Sunday, December 30, 2018

12月30日(日曜日) 
今朝は表通りのしめ縄張りが町内総出で行なわれました。所々に立てられた笹がついた青竹の間に縄が張られ、その縄の間に御幣(ごへい)と呼ばれる白い紙と藁(わら)を交互に挟んでいくのですが、縄を上手にひねって隙間を作るのが結構難しく、苦戦している私を見かねた町内のおじさんが親切に助けて下さいました。亥(いのしし)の烙印を押した絵馬飾りも戌(いぬ)年のものと取り替えて、一気にお正月を迎える気分になりました。This morning, Shinto straw festoons were put along the side of the main street by all of the neighbors. First, green bamboo with bamboo grass were put up at both sides of the house and a rope was tied in between. Then Gohei (white paper) and straws were inserted alternately. This part was difficult for me maybe because of lack of experience, and I was helped by one of the members. After I changed Ema-kazari (votive horse tablet) above the entrance from the old one to the new one, that is to say from Dog year to Boar, I felt like I was ready to welcome a new year.






Saturday, December 29, 2018

12月29日(土曜日) 
雪が止んでいることを期待していましたが、今朝はやっぱり雪。 年末のこの時期の雪降りは残念ですが仕方がありません。 カフェは勝手ながらお休みにして、彦根の友人、Y.Eさんの厚意に甘えて 雪降る中、近くのホームセンターに石油ストーブをもう一台と灯油を買いに行きました。灯油は去年より値上がりしています。Although I expected that the snow had stopped, it accumulated about 7.8 in. It is too bad that we have snow days during these busy days at the end of the year. I decided to close my cafe because of this bad weather. Despite the snow, my friend, Ms. Y.E who lives in Hikone kindly took me to a home improvement supplies store nearby. I bought an oil heater which I needed one more of and two poly-tanks of kerosene there. The cost of the kerosene has risen from last year.


Friday, December 28, 2018

12月28日(金曜日) 
初雪です。今朝は粉砂糖を振りかけたような繊細な雪景色が 見られました。その後、雪は時に激しく時に止みながら夜まで続きました。 はてさて明日はどうなることでしょうか。It was the first snow of the season today. We could see beautiful snow scenery which reminded me of sprinkled powdered sugar this morning. Snow fell sometimes heavily and sometimes stopped and it continued into the night. Well, what will happen tomorrow?


Monday, December 24, 2018

12月24日(月曜日) 
スケッチ画家の松居清恵さんは以前デザイン関係の仕事をしていらっしゃったようでアート全般いろいろなことを教えて下さいます。数ヶ月前、色彩のアーティストと言われるドイツ人のオットー・ネーベル (1892-1944) の存在を私は松居さんから知りました。今回はレイモン・サヴィニャック (1907-2002) です。フランスを代表するポスター作家だそうで、兵庫県で開かれている展覧会にいらっしゃった後、作品集の本を見せて下さり、毛糸会社のポスターでしょうか、絵はがきになったかわいい作品を額にいれてお土産に下さいました。サヴィニャックは商品に人や動物を組み合わせたユーモラスな優しい雰囲気の作品を沢山残しているようです。色とデザインが何ともおしゃれでクリスマスのカフェの素敵なアクセントになりました。Mr. Kiyoshige Matsui, who is a sketch artist, used to work for a design company, so he often teaches me many things about art. Several months ago, I learned about a German painter, Otto Nebel (1892-1944) from Mr. Matsui. This time, I learned about Raymond Savignac (1907-2002). He is known as a French graphic artist. Mr. Matsui showed a book of Savignac's art works to me after he had gone to a Savignac exhibition at Hyogo prefecture. He also gave me a framed picture card which was from Savignac's poster for probably a yarn company. Savignac left many works which combined depictions of humans and many kinds of animals. They are warm and full of humor. I like Savignac very much because his colors and design are very stylish. The little framed picture became a nice accent in my cafe this Christmas season.




Sunday, December 23, 2018

12月23日(日曜日)
昨日(12/22)は冬至でした。冬至は一年で昼(日の出から日没まで)の時間が一番短い日。つまりこの日を境に翌日から再び力が蘇ってくることから中国では「一陽来復(いちようらいふく)」、運が向いてくると言われているそうです。冬至にゆず湯に入るのが昔からの習慣ですが、これは運を呼び込む前に厄払いをするための禊(みそぎ)だとか。私も夕べの入浴は香りの良いゆず湯でした。Yesterday was "Tooji (the winter solstice)". It was the day with the shortest period of daylight and the longest night of the year. According to the net info., there is a four letter word meaning "favorable turn of fortune" in China. In short, it means from the next day onward, your strength will come back again (your luck will turn in your favor). In Japan it has been a custom that people take a hot citron bath on this day. I learned that the origin of it was to purify yourself for getting luck. I took Yuzu-yu (hot citron bath) which has a nice smell last night and I felt sooo good.


