but something was different. And this was not only the case; what Indians claim in English can all easily made me understand.
However, I had only one exception so far at WaWa's First Nations. She was the director of the band office, and when I asked about the band, she said she was brought up in a Catholic family in a city and she had difficulty in understanding the way of Indian culture. She confessed she couldn't admire Nature instead of God. Her English was also perfect, but I could feel no sympathy with her.
"Until 20 years ago or so, Indians had not been allowed post secondary educations in Canada," she pointed out. What brought her there sounded like just for jobs. Such a migration to and from First Nations were to be common at least in Ontario. Then, whatever is the sake of the reserved First Nations? I was thinking they exist for preserving the people there. She was as if a White with an appearance of half-Indian, a bridge between the government and the people.
Well, apparently Canada goes with aboriginal people introducing their culture, which looked like different than the other British Colonies and the USA. However, it must be described as 'white wash.' Doing something discriminative in the places where are not to be seen from tourists is equal to a child's play. The opportunity for educations is one of the basic humans' rights. Given the First Nations' people had not been allowed good educations, what a White teacher of First Nations I met at Thunder Bay told that the isolated situations with less infrastructures were the cause of their low-life is quite irrelevant; what's the aim of the governments confining them into small areas?
Later I came to know that even now First Nations' people were not recognised as aboriginal people for Canada officially. On the other hand, Metis were finally recognised recently. It is nothing but absurd. The original people of Canada are not regarded as humans! I have to say there is no justice in this country. Even though many Canadians dislike the USA and the way of USA, what they do is just the same as them; both of them justify their selfish activities under the name of 'Manifest Destiny.' Canada and Canadian people must respect their Nature and their Native people as their elders. Otherwise, no matter how successful may be they shouldn't be able to wipe out the feeling of sin so that they have to go to and from churches every time.
Well, I met an officer of Ministry of Natural Resources, Atikokan, by Quetico Provincial Park. Because I wanted to know the pollution level of Canada, other than the fishing information.
They issued 'Guide to Eating Ontario Sport Fish 2003-2004' in a thick booklet. In that, each fish-species' edibility with risk rates are tabled in accordance with classified detailed rivers areas and lakes. Many matured fishes of the waters including Great Lakes were regarded as dangerous to eat for health. "The Great Lakes look like clean with blue water, but this booklet shows they are really contaminated. Why?" His explanation was not clear; he seemed he didn't want to condemn paper mills and other industries interior of and along the coast lines, and rather he emphasised the pollution level was getting lower recently.
Then, I asked, "I travelled across Canada, but never saw such a guide book to warn fisher the danger for eating. Does this mean that Ontario freshwater is most polluted in the freshwaters in Canada?" "No. Not really. I suppose each province would be in the same level. It merely mean Ontario can offer this for our budget." According to this book, we should not eat almost all of the trophy-class fish; that is to say, many fisher are repeating to catch and release inedible fish which primarily edible. I said to the young officer, "I thought Canada should be cleaner than Japan, but the situation was just the same." He laughed a laugh with me.
After getting a Northern Pike and White Fish, whose shape was different than the one of Waskaganish, Québec, I hurried my way through meandering waterways to the West. The snow winter was approaching. When reaching a city, I felt I saw this scene before; a cemetery in front of a huge paper mill with smoke along the highway. I finally remembered that I came this way in the outward trip. I didn't realise I was taking that way so far; I had thought I took the other Northern route for the outward trip. My sense of travel got paralysed for long journey in the same-like landscapes. I want to get home soon.
Like the other provinces, each Ontario city offered full tourist information. Having seen there was an Indian reserve and also good fishing points near there, I got off the highway at Brantford. Just by the interchange was the rich visitor information centre. All the officers were White. I asked a lady why Brantford, a small city, has such an extravagant information centre. "Because a lot of people visit here for Six Nations, an Indian place," she replied. I asked what tribe they belong and if there are any Metis people around there. She knew nothing about them, on the contrary she misunderstood that Metis are defined as the descendants between Indians and French, despite the fact that there were a lot of interpretation displays of the Six Nations though. The visitor information centre seemed to be having almost no contact with Six Nations people.
