Before laying down I was watching a video on YotsuPutzu which featured a cab-end view of a Japanese train ride. I'm not sure where it was but the scenery was gorgeous.
Anyway, every so often along the track you'd see this little blue and white sign. It was a stylized wave, and there was text underneath it. Some kind of tsunami information, I figured, but when I was able to get a good look at the text, it made no sense to me.
I can't do kanji here so let's just characterize it: [character for up] 2.3 km [character for down] 1.2 km
As hard as I tried I couldn't make sense of what information the signs are trying to convey. I presume they make sense to Japanese people but I needed an explanation and couldn't find one.
I mean, it's not because I don't know what the characters mean, and just to be sure I used Googe translate to verify my translation. So was my sample sign saying "up", 2.3 km, and "down", 1.2 km? Distances away from that sign? I don't know, and lacking context I wasn't able to puzzle it out. I tried a number of searches to find an example of the sign, hopefully with an explanation, but wasn't successful.
I see plenty of signs with distances in meters--as in "height above sea level"--but in this video it was obvious that the height of the train tracks above sea level was not high enough to be measured in kilometers. The Kanto tsunami peaked at something like 130 meters in some spots but that's still not kilometers.
I don't normally have this much trouble understanding stuff like this, but there's just not enough information present for me to puzzle this one out.
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I managed to change that single page of story into four, but I really had to work for it. It's all pretty much introductory material that needs to be in place before I can really get anywhere, so I stuck it all under "prologue"; but I need to start the actual story now and that's proving intractable.
Well, either I'll get there, or I won't.
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Anyway, that's all.