metal detector

s_2020-06-01metal detector

A European student and I were practicing "give" and "receive" in Japanese. I knew his wife's birthday was coming up, so I started this conversation.

Me: What are you going to give your wife for her birthday?
Him: I'll give her some jewelry.
Me: Wow! Lucky her! Well then, what are you going to receive from her for your birthday?
Him: I'll get a metal detector! (Happily)
Me: Metal detector???

At this point in the conversation, he extended his right arm straight out and down, and made a swinging motion at about a 45 degree angle from the floor.
Ah, that kind of metal detector! Yes, he said he'd like to go to some fields with his metal detector and search for treasure.

He works in what is usually considered a rather strait-laced and conservative businesses here in Japan, so I was a little surprised to hear what he said. His amazing story continued;
It's quite common in the West for groups to go on treasure hunts with metal detectors. If you're lucky, you might find a Roman coin. I think there must be some buried treasure in Japan as well! In fact, a group of Americans found old coins here in Japan.

When I heard that, the story of Kaerikumo Castle built by a Samurai, Uchigashima Tameuji, called The Golden Legend of Shirakawa Village*, popped into my mind. In 1585, a major earthquake destroyed a well off village and its castle entirely.
Maybe I should buy a metal detector for myself, too, go there and find some treasure with it!

  *This story can be found in "Minna no Nihongo Intermediate I."