Finally, I got to 'Six Nations Tourism' in Ohsweken, where was in the Six Nations territory. The manager, Alan D. Emarthle, gave me a brief explanation: Six Nations derived from piece agreement among the Iroquois and Algonkian tribes, who have been residing Grand River area for over thousands years. This community is also famous as most developed First Nations in North America, because many men earn and bring money by engaging in high-rise building construction sites mostly in the US. They have been inheriting the occupation for the blood of Mohawk who don't fear high places.
When it comes to their history, his eyes turned dark. "In this Canada, our territory used to be the whole Grand River area; however, whenever treaties were concluded between governments and us they broke the promises, thus our place became smaller and smaller finally to this area." According to him, the government always changes their attitude depending on the situation. I understood just what he said; I am afraid, but there is a tendency among English descendants to behave for their own convenience regardless of what the promise might be. Many of them claim in such cases that it was so difficult situation that for them no other choices, but I have to say this tendency is a peculiarity for them.
Since Ontario is known to the base of Canada as well as many English descendants' home, to behave strong to the weak and, on the other hand, to behave weak to the strong might well be called as the way of Canada or Britain. Those who were deprived of their land cannot expect to recover such.
The community of Six Nations was quite a clean and beautiful Western town with developed infrastructures; no one would be aware that it is a reserve if he/she wasn't told it. Refueling at a major brand gas station, the girl staff completely appeared to be White with their fashion and fluent English. The landlady of my inn, too. They were to be called Metis, but not and were residing in the reserve. This was not only the case; even though many people pointed out that mix-bleed haven't been allowed to live in tax-free reserves, I always met many Metis. Also, there was even a restaurant run and cooked by a Chinese. This ambiguity might be one of the proofs for Canada's time-serving.
While staying at Six Nations, I tried Rainbow Trout fishing at Grand River outside of the reserve. It was late October and Rainbows were ascribing rivers for spawning. The point was just before an artificial dam, and a lot of fishermen were standing in the river even it was a week day. At the parking pavement, I saw a huge Rainbow was trying to jump beside a mini-van. Wow, it's beautiful, besides nearly 1 m.
I accosted a man ordering his fishing stuff inside the car. With his remaining excitement, the White man showed me orange fish-eggs which he used for fishing. The method here seemed a bit different, but my expectation was about to explode. Standing at the bank, good points seemed occupied by the others. Their way of fishing was the bate and a float on the shallow but fast flows.
I wondered if Rainbows as I saw existed in such a shallow part and that with a lot of unnatural babbles under the falls. I asked one of them what the babble is and if this river was polluted. He replied that the bubble should be natural as a matter of course after falls and that the river was pretty clean. He also said at the other side of the river was a good point for Walleye or Pike.
I casted a lure just for a try from the bank. However, the method mustn't be suitable here for the hook always had to be caught by the rocks of the bottom. I changed the side of the river. This place seemed better, but no one was trying a lure. Soon a man in front of me got a hit; his long and soft rod bent large and then in a distance a Rainbow jumped up the surface. He then ran about the bank busily chasing the fish reeling little by little. That figure looked somewhat humorous. When he finally landed it, he took the picture on the edge of the water with a disposable camera hurriedly. I felt a fisherman is all the same in the world.
After his releasing the over 50 cm Rainbow, I went down and tried again. The flow seemed too fast to fish by lures, when a strong bite came. Wow, I couldn't be calm enough to wait and see until the fish get weaker, so reeled up strongly. Then the fish I thought there was already here; I have no words to express this. The fish was so quickly moved widespread-range, which was the famous Rainbow's fight. He this time came to a pool apart from the flow, still violently trying to escape. I thought lucky, so wind the line up at a stretch and by force. He was now at the muddy edge of water just before me, but the moment I realised he was already away.
Getting back to the inn, the landlady asked me, "Did you get fish?" "Well, yah, but he escaped from me when landing," replied I, she smiled at me. I asked about the cleanliness of the river. As a descendant of the Indians displaying her honorable ancestors' photos in the facility, she admitted honestly that it was getting better now but still polluted mostly for a lot of pesticide used in farms along the river. If the fisher, who told me Grand River was clean, thought seriously so, it means he didn't know a real clean river even living in Canada.
