Mysterious story at the bottom of the lake

On Friday, March 1, a research presentation by Ritsumeikan University was held on board the Biwako Kisen Steamship Bianca.
This was the reason why we were temporarily closed. We really wanted to hear Dr. Michio Kumagai’s “Mysterious story of the bottom of Lake Biwa” on the boat floating on the lake.

Forty years ago, a stone was discovered in the deepest part of Lake Biwa. Why is it not buried in the soil by sedimentation for how long? The story begins with the question, “Why is it not buried in the soil by sedimentation?

According to the research, Lake Biwa has moved and expanded and contracted due to meteorite impacts and earthquakes, which may be the reason why the deepest part of the lake has been preserved (I think). Currently, the lake is shrinking year by year, but it is getting deeper… I feel about such a lake like a living thing that breathes and like a piece of pottery in the process of molding. It changes its shape and deepens its bottom as it goes round and round on the wheel called the earth.

Yet the bottom of the lake remains quiet. It is said that not only stones but also pottery from the Asuka and Jomon periods are still lying there, unburied. Silent for thousands of years. The small air bubbles that the earthenware breathes remind me of something like a womb, something like eternal tenderness and love.
The term “Mother Lake” is apt for the bottom of the lake, where endemic creatures are born and nurtured due to the constant closed environment.

This is the same feeling of comfort that people who spend time at Mizu-Umi sometimes feel, as if they forget about the time they spend there. (Sometimes it is not.)
I hope we can continue such a place like the bottom of a lake for a long time. A place where people with various personalities can talk in their own words in peace.
I hope it can become such an “environment” that transcends the boundaries of a single human being.

Finally, the teacher checked with the naked eye the “Hakken-go,” which was built 30 years ago to survey the bottom of the lake and is still going strong. The foundation is made of two boats, cute like an old-fashioned robot.
I would like to visit the real bottom of the lake in the end, but for now, I would like to try Cafe Mizuumi on the ships!