What is the real name?

Remember Spirited Away? When I was in French university, I went to the cinema many times. In the movie, a boy named “Haku” became a dragon after Chihiro reminded him of his true name, “Kohaku River”…

In the photo, there is a river under the promenade. During the period of economic recovery after the war, household sewage flowed into the river, causing a foul odor. As the Japanese proverb says “Put a lid on something that stinks.” The other photo is an underground artificial pond under construction downstream of this river. Recently, heavy rains are increasing, so this is to prevent flooding of residential areas.

Usually, the water in this underground river hardly flows. This is because the surrounding ground is all paved, and even if it rains, water does not seep into the ground and there is no slow flow of water. Rainwater runs straight over the paved ground into ditches and into rivers.

Closing the lid may have been the only temporary solution when the river stinks. But now the sewage system is complete, and no domestic wastewater flows into the river. This is the case with streams everywhere in Tokyo, and many aquatic animals such as dragonflies and loaches have disappeared.

It is a matter of what kind of city do you want to live in? I would rather live in a city where the rain seeps into the ground, slows its flow, and the stream can take back its name, rather than quickly collecting it in an underground pond and draining it away.  Chan-chan


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