指輪 yubiwa—ring

I lost my wedding ring today. It’s at the bottom of the cold clear water of a fast-flowing stream in the mountains of Nara prefecture.

However, it could have been worse – much worse. We nearly lost one or both of our dogs.

This morning we decided to drive up to the mountains and go for a walk in the Mitarai gorge (mitarai keikoku). This is a famed beauty spot where the Dorogawa river tumbles down through a series of cataracts and waterfalls.

The walk through the ravine is spectacular, with lots of steps and bridges.

Actually, in places it’s quite scary but all in all it’s an exhilarating place to visit.

We decided to go swimming. It seemed like a good idea at the time, although the water was a little chilly.

Within seconds of Shiro entering the deeper water, he was carried away by the current. I tried to catch him.

He started moving downstream faster and faster, turning around and vainly trying to swim upstream against the current. I swam after him, trying to catch him. His face was only inches from mine, and he looked terrified. I lunged forward, once, to grab him, but missed. I lunged a second time, and managed to throw my arms around him and hold him tightly to me. As we made our way towards the bank, bruised and bleeding, I was horrified to see…

…a second white shape being swept downstream past me. Miffy had followed me into the water! I felt helpless – I was holding Shiro and had to get him to safety before I could go after Miffy. By that time, who knows where she would have ended up. But happily, Miffy managed to find her own way to the shore and clamber out, so we were all safe, albeit sore and bleeding from banging into the rocks.

At that point, I discovered that my ring was gone. I searched for a while in the shallow water near the bank, but knew that it had almost certainly come off in the deeper water when I was trying to catch Shiro. I eventually had to concede that it was gone. Ordinarily, this would have been very upsetting, but in the context of what had just happened, both Yuko and I knew that we would far prefer to lose the ring than either of our pets.

Note on the word of the day:

結婚指輪 kekkon yubiwa is a wedding ring. kekkon means marriage or wedding, yubi means finger, and wa means circle.

In kekkon (wedding), we see the character 結 ketsu meaning to tie, or knot, reminiscent of the English expression “to tie the knot”. This is the same character as in kessoku bandocable ties.

Advertisements

4 thoughts on “指輪 yubiwa—ring

    1. Some people thought the River God saved the dogs and took the ring as a sacrifice. Japanese people are quite superstitious.

  1. So sorry to hear (read) about the incident.. the place looks beautiful. . just curious, if i may ask, what do you mean when u say its quite scary in certain places?..

    1. Walking in the Mitarai gorge is a scary because the paths and steps alongside the river are in places very high up and quite rough, with unprotected drops. If you are a sure-footed adult, it is probably safe enough, but if you had children there (or dogs!) it could be terrifying. The river has waterfalls and rapids and huge vertical rock faces – spectacular but also very dangerous if you were to fall.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s