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Point of interest: スリバチ

POI
スリバチ - an ingenious metaphor for hilly topography
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188 words
This article is based on the essay on 凹 in the Joy o' Kanji essay collection.
To understand the book title that follows, you need to know that a スリバチ (sometimes すり
ばち
) is a small earthenware mortar that usually takes the form of a bowl. Its largely unglazed interior has grooves that provide a cutting surface. As Wikipedia and essay 1987 on 臼 (mortar) explain, the Japanese imported the suribachi from China in about 1000 CE, initially using it to crush herbs for medicine and now using it to crush sesame seeds and the like when preparing food.
What an ingenious leap to compare Tokyo’s topography to the interior of this kind of grooved bowl!
The book is about enjoying elevation differences in Tokyo, particularly by walking in certain areas. Many people living outside of Tokyo tend to imagine it as a monotonously flat mega-city with an excess of cement and asphalt. And because Tokyo is in the Kanto Plain, they assume that it lacks the interesting hills and valleys that characterize so much of mountainous Japan. The point of the book is to show that Tokyo actually has fascinating topography and that its hills and valleys have their own long histories.
おうとつ
凹凸
たの
しむ
とうきょう
東京
スリバチ
ちけい
地形
さんぽ
散歩
title (book, album etc.)
To Enjoy Hilliness: Walking Tokyo’s “Suribachi” Topography

Kanji used in this point of interest

ハツ   ハチ    bowl   
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キュウ   うす a mortar   
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オウ    concave   
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トツ    convex   
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ガク   ラク    music   たのしい happy, pleasant   たのしむ to be happy   
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トウ   ひがし east   
キョウ   ケイ    capital   
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チ   ジ    ground   
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ケイ   ギョウ   shape   かたち    かた    
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サン   ちらす to scatter, to distribute   ちらかす to scatter around   ちらかる to be in disorder   ち to fall (leaves etc)   
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ホ   フ   ブ   ある    あゆ to walk   
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