When I leave Six Nations, the land lady playing with a black cat said me to give her an email. But I thought, if I did, I might fell in love with her. Her husband was absent and I imagined he might have been away for his construction work for high-rise buildings. As the manager of Six Nations Tourism said, many such workers spend most time in the United States. In the yard of the inn there was a swing along with children's toys without children, which scene was just the same as what I saw in Labrador's B&B.
I was running on a road near Lake Erie. Both sides were rough black soil fields and few up-to -date buildings were to be seen. I felt a bit an illusion of my turning back in Nova Scotia now. A small old general shop that might have some food I entered had no washroom inside. The old guy handed me a key to a temporary plastic toilet outside. Getting back, he already put a map on the counter marling 'YOU ARE HERE' on it. Eating a sub in my car, he appeared and brought nuts picking up from back. He knocked the window, "This is good for dessert." They were Black Walnut, he showed an intimate feeling to me saying his wife is Korean.
According to him, this area of Ontario has rich natural resources not only these foods to pick up but even gas to stoves; people there can live on foods fallen on the ground using gas taken from their yard for free! I asked if the government put regulations and taxes on the usage of natural gas. He said they tried once but failed. It sounds like Canada!
As for fishing in Lake Erie, there still exists commercial fishermen for Lake Erie is so shallow that it is easily blown up by winds and keep clean. However, he deplored the Smelt that used to be his favourite and were easily caught in large quantity at coast in his childhood has long disappeared. The off-shore fishing point he recommended me smelled terrible by a steel company and no atmosphere for fishing.
Ottawa was a complicated overpass highways area; I had completely been lost not understanding where to go off, and before I knew it I was parking in a large parking of a supermarket. In the next lot a car came and stopped; the guy wasn't getting off and staying at the driver's seat. I asked him for a direction with a map in my hand. His English was very easy to understand and he could realise what I wanted to say too; I thought Ottawa should be more international environment for English language. Fortunately I was by the way to the hostel I wanted, but I lost my way again in the twilight of evening.
"Excuse me, do you know where the 'Jail Hostel' is?" I asked to a woman on a back-street parking my car, in a polite way so that she wouldn't suspect me. She instantly replied to me how to get there in a kind way, but she said, "Do you really stay there tonight?" I thought that the hostel was famous in this city and that she was very open, but couldn't understand what she meant until having a bed.
The Jail Hostel was absolutely an old jail with bars and a gallows but used as hostel. The receptionist girls were nose-piercing. When entering my dormitory, I saw a black guy was sitting on a bed hanging his head in darkness over a bars. I got under the illusion that I was in a real prison. He came from France and was seeking for a job, his English was not great and somewhat he kept other guests at a distance.
I learnt that the last hanging in Canada was prosecuted here in 1940's and that the death penalty of Canada was demolished in 1960's; whereas, Japan as well as the USA are still having the system. In one hand Canada have been doing cruel activities on aboriginal people, in the other hand it have done such a progressed humanistic decision before other developed countries even consider it. I had difficulty to understand the gap.
However, I became to know that Canadian history has been always changed by the people's power, not by the government's power. That means that in the death penalty's case there were a lot of people to oppose it but that in aboriginal people's case there have been few people to utter that condemn the government. I think it's because many immigrants didn't know how the aboriginal people's situation had been. More importantly, many of the churches especially in the early days pressed their absolute justice on immigrants ignoring the values for aboriginal people, just like the United States have done so far and did for the reelection of George W. Bush. If no one began to speak, a problem would never be settled in this country. Actually, it is just until recently that the issue was taken up for discussion.
The Jail hostel was in the centre district of Ottawa. When I bought an Ontario wine, I first knew that all of the liqueur shops in Ontario were occupied by the Ontario government shops, LCBO. Hearing this fact at a register counter from an officer-like clerk, I felt something strange; There were also sales promotion posters for whiskies and others made by the government, furthermore a female chorus group began to sing a song while lined-up customers were buying handful of alcohols from 'officers.' I wondered if private sector vitality can activate in such a country as a government monopolies an alcohol market. I assume this is the remain of the old system; the government might not want to give up skimming the cream off the top.
