Welcome back to another addition of random Japanese words you will likely have no use for in your daily life. As some of you may or may not be aware, Japan is suffering from population decline. Aside from the general public not having enough children to replace the current population, mass population displacement/migration isn't exactly helping the situation either. Since the economy is heavily reliant on the GDP generated from its largest cities, many people leave their homes in the countryside to reside closer to financial centers with more opportunities. That brings us to today's word, 秘境駅/ひきょうえき/hikyoueki・secluded station. Its a very straightforward combination of characters, so lets breakdown these kanji.
⦁ 秘/ひ/hi - secret/conceal
⦁ 境/きょう/kyou - boundary, border, region
⦁ 駅/えき/eki - (train)station
The best way for me to explain these kanji is by introducing you to some other words that utilize them in ways that make their individual definitions more apparent. So, lets start with (秘), which is most often found in the word 秘密/himitsu・secret and (境), commonly found in the word 環境/kankyou・environment. By extracting the definition of these two words and applying them to 秘境駅, it wouldn't be a stretch to assume that it represents a station in a secret environment; otherwise, a station in a remote/secluded region.
So, how did I come across this word anyway? Well, Japanese television seems to make a mission out of turning anything into semi-interesting programming, so when I found a segment of a show in which a man waits for hours at a secluded station to see what type of person off-boards, I was pretty intrigued. I've included a clip for you all to enjoy below, unfortunately there are no subs available. However, I'm sure you guys are bright enough to figure out whats going on using context clues.
On the other hand, I did find a Daily Mail report that did a piece on a station that remained open for several years so a single high school student could get to school everyday. However, upon her graduation, the station, like many others closed down.
What do you guys think? Are there regions in your country or city not serviced by public transit? How important is public transit to the infrastructure of your region? Is it possible/probable that an entire station would remain in service for the sake of one person? Leave your thoughts in the comments below. As always, don't forget to like and share this post.
Until next time,