National Geographic : 1953 Nov
648 National Geographic Photographer J. Baylor Roberts A Tunnel Beneath Shimonoseki Strait Links Honshu and Kyushu Islands This 2-mile route, designed for motorists, cyclists, completed. It has two levels. The upper will be for lower. The project will save a tedious ferry passage. scarcely know that they have been "emanci pated," though they are aware of woman suf frage and turn out in numbers at the polls. But in the home women continue their tra ditional role and wear the kimono, although they object to its growing expense. The 11 foot obi, or sash, that goes round and round and ties in a gorgeous bow behind is often su perbly embroidered and may cost more than an American woman's entire outfit. Most stunning and expensive of all is the wedding costume-so expensive, in fact, that most brides rent it, unless they use their mother's or grandmother's. We sailed on to the island of Itsuku (popu larly Miyajima), which the Japanese count as one of the most beautiful spots in Japan. Here the well-known torii, Shinto sacred gate, stands in the sea some 500 feet from shore. Every 50 years or so it must be reconditioned; we were and pedestrians, was begun in 1939; work is not yet motor vehicles; cyclists and pedestrians will take the Railroad trains use an older tunnel. lucky enough to arrive just after it had been repainted (page 630). A priest of the temple told us the torii was so high that Kompira could sail under it. Wide-Margin-of-Safety, in a narrow moment, decided to try it. Kompira Cracks a Mast The foremast struck the lower beam, and a shower of vermilion splinters fell on the deck. The mast bent and cracked ominously and seemed about to break in two. The steel stay from the peak of the mast to the bowsprit broke and whipped about, lashing everyone who came within reach. The engine was hastily reversed, and Kompira backed out. The priest, to make amends for his poor advice, put on a sacred performance of gor geously costumed temple dancers for the bene fit of our cameras (page 632).