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   Barbed wire outside a shichi-ya (質屋, pawnshop) in Imaizumi.

   Every time I pass this pawnbroker I am reminded of a student of mine whose parents turned a boyfriend of hers down when he asked them for their daughter's hand in marriage. The boyfriend's family, which ran a pawnshop, stank of underworld connections and my father's student, a policeman no less, couldn't stomach the idea of his own family getting tangled up with them. 

   Disappointed, she eventually acquiesced and less than a year later she married a systems engineer.

   An ivy-covered house in Kego. Makes you wonder (at least it does for me) whether the house would remain standing if all the ivy were removed.

   The entrance to Daichôji, a small Buddhist temple in Maizuru.

   The rusty hook and shutter of a shop in Kego.

   The rainspout of an old house in Kego.

   A small shrine at the end of a back alley in the rundown neighborhood of Jigyô.

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