Friday, January 12, 2018

今日、いただいた苺。今年初の苺です。ちょっぴり贅沢な気分で大きな粒(縦6cm)を半分口に入れてみました。……何て甘くて美味しいんでしょう! 大げさかもしれないけど、こんな美味しい苺は生まれて初めてです。「あきひめ」という銘柄だそうです。つやつやで本当にお姫様のよう。こんなにも美しく美味しい苺を大切に育てて下さった農家の方に感謝です。Today, I was given strawberries. They are the first strawberries of the year for me. I put half of one of the big strawberries (2.4 inch long) into my mouth with a luxurious feeling. Wow! What a sweet and delicious one it is!! It may sound like an exaggeration but I have never eaten such a sweet strawberry before. The brand is called Akihime. Indeed it is shining and looks like a beautiful princess. I appreciate the farmer who carefully raised such sweet, delicious strawberries.

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

暮の29日から定休日返上でカフェを開け、明後日の木曜日が久々の定休日。特にストレスもなく楽しくカフェに出ていましたが、やはりお休みは楽しみなものです。この新年はお天気が安定しなかったせいか多賀大社への参拝客はいつもより少なかったと巷の噂ですが、それでも表へ出て神社の方を見るといつも黒山の人だかりで賑わっていました。私は実は初詣をまだしていないのです。大晦日の夜、神社がガランガランの時に皆さんより一足先にゆっくりお礼参りをしました。I have been keeping the cafe open since Dec.29th without a break. The day after tomorrow, Thursday is the first closing day in the new year. There is no stress on me about it and I am enjoying myself with the guests in the cafe, but I am also looking forward to taking a break in two days. These new year days, probably because of the unstable weather, people say that the number of the people who visited Taga shrine was less than usual. Even so, when I went out to the front street and looked toward the shrine, the area in front of the shrine was filled with a mass of people. I haven't visited the shrine since the new year started yet, but I visited there at the last night of the last year. It was so quiet and almost empty at the shrine. I offered my thanks to the gods. It was a calm and good time for me.

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

2018年(平成30年)が始まりました。日本に帰って二年目のお正月。カフェの仕事に追われっぱなしの年末年始です。アメリカではしっかりおせち料理を作って元旦にはお客様を招いてまさに「お正月らしく」お祝いをしていたのですから、この落差に我ながら笑ってしまいます。カフェ開業時にご近所のお菓子屋さんからいただいた五つの達磨さん。1年目が無事終ったので最初のだるまに満願の目を入れ、次のだるまの片目を入れました。二年目の「多賀あさひや」もどうか無事に越えられますように…。The year of 2018 has started. It is the second new year for me since I came back to Japan. To tell you the truth, it's been terribly busy at the end of the year and new years day for me at the cafe. In the US, I prepared the special dishes for the new year and invited friends on the first day of the new year to celebrate. I can not help but to laugh at myself because it was more Japanese than now in Japan. My neighbor gave me five small Dharma dolls when I opened the cafe. I drew one eye of the first Dharma last year with my wish. Since the first year passed safely and happily, I filled the other eye and filled one eye of another one praying that the second year of the cafe will also end successfully.

Flower arrangement for the new year by Ms. H.N.

Sunday, December 31, 2017

今朝は町内の皆さんが出て、恒例の表通りのしめ縄飾りをしました。通りの両側に縄が張られ、そこに御幣(ごへい)と呼ばれる神事の白い紙と藁(わら)を等間隔に交互に挟んでいきます。家の両側には葉のついた青竹も立てられました。門前町の商店街が用意した「笑門 戌」と書かれた絵馬も玄関上に飾りました。それから今日、名古屋からお見えになった二度目のお客様に可愛い干支の置物もいただいたのでカウンターに飾りました。一気にお正月が近づいた感じです。It is an annual social custom day to put a sacred Shinto rope along the front street for the new year by all the neighbouring people. When I was out in the street this morning, there was already a rope of straw along the street and five sheets of white paper distributed called Gohei which is used in Shinto ceremony. I pushed and inserted the Gohei and straw alternately in equal distances. We set up a fresh bamboo tree at the side of each house. I also put a small wooden plaque on the upper part of the entrance on which Kanji character, Shoomon (lit. good fortune and happiness will come) and next zodiac, dog were written. A little cute dog ornament was placed on the counter inside my cafe which a customer from Nagoya gave to me today. From those decorations,I feel that the new year is almost here.

