Tane-person Story 6 - Norimasa Matsuda / Nakatane Town Development Association Tane-person Story 6 - Norimasa Matsuda / Nakatane Town Development Association

The end of my journey was Tanegashima.

Making this into an island where children can study.

Right now, I'm working in the Nakatane Town Development Association.

One road inland from Route 58, there is a farm road with stunning scenery. If you watch the sunset from there, you can see the wind rustle the sugar cane stalks and the leaves of the Annou sweet potatoes, while the surface of the water sparkles. That scenery is really amazing. It reminds me of how great it is to have a job where I can promote the wonders of this island.

I have only been doing this job for a short time, but there is a project I want to pursue. It is bringing children to the island. At Hamada Beach, there is an inlet where the ebb and flow of the tide completely changes the scenery. When the water pulls back, you can see the mangroves, and when it flows in, the area becomes a lake. I was really blown away by the dramatic change in scenery. If we can have children see this and feel impressed by the great movements of the tide, I hope they will take an interest in science, including the waxing and waning of the moon, the beauty of the stars, and the things that connect them with space. Also, the area near the beach has rock that has shifted upward so that the geological layers are visible. I think that Tanegashima is truly an ideal island for studying natural science. As an island conducive to learning, my hope is that many children will come here.

Additionally, I would like to promote the appeal of Tanegashima to surfers. I think there is an untapped demographic of people who live in the city but would like to move and live closer to the ocean. I would like to do more to approach this group and bring in outside ideas to the island--to get the wind blowing, if you will, and ride a swell of new energy and vitality for Tanegashima.

I wanted to live close to the ocean.

So, I moved from Osaka to Tanegashima. The reason was surfing. If you're into surfing, I think Tanegashima is number one in Japan. It is very hard to find waves with all of these conditions--like the direction of the swells and the type of wind--in one place. Tanegashima is surrounded by the ocean and is not that big. You can check out the conditions of waves and quickly move from site to site. I think it's a surfer's paradise.

It seems that, typically, if you live in the city, you end up surfing on the weekends. But on Tanegashima, you can surf on days you have work by getting in the water before or after your shift. This sort of lifestyle was something I had always wanted. Before I knew it, I was no longer able to keep that desire at bay and I had decided to move.

Earlier in my life, I had constantly wanted to travel by bike, take walking tours, go backpacking, climb mountains, and see the world while visiting far-off places. I guess Tanegashima has become the final travel destination for me. I plan to follow my life's path from here on out on this island.

■ Favorite places on Tanegashima

Definitely the farm roads. There is a farm road, for example, with a wooden deck. Taking in the sunset from there is amazing. The wind rustles the sugar cane stalks and the leaves of the Annou sweet potatoes, while the surface of the water changes color in the distance. The only thing that passes is an occasional work truck or farm tractor, so it's a quiet and fantastic place to spend some time. That's the place I like best.

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