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Field Trip Found Art Happenstance Observation rag-pickings Signs and Signifiers

The Fifty-Fourth Station of the Tōkaidō (in Kirkcaldy)

Perhaps there was a fifty-fourth station of the Tōkaidō.

What if Hiroshige transcended time and geography, sailed into Kirkcaldy harbour and placed a stone block in the outer walls of the library. A nod to an alternative Eastern Sea Road. A found poem of the East Fife coast:

Forth (Rail) Bridge –> North Queensferry –> Carlingnose Point –> West Ness –> Inverkeithing –> East Ness –> St David’s Bay –> Donibristle Bay –>  Dalgety Bay –> Braefoot Point –> Port Haven –> Aberdour –> Burntisland –> Pettycur –> Kinghorn –> Kirkcaldy –> Pathhead –> Dysart –> West Wemyss –> East Wemyss –> Buckhaven –> Methil –> Leven –> Lundin Links –> Lower Largo –> Largo Bay –> Ruddon’s Point –> Shell Bay –> Kincraig Point –> Chapel Point –> Earlsferry –> Elie –> St Monans –> Pans Goat –> Pittenweem –> Anstruther –> Cellardyke –> Caiplie Coves –> Crail –> Fife Ness –> Balcomie –> Cambo Sands –> Airbrow Point –> Babbet Ness –> Buddo Rock –> Kinkell Ness –> St Andrews –> Guardbridge –> Leuchars –> Tentsmuir Forest –> Lundin Bridge –> Tayport –> Tay Road Bridge.

Fifty-three stations. The Kirkcaldy pivot stone.

Looking out:

White spume of sea roar, deluge of slanted rain. Across the Forth, landform apparitions. The fate of unseen ships seeking safe harbour. Waves break upon the shore.

≈≈≈

Image found on a stone on the outer wall of Kirkcaldy Galleries and Library.

After The Fifty-three Stations of the Tōkaidō a series of ukiyo-e woodcut prints created by Utagawa Hiroshige after his first travel along the Tōkaidō in 1832.

Now playing: Toru Takemitsu – Toward the Sea / Rain Tree / Rain Spell

4 replies on “The Fifty-Fourth Station of the Tōkaidō (in Kirkcaldy)”

Wonderful how, with imagination, the encounter with a stone can spark so much. And what a marvellous list of place names. Any chance of an audio file with you reciting it? I’m sure you and Brian could come up with something!

It was just a thought. As I read the piece, I felt it would be great if someone with the right accent and rhythm and local knowledge could convey to me the music of those place names. All the best, expectantly!

A fine reminder of fine place names I haven’t heard since I lived in Fife 1971-1974 – Dalgety, Aberdour, Wemyss, Pittenweem, Anstruther, Leuchars – must return one day …

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