I suspected that Ottawa, the capital of Canada, might not have any gangsters, and that was it. As I asked it to nose-piercing and tattooed punk-rocker receptionists at the hostel, they only knew the existence of motorcycle gangs. As from such a country as the order has been being kept by a balance or cooperation between police and gangsters, I couldn't believe it that such a clean country exists. Later, however, I came to know on TV news that the politicians themselves play the role of gangsters in this country.
For good or evil, Ottawa is a good place to know the system of Canada. Then, how about Toronto? My curiosity got me hurry up my way. On the way at Prince Edward facing Lake Ontario, I saw lined-up Union Jacks on the street and learnt it was a Loyalist region. Having a coffee in a Tim Horton, I was the only Asian among customers and embarrassed with their staring at me. As approaching to Toronto, however, I was aware that they were more open toward me.
I wanted a room that night just before Toronto to compare with it. Unfortunately, however, the majority of motels around there were within Toronto. Finally, I found one at Ajax. A Halibut Fish and Chips I had near the motel was by far the best in those ever since I had. Even the Richmond's one was not able to compare with this. They were working with their family; after seemingly the father fried the fish using his fingers, a daughter got aware of it so rapped with old newspapers. She looked tired and handed me without smile, but their service mind was condensed into it. I was very impressed that such an artisan exists in fish and chips makers, and expected further better qualities not only in foods but also other aspects for Toronto.
Just after entered Toronto, I got a laundromat. To get changes to the machines, I bought a cigarette parking my car on the road. No one was in the messy small shop; I called again and again, then a Chinese-like old woman came from back. Her English was pretty bad and that somewhat in low-blow. Soon it appeared that she was from Japan, when I noticed that a policeman was writing something watching at licence of my car! "Wait! wait! wait," immediately I cried out rushing at him, "I'm just a traveller from Japan. Please forgive me; I've just bought a tobacco for a change." "That's good! That's good! I've finished already," the Black officer continued to smile to himself meanly. He handed me a yellow ticket for $20 fine. The woman asked me, "Was he a Black? Oh, yah, Black policemen are very bad. They only think about making points of tickets. You were unlucky, I'm sorry." Her Japanese with English was very confused in natural, but I got aware the fact that even such a poor Japanese Canadian look down on Blacks. This way, my first impression of Toronto was fairly bad, and this perception has not changed until leaving. After all, it was less than Tokyo in excitements and less than Vancouver in friendliness.
Needless to say, I avoided Niagara Falls. Having staying Toronto, I felt I had enough of Ontario. However, I wanted to fish in one of the 5 Great Lakes. I learnt Lake Ontario was contaminated enough as much as people even didn't eat fish caught there; as a matter of fact, there were no fisher ports around greater Toronto area and fishing in Lake Ontario was said to be defined in sports fishing to catch and release. Hence, I headed for Lake Erie.
Overpass highways to and from Toronto the numbers of cars including trucks were enough to understand the power of economy in Toronto; the many cars didn't decrease even reaching Southwestern Ontario.
Driving on the left bank of St. Lawrence River, I noticed that rather this side than the opposite side should be appropriate to follow the footsteps of the pioneers from Europe, because I found quite a few farm lands along the bank line. The clearly mowed field continues until over Québec City, as if the ancestors couldn't be satisfied with the untamed land. The streets and houses of towns, a roof or a porch or a backyard sometimes created mysterious poesy.
Arriving at Québec City, I was at a loss for what to see for it was completely made up for sightseeing. Especially in the Vieux-Québec, every place was full of tourists (interestingly many of them were from France) and showed every one of us formal smiles. Having visited a high-class Japanese restaurant, a Chinese chef offered me a better Sushi at least than that of the Japanese chef in Halifax. It was so boring that I asked at a visitor information centre where the poorest area in this historic immigrants' city is. An officer curiously enquired who I am, but told me that down the slope to the West should be the poorest. However, the area was also well-organised without any disorders; I didn't think it looked particularly poor. In short, this city was rich for its historical background.
