A Quiet Night Stroll in Osaka: Exploring Miyamoto Teru’s “Muddy River” Setting


This time, let’s delve into “Muddy River” (1977), a masterpiece by the renowned Japanese author Miyamoto Teru, with Osaka as its captivating backdrop.

“I love the lively Osaka, but also walking on a quiet night in Osaka is nice!” I think it is recommended for such people. The masterpiece “Muddy River” won the Dazai Osamu Prize for Miyamoto’s debut work. Let’s hang out in the neighbourhood where this stage was set.

The area to introduce is Kitahama, Osaka

Our focus lies on Kitahama, Osaka.

Let’s embark on a nocturnal stroll through Kitahama.

While Shinsaibashi and Dotonbori may epitomize downtown Osaka, Kitahama, a bit removed from the bustling center, offers an ideal setting for a tranquil evening walk.

Indulge in sizzling Okonomiyaki

Let’s savor Osaka’s culinary delights.

It had been a while since my last visit to Osaka (spring of 2019, pre-COVID-19), so I ventured out with my wife one evening to relish the quintessential Osaka experience: toasting with Okonomiyaki and beer. Delight in the savory flavours of Okonomiyaki and Yakisoba sizzling on a hot iron plate, paired with beer and engaging conversation with the amiable staff at the Okonomiyaki joint. Nights in Osaka truly are a delight!

As the dawn breaks, the pre-prepared Okonomiyaki and Yakisoba are expertly laid out on the hot iron plate. The aroma of the delectable sauce fills the air.

The okonomiyaki and yakisoba made in advance are placed on a hot iron plate with the dawn. Yakisoba is also baked well, and you can smell the good sauce.

Beer and okonomiyaki are the best combination!

There may be okonomiyaki restaurants in this style in Tokyo, but we enjoyed it very freshly at that night.

It feels good to see the Nakanoshima Public Hall lit up at night

I feel good leaving the shop and walking around to the inn. I suddenly noticed that Nakanoshima was near, and when I looked at the road ahead, the Nakanoshima Public Hall was beautifully lit up.

The illumination of Nakanoshima Public Hall at night is wonderful!
Nakanoshima Public Hall at night

Miyamoto’s “Muddy River” and Tosahori River

Strolling along, memories of Miyamoto Teru’s magnum opus, “Muddy River,” flood my mind. This poignant tale unfolds against the backdrop of the Tosabori River, depicting the lives of ordinary folk in post-WW2 Osaka. I stand by the Tosabori River at night, reminiscent of the novel’s protagonist discovering a colossal carp, yet, in the darkness, the river reveals no such secrets. In the novel’s poignant finale, a boy watches a small boat fade into the distance. I gaze into the river, imagining scenes from the novel.

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¥868 (2024/06/14 23:53:47時点 Amazon調べ-詳細)
Tosabori River at night

“Muddy River” has been immortalized in cinema and hailed as a masterpiece. While Osaka thrives with dynamism, I recommend a serene nighttime stroll. It promises to be a memorable experience, traversing the streets with echoes of the novel and film resonating in your mind.

Photo and Writing by Hasegawa, Koichi

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