Friday, December 21, 2018

12月21日(金曜日) 
裏にお住まいの方から畑で採れた大根とかぶをいただきました。 かぶは大きな方は直径14センチ、重さも優に1キロは越える巨大なもので、 その大きさにびっくり。思わず「わあっ!」と声を出してしまいました。 早速、大根は去年いとこに教えてもらったビールをつかったお漬け物、かぶは ご近所のおばさま直伝の京風ゆず甘酢漬けを作りました。ビール漬けは1週間後、かぶは明後日ごろには美味しく食べられそうです。A neighbor who lives in the house behind mine kindly gave me daikon (Japanese white radish) and turnip from her vegetable field.The turnips were huge. The bigger one was 5.5 inch diameter, more than 2.2 lb. I said "Wow!" because I have never seen such a huge sized turnip before. Immediately after I received them, I prepared for two kinds of pickles using both daikon and turnip. I will enjoy daikon pickles in about a week, and the turnip one will be ready in a couple of days.


Wednesday, December 19, 2018

12月18日(火曜日) 
カフェで出している「特製いなり寿司」に使うお米、多賀産 「秋の詩」を今回は玄米で購入し、まずは10キロ、自分で精米してみることにしました。注意していると町のあちこちに自動販売機のような精米機が見つかり、我が家の近くにもあったのですが使うのは初めて。インターネットで「精米機の使い方」を検索して事前にやり方をノートに書いても、いざ機械の前に立つとまだ不安でノートと機械の説明が違っていないかどうか何度も確かめ、恐る恐るスタートボタンを押しました。が、待てどもお米は出て来ず。「えっ?」と思って機械の説明を読むと「下のペダルを踏む」とあり、これも怖々やってザアーッと白いお米が袋に入った時はほっとしました。触ると温かい精米したてのお米。「案ずるより産むが易し」、初めての経験とはこんなものでしょう。米ぬかが自由に持ち帰れるようになっていたのでヤッホーと思いながらもって帰りました。I make "Asahiya special Inari-zushi" (vinegared rice mixed with minced lotus root and carrot and wrapped in deep-fried bean curd) for customers in the cafe and I use rice of the variety named Aki-no-uta produced in my area. This time, I bought 30 kg brown rice and polished 10kg of them by myself. If you pay attention, you can often find a rice milling machine in the town, and there is one near my house. It is the first time for me to do it, so I checked how to use it by the Internet info beforehand. Even so, I was very nervous in front of the machine. I read the procedure on the machine again, and after putting the brown rice into the machine, I pushed the start button. According to the net info, the polished rice should come out automatically, but it didn't go well as I expected. Worrying about what I did was right or wrong, I tried to press the pedal which was lower in the machine. Then eventually white rice came out and went into the rice bag. What a moment of relief that was. There is a proverb "It is easier to do something than worry about it" and I agree with it. It is a good thing that I can take the rice-bran back home for free. 




Thursday, December 13, 2018

12月13日(木曜日) 
気温は摂氏7度ほど。風は冷たくも天気は良く散歩には 気持ちのいい朝でした。神社の拝殿は神官や巫女さん達が並んで 祝詞(のりと)を奏上していらしたのが珍しい光景でした。 森の中はつばきが美しく咲いて、先を進むと乾田が広がり、 いつも通りかかる畑には色々な種類の冬野菜がきれいに並んで 収穫を待っていました。田んぼも畑も農家の方の作物を大切に育てる 気持ちが伝わってきます。The temperature of this morning was 7℃ (44.6°F). It was a clear sky and nice for walking even though the wind was a bit chilly. At Taga shrine, I saw Shinto priests and Shrine maidens sitting in the worship area and reciting Norito (Shinto prayer) together. Camellias were beautifully blooming in the woods. Ahead of the pathway, there were dry paddy fields. In a vegetable field which I usually pass by, I could see many kinds of winter vegetables planted which were ready for picking. I understand how farmers grow their products with great affection and care.