I continued to ascribe the left bank of St. lawrence River. In successive farm lands I passed several villages; among them, a restaurant caught my eyes for its unfamiliar structure; it looked a cafe, but something very plane without loud ornaments and signs. As I focused on it in backlight, probably from inside I was seen so well that a couple of old guys pushed the door open and approached me with smiles. "What are you doing?" Maybe he said so in French. I explained in English honestly pointing at the building. They seemed to understand, and invited me inside.
Over the line-upped customers of counter, a woman was busily working giving me a smily smile. Slant behind was not a few box seats. Sitting at the counter, I gathered everybody's look for my Oriental figure. They seemed to know each other. A man over there was called to my place for he could speak English well. He said this is a gathering place for nearby farmers. They make it a rule to come here without any business. So this place is sometimes cafe, sometimes restaurant and sometimes bar. I understand why it was so plane; it has a role as public space.
I asked for a cup of coffee. It tasted warm taste. I was going back to my car to bring a tobacco, when the man offered me his. Yes, smoking was permitted there. They wanted to know about my travel. So frank and open-minded were they that I straightly said what I want is something between Indians and immigrants. And I asked, "Why doesn't this region have any First Nations?" They didn't make faces and didn't try to avoid the subject, rather the man replied seriously, "They used to live around here, but our ancestors expelled them away." He admitted their ancestor's fault surprisingly honestly; maybe because they've become happy enough to look back, but I've never heard of such words from British descendants.
"Do you know where the descendants of expelled Indians are now? Are there any 'reserves' for them?" They didn't know at all, but the other man mentioned something associated with this with twisted face. They seemed to feel guilty for their ancestors' activity at heart. I was happy staying with such honest people. At last, the man encouraged me to succeed in my research in trip. Seeing people like this, I felt like I understood why French people could produce Metis generations marrying Indians. Actually 'Metis' means every half between Indian and European, though French Metis overwhelm British Metis. This way, my interest in how Québec treats First Nations became larger.
What I first noticed in Montréal was that the Black people were quite common and that with fashionable wears. In the East Coast, I saw Black at Halifax but rather they were rather minority. The way of fashion of the Black in Montréal looked quite different from that of American, maybe many of them came here via France.
A young hostel man managed to speak English on the phone, but he was not helpful enough as a stranger could reach there; somewhat this rigid therefore slow attitude was common in the East Coast; if I had been in the West Coast, they should have helped out by all means. However, I was surprised finding the hostel man was a good guy when finally I got there.
Though I was told from my immigration consultant that Montréal has beautiful old streets and houses, which came from France, I didn't think it deserves to make much of as he said; I had already observed a lot of European buildings with streets in the East Coast cities. Having strolled around the downtown of Montréal and its busy international people, I had to think what's the difference from Downtown Vancouver.
There were no aboriginal people's sources available in town and at last again I had to go to the visitor information centre, which maybe the best quality and quantity tourism information facility in Canada. I lost words to speak out for a bilingual stuff offered me next to next brochures and booklets for aboriginal peoples and for what not. The data of the people were completely organised for the sake of tourism. He said if I visit them it is good for their business too. That's true; however, I thought the introductions of First Nations made by a government and what is more for tourists is not necessarily credible enough. Even in Japan, we were taught in schools that violence on Chinese people during World War Two less significantly with hiding away important matters for them.
I asked the hostel guy if he knew any place Indians resides. He showed two places on the Montréal map; both of them are located outside of the Montréal Island on the right bank of St. Lawrence River and the left bank each. One of which was not on the maps of the government-issued sightseeing maps. The French descendant guy said I shouldn't go there because there have been the conflict between Québec people and the people there and he said they behave badly toward the others. As I explained my stance as a Japanese should offend them, he agreed saying, "Yah, you are coloured..."
