Self Designated Traffic Cop


There is an old road from Tsu (津), through Hisai (久居), and into Ichishi (一志) and points more remote which I love to travel. Because the road is narrow it gets little traffic, yet it is the shortest path between these points. Better still, it is loaded with old shops, shrines, temples, and houses. My favorite is a traditional sake brewery and soy sauce producer.

Often, when driving along this road, I see an old man standing in front of some residences. He inevitably has an umbrella in his hand and just as cars approach him he motions, as the construction site flagmen would, to indicate it is OK to continue through. Since the road is narrow and he motions rapidly at the last moment, it generally distracts drivers, making it seem like he could be launching into the path of cars.

The most amusing point is that the road is straight as an arrow at that point, so there is absolutely no need for direction. Perhaps it is no coincidence that the nearby sake brewery has a free tasting room.


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