Friday, December 7, 2018

12月7日(金曜日) 
多賀町の支援ボランティアとして小学校での「読み聞かせ」活動に初めて 参加しました。卒業して半世紀以上にもなる母校、多賀小学校の門に入った のは午前8時15分すぎ。1年い組の子供達は運動服に着替えて、先生の指導 で机を教室の後ろにやって前方の床に立て膝で座って私を待っていてくれました。25分から約10分間の読み聞かせの始まりです。私が選んだのは「ないたあかおに」(浜田広介作、黒崎義介絵)。「友情」がテーマの 名作ですが、表紙のオニの絵を見て「妖怪ウォッチ!」と声を上げた男の子。 一生懸命読みましたが、果たして子供達に届いたでしょうか。係の方によると月に2度ほど廻ってくるとか。やりがいのある仕事をいただいたと喜んでいます。I participated in "Storytelling" at the Elementary School as a volunteer activity in my hometown Taga. It has been more than a half century since I graduated from Taga Elementary School. At 8:15 a.m. I entered the gate of the school and when I came up to the door of the first grade classroom, children were waiting for me sitting on the floor holding their knees to their chests after pushing their desks and chairs in behind of the classroom to make space to sit. About 10 min. from 8:25 to 8:35 was my reading time. I chose "Naita Aka-oni (The red ogre who cried)" by Kosuke Hamad, drawing by Gisuke Kurosaki). The theme of the picture book is friendship. When I showed the cover of the book, one of the kid said "Monster Watch!" which is probably a name of a game. I read the book with my best effort and hoped the theme reached the children. According to the person in charge, I will read about twice a month in a classroom for various grades. I appreciate having this opportunity because it is enjoyable and fulfilling.








Sunday, December 2, 2018

12月2日(日曜日) 
図書館で適当に選んで借りたCDを家で聴いて感銘を受けたもう一枚。 それは「THE ART of HARMONICA JOE SAKIMOTO」です。これは崎元譲さんによるハーモニカのソロですが、これまで私がイメージしてきたハーモニカの演奏を遥かに越える素晴らしいものでした。ハーモニカは子供の頃、最初に手にした楽器で吹いても吸っても音が出て音楽の時間に皆でブーカブーカ合奏したものです。うちには半音階が出るクロマティック・ハーモニカもありました。映画などではうら寂しい素朴な音色で聞こえてきたり、シンガーがギターと一緒に歌の合間に演奏したりしています。崎元さんのCDにはクラシックのアレンジもありますが、彼のために作曲された曲も多いようです。聴いていると彼の透明感のある音色にうっとりすると同時に「えっ、これどうやって演奏しているの?」とハーモニカの表現力にびっくりしてしまいます。タイトルの通り芸術的なハーモニカの音色。崎元譲さんの感性と力量、すごいです。I would like to introduce another CD which I chose randomly to borrow from the library. It is "THE ART of HARMONICA JOE SAKIMOTO" which is a solo album of harmonica by a Japanese performer, Joe Sakimoto. It is an amazing CD which is far beyond my expectation of harmonica playing. Harmonica is the first instrument I played when I was a child. It makes a sound when you either blow or suck and we played it all together with classmates in the music class at elementary school. I remember my brother had a chromatic harmonica at home.We could hear the nostalgic sound of harmonica in a movie or when singers play it in the middle of their songs. In the CD, Sakimoto plays several classics but some music are original which were composed for him by a couple of composers. I listen attentively to his music and I am often surprised at his unbelievably amazing sound of the harmonica. As the title says, it is really " the art of harmonica". Mr. Sakimoto is very sensitive and talented as a musician. I am glad to encounter his harmonica playing.


Monday, November 26, 2018

11月25日(日曜日) 
毎週金曜日に近所で地域の野菜が販売されるのを楽しみにしていますが、 春菊、水菜、大根、かぶ、小いも、白菜、ゆず、にんじん、ごぼうなど、 季節の野菜がどれもびっくりするような安い値段で並んでいます。売って下さっている農家の西澤のりさんにこんな値段で大丈夫なのかと聞くと、売れ残っても困るからということでしたが、不作でも豊作でも農家の方は大変です。菊菜、水菜それに立派な葉つきの大根を買いました。そして大根の葉を入れた「菜めし」を作りました。塩ゆでにした葉を絞って細かく切って塩少々をまぶしておいて、別に酒と塩を加えてで炊き上げたご飯にまぜて出来上がり。ゴマを振り入れ、黄色いたくあんを上に乗せると見た目も美しく食欲をそそります。ご飯のそばには桃原ごぼうと残っていた赤こんにゃくとにんじんのきんぴらをつけました。I look forward to Fridays because every week I can get fresh vegetables at a temporary vegetable stand near my house. These days there are Garland Chrysanthemum (Shungiku), Mizuna, Daikon, Turnip, Japanese Taro, Chinese Cabbage, Yuzu, Carrot, Burdock, etc. and all of these are selling at an unbelievably low price. I thought those low prices must be so hard for the farmers. Ms.Nishizawa who is a farmer herself and selling those vegetables from other farmers said that even if they were low price it is better than them remaining unsold. I really sympathize with how farmers are tough whether it is a good harvest or failed year. I bought Garland Chrysanthemum, Mizuna and Daikon with greens. I made boiled rice with Daikon green. I added Kinpiragoboo (burdock which has a sweet soy flavor) as a side dish.


