Monday, April 20, 2009

White Rock Island

One of the many monoliths dotted around the shores of Shiraishi Island.

Shiraishi means "white rock" in Japanese (shiroi+ishi). Shiraishi Island is aptly named as one of the first things you notice upon entrance to the port is the large rocks teetering on the tops of mountains. Rock mining goes back more than 100 years here and Shiraishi rock has been shipped all over Japan in the form of monuments and statues for Buddhist temples and Shinto shrines.

The above photo was taken on the west side of the island in front of Shiraishi's last surviving stone factory, owned by the Toyoshimas. They are a wonderful family who I have been meaning to write a column about for a long time. They live a perfect Flintstones kind of lifestyle ;)

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