an English translation of the novel

Page 199-200

To avoid the frequent flooding of the Tone River and to increase the land available for agriculture, Tokugawa Ieyasu decided to divert the river. After hundreds of years, the estuary was redirected all the way to Inubousaki. Sand was used to partially fill the Katori Ocean to reduce its size and it became the Kasumiga Inlet. (I became interested in Tokugawa Ieyasu after learning that he was able to pull off such a big project, but unfortunately, this story is only instance of him in history and geography textbooks.)

In the thousand years that followed, the Tone River and Kasumiga Inlet became what they are today. First, most of the parts that ran toward Tokyo bay rejoined with the Tone River. It goes without saying that a barren area like Tokyo has no need for water. So, the water lever in the Tone rose, and in order to prevent flooding, a canal was constructed to connect it to Kasumiga Inlet. Because of that, the inlet expanded to a almost its original size. It surpasses Lake Biwa in terms of surface area and is now Japan’s largest lake.

And now, since the lower reaches of the river run right by Kamisu 66, we built multiple canals to use the water for transportation. That’s why going upstream, and finally emerging at the river proper for the first time is quite exciting.

“Hey, let’s go faster,” Satoru said.

“Why? Don’t you want to look around here?” I asked.

“I’ll pass. There aren’t any animals here anyway.”

“But we’re almost at the place we’re supposed to be camping at tonight, right?” Mamoru said uncertainly.

“What are you talking about? Have you forgotten the true purpose of this trip? It’s to look for the evil minoshiro and blowdogs, yeah? Come on, let’s hurry up and cross the inlet and disembark.”

“Umm, Sun Prince said that we’re not allowed on the far side of the inlet. Getting off there…”

This time, even Maria looked hesitant.

“It’ll be fine. We’ll just take a quick look around and leave,” Satoru said nonchalantly, paddling away.

“What should we do?” I asked Shun, who looked deep in thought.

His answer was not what I expected.


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