Novels written by authors from Kushiro whose story actually takes place in Kushiro物語の舞台は釧路。釧路市出身の作家が書いた本。
The scenery of Banka written by Yasuko Harada highlights the vestiges of more than 60 years ago
The late Yasuko Harada not doubt comes to mind first when it comes to famous novelists who were from Kushiro. She is best known for her novel Banka, which was a best seller during the Showa period. There are several places where Harada’s Banka is set, but first to visit is Nusamai Park. There is a monument in the park to the novel Banka which features a quote from the novel, “Looking out from the plateau provided a view of the town’s lights. However, the edge of the lights was swallowed up by the expansive and pitch black wetlands.”
Hotel Royal is the name and setting of Naoki Prize winner Shino Sakuragi’s novel
Shino Sakuragi, who became a novelist after reading Harada’s Banka, is another popular novelist who hails from Kushiro. There are more than 10 novels written by Sakuragi that take place in the Kushiro region, with scenery and buildings actually found in Kushiro appearing in each. One of the most well known settings in these novels is Hotel Royal, a motel located in Kushiro. Hotel Royal appears in the 2013 Naoki Prize winning Hotel Royal and Garasu no Ashi. This hotel was once owned and operated by Sakuragi’s family in Kushiro Town. Today, the hotel is no longer standing. If you visit the around where this hotel once stood you will be able to see commanding views of Kushiro Shitsugen wetlands just like the characters in the book.
Junichi Watanabe’s Haiko nite is set in Akan Town’s Yubetsu Coal Mine
The late Junichi Watanabe from Sapporo is another author with roots in Kushiro. The book Haiko nite takes place at Y Tanko Hospital, which corresponds to Yubetsu Coal Mine hospital that once stood in Akanmachi, Kushiro City. The book tells the tale of emergency surgeries that Watanabe performed when he was a new doctor and also the amazing life force of women that he experienced at the time.
Nusamai Park / Nusamaicho, Kushiro City. Located on the south side of Nusamai Bridge after you climb Shussezaka from the rotary.
Vicinity of former site of Hotel Royal / About 20km drive from Kushiro to Shibecha Town on national route 391. Turn right from the signpost for Kushiro Ryobo Koen and the Assisted Living Facility at the Toya district of Kushiro Town and you will arrive at a flat area after going up a hill for close to 2km.
Remains of Yubetsu Coal Mine / It is dangerous to visit this site as it is located in a national forest that is habitat to brown bears. Instead, enjoy the magnificent scenery similar to Yubetsu along national route 240 as you make your way from Kushiro City to Lake Akan onsen.
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