#006 – MIKAMI-YAMA
– Oii! Oooii! The old God of Pleasure, his robes half tucked into his undergarments came trotting up the dusty path, adjusting his attire as he came, breeze blowing through his long white hair and beard, pot belly bouncing. – I like what you did with the landscaping.
– Thank-you, the God of the Earth and the Sky replied, a boulder the size of a hundred wild boar astride his shoulders. An enormous lake, stretching from the Northern horizon to that of the one in the South lay before them. – I do think a water feature goes a long way to improving things around these parts.
– Water features go a long way to improving things around my parts too, guffawed the randy old coot.
– Mm, I’m sure. However, my friend, what you get up to in the hot springs is of no interest to me.
– Ehhh? You don’t say? Where’re the other pair, then?
– I haven’t the foggiest, the god slung down the boulder at a spot just above the waterline of the lake.
– Got any booze?
– Over there, he nodded, wiping his hands, a pile of gourds rested in the reeds, keeping cool in the fresh, shallow waters lapping around them. – Go steady, old fellow.
The old rogue, forgetting his loosened robes, dashed gleefully over to the stash, – Ha-haa! That’s what the girls say too.
– I meant go easy.
– And that’s what I say to them!
Later in the afternoon while the God of the Earth and the Sky fished from his rock and the God of Pleasure guzzled booze in its shade, the God of Martial Arts showed up on horseback.
– Ahoy there chaps. You starting without me? He said wheeling his mount around the rock, startling some ducks amongst the reeds.
– There’s plenty more where that came from, offered the God on the rock as the drunkard beneath it hiccuped, bare belly burning in the afternoon sun.
The God of Martial Arts dismounted and slapped the horse’s hindquarter sending it off into the grasses rustling along the shoreline. Gathering up a gourd from its spot amongst the others, he removed the stopper with his teeth and spat it a couple of hundred yards out into the waters.
– So, have you finished then? This lake business I mean?
– Well, nodded the God of the Earth and the Sky, – One would like to think so.
– It is damn, mighty impressive.
– Thank-you. It was quite the project, let me tell you. I intend it to be one of the longest lasting lakes on this planet. It’ll still be here long after people inheriting this place stop believing in the likes of us.
The fishing pole in the God’s hands began to quiver and bow, he waved an arm at the heavens, a small black cloud popped into being in the otherwise crystal clear sky and shot a bolt of lightning down into the trunk of a dead tree nearby, felling it at once and filling its upturned side with glowing embers. With his other hand he flicked the fishing pole and slung a fish the size of small man from the lake into the coals. The red bellied God of Pleasure was up on his feet marveling at the show.
– You’ve got the place fully stocked too! The God of Martial Arts was visibly impressed, a gust of wind shot across to lake blowing away the cloud and tousling his wiry whiskers and thick, black knotty hair.
– Yes indeed. No half measures here old chap.
From across the rich grasslands bordering the lake the God of Farming approached, a merry fellow, he laughed as he arrived and asked what all the commotion was about.
– Just getting things underway, replied the God of Martial Arts, – How about a drink?
– Don’t mind if I do, smiled the God of Farming.
– I have to remark on the absolute bounty this lake is going to bring to the fields around these parts, the God of Farming mentioned graciously to the God of the Earth and the Sky as they sat on small rocks around the glowing embers of the old tree, picking the fish from their teeth with its bones. Evening had fallen, a cool breeze blew in off the lake and the God of the Earth and the Sky straightened on his seat and said:
– It has certainly been my pleasure. But, he paused for a moment, – I’m not yet satisfied.
The others looked at him aghast. Surely it was time for him to take a break. It had taken a few million years for the God of the Earth and the Sky to subduct the great lake to the East of where they now sat and drag it under the hills and then open up the earth for it there in the ancient province of Omi.
– This lake needs a mountain alongside it. Something more than that long, bland range over there on the western shoreline. Something different. Unique. Something outstanding. But, I – I – I just can’t work out exactly what it should look like. Chaps, I’ve drawn a blank.
– As long as you’re not firing blanks – hiccup – , quipped drunken the God of Pleasure.
– I doubt you’ll be firing anything tonight sir, the God of the Earth and Sky shot back.
– Yes, well, the God of Martial Arts began, rubbing his chin, lost deep in his thick black beard. If I may be so bold as to request a favour of the God of the Earth and the Sky…
– By all means.
– Well let me say, if a mountain is indeed in order, then one that I can sling my reigns and bridle over to show off my prowess to all the blowhards getting around these days would be just the thing and with a long stick he drew the ideal summit diagram in the dirt at their feet.
– I see, said the God of the Earth and the Sky encouraged.
-Why’re you wasting your time dreaming about slinging your bridle over a mountaintop? I know a few pretty little things…
-Yes, indeed, I’m sure you do, interrupted the God of Farming. – Now, I know a thing or to about fertility and good harvests and the like. I think, sir, if you want to stick up a mountain along the shoreline of this most resplendent lake of yours then it should be something one finds wholesome and attractive when resting one’s eyes upon it. Take for example the shape of a young woman’s breast…
Upon hearing this suggestion coming from the dull old God of Farming the God of Pleasure nearly choked on his fish bone.
– A young woman’s breast, continued the God of Farming – full to the brim with mother’s milk. It would be a reminder to all future inhabitants of this land to pray for success in all manners of breeding.
– Coming from you sir, I find that a rather agreeable suggestion.
– Then if you’re going to stick a great big boob out here on the shores of your lake you’d better bloody well stick a great big pointy nipple on the top of the thing, the God of Pleasure suddenly interjected. – As a matter of fact, nothing gets my breeding urges going more than a good romp with a slutty old three toothed harlot. He was up on his feet, acting out the part, white booze drenched beard stuck to his red belly. – Look, I’m all for more titties poking out of the landscape of course but, gentlemen, at the end of the day they’ve got to be big old whore’s titties, great fat, juicy, prostitutey, slutty, whorey titties. Sling your bloody bridle around that mister! He laughed raucously at the God of Martial Arts, pot belly dancing in the fire light. They’d seen it all before, the drunken antics of the wild eyed old God of Pleasure. Before long something would pop in his head, more booze coursing through his veins than blood, and he’d keel over backwards, pissed as a fart and they’d have a chuckle at the randy old bugger’s expense. It was merely a matter of time and they egged him on in the firelight, while deep underground something stirred, far below the Earth’s crust the magma churned and the God of the Earth and the Sky sensed this and lightly tapped his foot sending a pulse down through the layers of rock, gently splitting it to the mantle directly below where they sat; he’d started his work already.
Viewed from Ritto to the south, home of the God of Martial Arts, to this very day you can make out the hump on top of Mikami-yama, over which he slung his reins. Travel up to Yasu and you’ll notice a broad expanse of land stretching from the foot of the mountain to the lakeshore. Now mostly covered in ugly suburbia, it was once good agricultural land and the view from here, supposedly the realm of the God of Farming, reveals the symmetrical and reportedly more wholesome side of the mountain. Omi-hachiman, further on, used to be an old castle town with a thriving red light district. From there, the home of the God of Pleasure, you might just be able to spy a little nipple poking out atop Mikami.
Mikami-yama, the Mountain of Three Gods, sits out on the Eastern shores of Lake Biwa in Yasu City. Turn your back on the urban sprawl swallowing the rice fields and closing in on the foot of the mountain and treat yourself to a pleasant little hike, just out of Kyoto.