“My ancestors lived in Funamori for generations”, the man recalls. He was born in 1946, and so was 20 when the village’s final remaining residents departed together as a group. “In those days the church’s teachings were strict” is something he often says while he talks. In order to correctly answer the priest’s questions, he spent all his time studying doctrine, neglecting his school work. “In the summers I would, like a cicada, climb trees and in a loud voice memorise the teachings [of the Catholic Church]“, he recalls while laughing. “The strict teachings of those days sustain me today”, he says gratefully. There were about 30 houses back then, and around 100-150 people would gather for Mass. They would never miss Sunday mass. The church was at the very heart of people’s lives.

This gentleman now lives with his wife on Ojika island. They attend Mass together in Ojika church, and help to weed the church’s grounds and so forth. On days when the weather is nice, he goes fishing in the boat which he owns. As he says with affection, “When I go fishing, I always go to view Funamori. On those journeys, I reminisce and my hearts wells up”.