Ogaki

The Ogaki Report

Details of life at IAMAS, in Ogaki, Japan.
As reported by Tamiko Thiel and Peter Graf, winter 1999-2000

Where in the world is Ogaki?


The way to IAMAS

way-to-iamas The way to IAMAS leads north from Ogaki station, and very quickly takes you into the country.

The shrine in the background with the peculiar roof is not too far from IAMAS, and being both tall and recognizable, is a very convenient way to orient onesself in the beginning.
Typical house on the way to IAMAS.

Many new houses are being built in former rice paddies. I've heard that 95% of all farmers have other sources of income, and as the city creeps northward the land can probably be sold for a goodly amount. These houses are of course much bigger and more spacious than the older ones in the middle of the town.

I've been told that photographing rice paddy textures is a long-standing tradition in my family, having been started by my father in 1960 on our first visit to Japan.
houses and paddies
mountains and paddies Mountains behind Ogaki.

Ogaki is encircled in the north by a ring of mountains, foothills to the Japan Alps. The mountains break the Siberian wind that comes down from the Arctic, but do let over a fair amount of weather. The cloudless morning sky can easily turn into a storm by the afternoon.

When I came in November the weather was unusually warm, with some days reaching 20 degrees celcius. No matter how hot the sun, however, when the "Ibuki-oroshi" (a cold wind from Mount Ibuki) picked up in the evening, you would start shivering.
IAMAS and rice paddies.

While it is not true that IAMAS stands in the middle of rice paddies, it is certainly very close to them. Between IAMAS and this paddy is only a hedge and then a parking lot.

The rice has been harvested, only stubble remains in the fields.
iamas and paddies

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