「Land of Visible Pain」 —I See You.— (「人の痛みが分かる国」 ("Hito no Itami ga Wakaru Kuni") —I See You.—) is the first chapter of the first volume of Kino's Journey —the Beautiful World—.
As a very popular introduction chapter, it has been given 3 iterations: Anime, Manga and Drama CD.
The chapter begins with Kino beginning to lose focus from hunger and monotony as she and Hermes travel to their next destination. Hermes begins to grow worried at her well being, and requests she take a break to eat. She refuses, stating that travel rations are only used as a last-resort, to Hermes's chagrin.
They arrive at a country seemingly uninhabited by people - only machinery.
The two comment on how cheap the prices are for both the hotel and restaurants, despite their quality service. It seems as if the country is meant purely for travelers.
On their second day in the country, Kino and Hermes come across the residential district. It is an area where the houses are quite far apart, and despite no one on the streets, Kino comments that the houses are clearly still occupied.
On the third day, Kino finally meets her first civilian - a man named Kyoshi. He states that the lack of visible people in the country was the result of a failed philosophic and behavioral experiment. The citizens believed the reason that people hurt each other was due to miscommunication or someone's inability to understand someone else's feelings, using both telepathy and empathy. They wondered if everyone could understand how others felt, they could easily comfort others, alleviating their emotional pain. Though it sounded good in theory, in reality knowing everyone else's thoughts -both positive, and especially negative- drove the citizens insane. Realizing that their telepathy was distance based, they all went into self-isolation, leaving only their machines to take care of the city and travelers.
There were not always like this, however. Kyoshi states that there was a time when they were an intellectual, philosophic society. This was because the machines did all the work, and food was plentiful, the citizens were free to research and practice the sciences, literature, art and music.
He offers Kino and Hermes a glimpse of the past by playing a song that was popular in the country ten years ago, but never did after taking the medicine as he was afraid to find out how his lover really felt about the song. He then asks Kino if she would stay with him, but she declines, telling him that they hardly knew each other.
As Kino leaves, Kyoshi wishes for her to "don't die", but does so wordlessly.
Kino and Hermes find themselves in a country that seems to be inhabited only by servile machines. Outside the city, she notices people living alone in the countryside. Kino befriends a man in a cottage who tells her that the entire population drank a special liquid which enabled them to understand each other's thoughts with the aim of creating harmony across the country. However being able to read each other's minds only brought disharmony to society through being aware of the unfiltered thoughts of every other person – even between the man and his wife. The only solution for the population was to live a short distance from each other. The man asks Kino to stay, but she declines and continues on her way, passing by the cottage of his wife living nearby.
The story of a country whose residents are always able to hear each other's thoughts.
Male resident: Yasuhiko Tokuyama (徳山靖彦)
Differences in Media
- The male Resident is given a name only in the Novel iteration.
- The male resident's lover (and house) are shown only in the anime - she is merely briefly mentioned in the other iterations in past tense.