National Geographic : 1953 Nov
65U Up to Their Necks in Hot Sand, Patients Take the Cure at Beppu Beppu, on the Inland Sea shore, draws visitors even from foreign countries. abundance from boiling springs (page 645) to homes, railroad stations, and schools. from rheumatic and nervous disorders take the sand treatment. This attendant has water for all purposes; every house has an always-ready hot bath. Twenty greenhouses heated by pipes running day and night with boiling hot water raise every sort of vegetable out of season. Fishing is good off Beppu be cause there are hot springs under the bay, and tropical fish brought to Japan by the Black Current (Kuroshio) thrive in these warmer-than-tropical waters. Buddha of Concrete and Bones Other than the hells, the most unusual sights of Beppu are the chrysanthemum show and the Great Buddha. Figures famous in Japanese history and legend, including the story of Peach Boy who grew up to conquer the demons on the Isle of Devils, were worked out life size in chrysanthemums. The Buddha, 80 feet high and the largest of its kind in Japan, was built in 1928 of concrete in which are mixed the bones and ashes of a million people who died without relatives. Another long jump across the sea, and we slept on deck in the harbor of Mitajiri. Then next morning the captain came forward, all excited, saying, "The end of the Inland Sea!" Ahead, the main islands of Kyushu and Hon- Hot water is piped in Many persons suffering just buried her charges. shu overlap to hide the narrow Shimonoseki Strait (page 648). We passed through the boiling tide rips of the strait, too busy packing to remember that the U. S. Hydrographic Office's Sailing Direc tions for Japan lists numerous wrecks in this vicinity and describes it as "the most difficult place to navigate in the Inland Sea." We fairly flew through with the tide to come to anchor in Moji's little harbor. By force of habit we climbed a mountain to enjoy a final view of the Inland Sea. Its blue islands gradually turned melancholy as the sun neared the horizon. Its many capes and bays, its far reaches and white clouds, took on the appearance of an oil painting as the sun sank. We came down to stand on the deck of Kompira one last time to enjoy the afterglow. Tomorrow we would take the train, while our companions sailed back to Kannonji. Before Kompira's shrine we shared with them a last meal of rice and fish, a rather sad and silent meal, for in these six weeks we had come to have respect and affection for Wide-Margin-of-Safety, Good-Fortune-in-Au tumn, and Literature-Pursuing-Sixth-Son.