Miyakanojo covered in ash from Shinmoedake volcano.

The Shinmoedake volcano in Miyazaki prefecture on the island of Kyushu, Japan, has been erupting for several days now. This space picture shows not only the Shinmoedake volcano but shows the location of the city of Miyazaki as well.

For those people who, like me, attended the very first archery seminar for foreigners in the city of Miyakonojo several years ago it is very painful to see the pictures of the city covered in ash and the loss of all the crops in the fields. The ash cannot be just washed away. If water is used the ash becomes mud that would clog an sewer or roof drain so sweeping and shoveling it are the about the only options. Daily news broadcasts from Japan show the effects of the dusk on children and anyone with a breathing problem.

As I learned when I visited Miyakonojo almost 90% of all the bamboo bow makers in Japan live and work around the city of Miyakonojo. I hope they are dealing with all the ash. I did see a bokken maker (Japanese bamboo sword) in Miyakonojo interviewed and he was saying that he couldn't use water to clean the ash and no matter how much he tried to clean his wood there was still a thin layer of ash coated the bokken and was damaging his saw blades much more quickly than was normal.  My wife has spoken with Mr. Nagano, a maker of high quality bows outside Miyakonojo, and he said he was doing fine so far with little ash.
I hope the ash stops soon and the residents can get back to their normal lives as soon as possible.
As usual with eruptions there are dramatic photos and videos of the event and the effects.

Pictures and videos here:

Larger pictures are here:


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