Visiting Kahnawake, even though it was introduced as a Mohawks Nations, they asserted "5 Nations" consisted of 5 Iroquoian (Huron-Wendats and Mohawks) tribes and had had a magnificent interpretation centre. Asking for an explanation on its history to a young female officer, she replied she came from Alberta so didn't know at all. And then an elder man replaced with her, who looked like a White by appearance. What I felt there was that their heritage was now completely for sightseeing's sake. Other than that facility, 'Native Tobacco' signs were to be seen in the town and people there looked having much time chatting on the streets.
Next I visited Oka, which was not on the aboriginal population map. On it was mentioned as 'Parc national d'Oka' instead of an Aboriginal Nations mark. I heard the community locates along the route 344, but it didn't appear. I asked for information on the way to the local boys. The White boys managed to understand my English and said it's upwards of the slope.
Both sides of the road begins cedar woods and soon hand-written signs of 'Native Tobacco' were to be seen with shanties. In front of one of them I parked my car, but there was no person in a shanty. Then a carpenter-like White man working on another shanty behind approached me. He said they produce and sell tobacco by themselves. They had several kinds and that both in Canadian taste and in American taste; the prices were quite cheap. He said Canadian taste is better, but I said I prefer American. Having tried both of them, I couldn't feel a big difference, but it was definitely natural as they claimed on the packages.
As I bought two cartons of 'Native Lights,' an old lady returned and handed the guy a bag of convenient food. She sat at a table outside and began to have French Fry. I wondered if it was her dinner; to such an extent, she looked poor. I introduced myself and asked several questions to her. She was quiet, though her English was perfect. She said that their group didn't speak French and that English was their main language.
According to her, Québec government haven't recognised them as Aboriginal Nations yet; even though they have been residing there from old age, the French descendants frequently deprive them of their properties; just recently, for example, the Québec people cut the cedar trees within their place to sell. Having heard of this reminded me of that Beothuk people used to steal properties from British people in Newfoundland. It is vice versa, and the vicious circle was still continuing even now on!
A long history of French residing might be having aboriginal people assimilate with them; however, on the other hand, due to the unclear attitude toward them as having no reserves there is still existing people suffering from poverty after deprived of their land and resources by others' greedy economic activities. Of course, I don't think the other provinces' way of confining them within isolated small areas is a better way. Nevertheless, I can't help thinking why Canada haven't paid more respects for elders.
I wanted the Oka's history (Mohawks) from her, but she said they were not taught such things. I couldn't focus on her with my camera; what's the sake of taking pictures of such a miserable life? I was merely sad with her surrounded by the affluent Montréal region, and wanted to share that sadness and aches with her.
Going ahead along the lined-up 'Native Tobacco' signs, once-in-a-lifetime sunset scene were spreading out behind the shacks. Taking pictures of it, I felt like I am realising of what Canada is. Halifax, Québec City, Montréal, travels in major cities were boring; I was thinking I might not need to spend much time in incoming big cities.
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■Tetsuya Endo ProfileBorn in Shizuoka-prefecture, Japan, 1961. BA, Seikei University (Major: Cultural Science) in 1985.
As a copywriter (creative director) in the Japanese advertising industry for over 15 years, I have never been satisfied with and by compelling myself and others to sell and buy goods. Thus, I left Japan or its materialism for apparently nature-co-existing Canada, where as photographer finding that I can't be a Japanese without Asian background prompted me to settle in the Philippines. While challenging a new business by the slogan "Economy & Ecology, ECOH!," I have been looking for a publisher for this "A Man Goes to North" and also "Transition Japan."
日本デザインセンター、東京グラフィックデザイナーズをはじめ広告企画制作業界でコピーライター、後クリエーティブディレクターとして15年以上務めるも、売れども売れども、買えども買えども満たされず。カメラを手にカナダ横断を往復するドライブで「アジアの日本人」でありそれ以外何者でもないアイデンティティを悟るとフィリピンに移住。"Economy & Ecology, ECOH!"をスローガンに新しいビジネスに挑戦しながら、この「A Man Goes to North」及び「Transition Japan」を上梓できる出版社を探している。
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4.Till Flores Island
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7.By Canadian Rocky
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24.From MB to SK
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