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Café Interview “I want to become just like a hot spring itself!” Mayumi Yamazaki, Hot-Spring Essayist

07-10-2014


Café Interview

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Mayumi Yamazaki, Hot-Spring Essayist

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Ms. Mayumi Yamazaki

This time IHCSA Café had a talk with Mayumi Yamazaki, who is active as a nonfiction writer and hot-spring essayist. Because of her efforts to convey Japanese onsen (hot spring) culture overseas, Ms. Yamazaki has been appointed by the minister of land, infrastructure, transport, and tourism as a Visit Japan Ambassador. She is endeavoring to disseminate Japan’s onsen culture both domestically and internationally and to spread the circle of “naked exchange.”

Café: You are active as a hot-spring essayist. What was it that first aroused your interest in onsen?

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Renge Onsen in Niigata Prefecture

Yamazaki: In 1997, my first year as a freelance writer, I was offered the job of writing a series titled “A Guide to Little-Known Mixed Onsen” for the outdoor magazine BE-PAL, published by Shogakukan. I thought the job would only involve writing, but then they said they would take photos of me in the hot-spring baths! I asked my father what to do, like, “A job has come my way that involves being photographed in the bath. What do you think?” [Laughs] And he replied, “There’s no need to make a fuss about it. If that’s what you really want to do, just do it!” “You’re right there,” I thought, and accepted the job. [Laughs]

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