I wrote the following in a magazine a long time before. When
I started my work in Iraq, the second Arabian nation for me, I started
out for the on-the −spot investigation into the inner and surrounding
areas of Baghdad every morning from my office prepared by the city
A part of the city guesthouse, in front of which there was such
a vast courtyard as we could play succor, was offered for an office
space. The guesthouse was surrounded by houses and a girls' high
It was something spectacular for me to see a group of blooming high
school girls, very attractive Arabic women as they were, waiting
for a bus at a bus stop afternoons. They watched at a strange Japanese
with their eyes, big enough as they were, and I could feel a crackle
of their gaze, I used tell it to my friends after coming back to
Now, let's come to the point;
Every morning when I left my office, I always saw an old person who
sat down at the side of a house entrance near the front of the guesthouse
gate without doing nothing, and again saw the old person sitting down
there as in the morning when I came back to the office in the late
As it was repeated several days, I had to begin thinking; "What
has the old person been doing?"
There were almost few cars as well as people in the street, not so
big enough, between the luxurious guesthouse and the quiet residential
area. The street was deathly quiet except for that time of coming
to and from school.
Without anything to see or be moving, or without any sound to be
heard, I began feeling a question what the old person was doing
from morning till evening everyday, what on earth he was looking
at, and at last asked an Iraqi officer who always guided me by car;
"What is he looking at?"
I expected that he would brood for a while, but he easily and only
replied without any interest; "What do you ask me? He must
be looking at time" There was a pause in the conversation then.
I had not so much as imagine it to look at time, because to me 'space
is to be looked at while time is to be felt'
In Japan if we casually say "I can see time!" it's likely
we will be treated as an eccentric or smirked at the best; "Oh
you have supernatural power, haven't you?"
I don't know it well whether my eyes were opened or I became an
eccentric or a person with supernatural power, however from that
time the feeling 'look at time' had never left from my mind.
Coming to think of it, it is said that around 40 thousand years
ago Austro-Malaysians sailed eastward from the now Philippines and
Indonesia by canoe made by only hollowing out of a log or on a crude
raft crossing the rough Pacific Ocean, and reached Polynesia and
Micronesia, and even arrived the Hawaii Islands or the Easter Island,
however how could they sail without a navigation map or only with
unsatisfactory knowledge of astronomy?
Seeing the rough seas and the vast horizon in the flesh, from where
did such incredible or absurd ideas and nerves as trying to sail
out towards them spring out?
In Japan as well, during the middle period of the Jomon period thousands
years ago, it is yet uncertain if the primitive agriculture had
started in that period, not a few shells valuable for making ornaments
in that period had been brought to the main island from southern
islands far from Tokyo, and after bartering for obsidian produced
in the main island the obsidian had been brought back to the islands.
Those traces have been found in many places of both the islands
and the main island. With what kind of ships they sailed on and
sailing technique they had a good command of, they could repeat
their sailing being tossed about by big waves of the Pacific Ocean?
Aside from special inquiring into navigation technique or astronomical
knowledge, the conclusion or the hypothesis I reached was and still
is; "They did not trip in space but in time? Saying a trip,
we today immediately find a map or think of spatial distances, while
they continued to look up at the starry sky as usual, instinctively
feel temporal distances and convinced that they could arrive their
destinations if they continued their trip with time?"
"A trip is to move space" is one of the examples of assumption.