Thursday, December 28, 2017

なかなかブログが書けませんでした。少し遅い報告ですが、日曜朝から二泊三日で東京へ行ってきました。帰りの新幹線は早朝にも関わらず自由席は満席状態。仕事の方が殆どでした。関東は上天気。新幹線の中から美しい富士山が見えました。昔、アメリカ暮らしの長い日本人の年配の方が、一時帰国して新幹線から富士山を見ると思わず手を合せたくなるとおっしゃっていたのを思い出しました。同感です。本当に富士山は日本の心。その優しく透き通った富士の姿に惹かれながら 私は自分自身を生かし続けてくれる全てのものに感謝しました。I had been feeling bad about not having time to write my blog. It is a bit of a late report but I went to Tokyo over the Christmas weekend. On the way back home, it was almost full of passengers in the Shinkansen (Bullet train) even though it was early morning.The weather was perfect in Kanto area. I could see the beautiful Mt. Fuji from the window of the Shinkansen. I recall a lady who had been living in the US for several decades saying that she wanted to put her hands together to pray when she saw Mt.Fuji from the Shinkansen. I agree with her. Mt. Fuji symbolizes the sprit of the Japanese people. Being enchanted by the Mt. Fuji which was so gentle and clear, I thanked everything which makes me alive.

Monday, December 18, 2017

寒い朝でした。神社は寒さよけなのか御簾が下りていましたが、これぐらいでは吹きさらしの拝殿は防寒にはならないだろうと思い、平安時代の貴族の暮しに思いを馳せました。森を抜けての山々の景色は素晴らしいものでした。遠く霊山(りょうぜん)は真っ白に輝き、近くの杉坂山、桃原(もばら)あたりも薄ら雪化粧でした。山があまりに美しいので、今日はいつもとは違う方向に歩いて写真を何枚も撮りました。It was a chilly morning. Probably to protect against the cold, the bamboo blind was down at the area of worship and the cloister. However, the area is too open to protect from the cold. I sympathized with the people who lived in the Heian period in such severe conditions. Passing through the wood of shrine, I was amazed by the mountain scenery. Ryoozen mountain which I could see in the distance was shining white. Sugisaka and Mobara area were also thinly covered with snow. Since those mountains were so beautiful, today I walked a different way than usual and took many photos of those mountains.

Sunday, December 17, 2017

手術後すっかりお見かけしなくなったので体調が悪いのではと心配していたT.Kさんがしばらくぶりにカフェにお出でになり、ほっとしました。その手には切り花が見えました。ガザニアというそうで、テーブルの上の花瓶用、残りは土に差しておくと根が生えて繁殖する強い花だと教えてくださいました。調べるとガザニアは和名が勲章菊(クンショウギク)。その花が勲章のように鮮やかだからだそうです。それから、観音竹(カンノンチク)とアネモネの鉢植えも一緒に持ってきて下さいました。観音竹というので竹科の植物かと思って調べたらヤシ科でした。沖縄の観音山という寺院に生えていたことからその名前がついたとか。アネモネは花を咲かせるのは来年の春ですが、今の時期、外に出しておく緑があったほうがいいだろうとのお心遣い。ありがたい限りです。Mr. T.K came to my cafe today. Since It had been a while after his operation in hospital, I had been worried about his health condition. I was relieved by his appearance. He brought a bunch of cut flowers of gazania. He said some of them were decoration for small tables and the rest of the gazania should be planted in the soil. The Japanese name of gazania is Kunshoo-giku (decoration-mum) because the flower is just like a bright decoration. Mr.T.K also brought pots of Kan-non chiku (Rhapis excelsa) and anemone. Since Kan-non chiku has the Kanji character of "竹(bamboo)" in its name, I thought it is a family of bamboo, but according to online information it is a palm family of plants. It was found in the area of the temple named Kan-non yama (The goddess of Mercy mountain) in Okinawa, so people named it " Kan-non chiku". Anemone will bloom in the spring but Mr. T.K brought this because a green color is needed for the outside of the entrance of the cafe. I appreciate his thoughtfulness.

観音竹(Rhapis excelsa)