Tuesday, November 20, 2018

11月20日(火曜日) 
雨が落ちてきそうな曇り空でしたが、昨日は久しぶりに多賀大社へ お参りに行っていつもの散歩コースを歩きました。 期待通り、多賀大社の紅葉はきれいに色づいていました。境内に入ると 月曜日でそれほど多くはないながらも七五三の晴れ着を来た子供と その家族があちこちに見られて微笑ましい光景でした。 男の子なら3歳か5歳、女の子なら3歳か7歳になると家族が子供の成長を願って晴れ着を着せて 神社へお参りする風習は江戸時代からあったそうですが、私の子供時代は七五三参りをする家族はまわりにはいなかったように思います。ちびっこ達の表情はみな柔和で時代の豊かさを感じました。元気いっぱい伸び伸び成長してほしいものです。The weather was cloudy and looked like it might rain soon, but I went to Taga Taisha (shrine) for worship and took my regular walking route yesterday. It had been a long time since my last walk. At the shrine, as I expected, the maple trees were beautifully colored in red and at the shrine precinct I could see a couple of families who came for Shichi-Go- San and looked very happy. Shichi-Go-San is a traditional Japanese ceremony to celebrate children's growth. When they trurn three (San), five (Go) and seven (Shichi) years old, they are blessed at a Shinto shrine wearing their best clothes. It has been a custom since the Edo period (1603-1868) but when I was a child I didn't see any families to do this custom in my area probably because people were living in a modest way at that time. The kids looked so happy and I thought Japan became a wealthy country. Wishing them healthy and happy growth.



Sunday, November 18, 2018

11月18日(日曜日) 
図書館で本を探した後、大急ぎでCDの棚から適当に選んで借りて来たものが何枚か気に入っています。まず最初は「RITUAL LE MYSTERE DES VOIX BULGARES(ブルガリアン・ヴォイスの祭り歌)」です。江波戸 昭氏の解説によると、ブルガリアン・ヴォイスとはスイスに住む音楽研究者でレコードプロヂューサーのマルセル・セリエが録音したブルガリア国立放送合唱団のものだけをいうそうで、ブルガリアの民謡や民族音楽などを現代風にアレンジしたものをブルガリア各地から選ばれた女性達が歌っていて、その歌声は、のびやかで素朴、かつ力強く、時にユーモラスなかけ声が入ったりもして何とも独特な味わいがあります。旋律はスラブ民族らしい牧歌的な流れとイスラム系のこぶしの効いた節が合わさっていかにも民族音楽といった楽しさがあり聞いていて元気になります。今思い出すと、ジブリのアニメ「思い出ぽろぽろ」で使われていた音楽はこのブルガリアン・ヴォイスだったのではないかと思うのですが。After finding books at the library, I picked a couple of CDs in a hurry from a shelf in the CD section and currently I like to listen to some of them. First, I would like to introduce "RITUAL LE MYSTERE DES VOIX BULGARES (The Mystery of Bulgarian Voices)" which is a compliation album of modern arrangements of Bulgarian songs, featuring folk songs among others. According to info from Wikipedia, the album was the result of fifteen years of work by Swiss ethnomusicologist and producer Marcel Cellier and was released in 1975 on his small Disques Cellier label. It is a Female Vocal Choir whose members were selected from all over Bulgaria. Their voice is free, simple, energetic and sometimes I hear special humorous shouts thrown in. It's very pleasant folk music which is a mix of slavic and Islamic music. When I listened to this CD, I was reminded of the music in the Ghibli anime "Only Yesterday". I think the music that was featured in the film must have been Bulgarian Voices.


Thursday, November 15, 2018

11月15日(木曜日) 
フジバカマに続く話があります。カフェをよく手伝ってくださるS.Kさんからも中川さんからもお聞きしたり写真を見せていただいたりしたのですが、 フジバカマの花によく来る美しい「アサギマダラ」という蝶のことです。 アサギマダラをネットで調べると細かく羽ばたかずふわふわっと飛翔し人を 恐れず、標高の高い山地に多く見られるとあります。この蝶が美しい姿であることは写真を見て分かりますが、最も驚くべきことは アサギマダラは「旅する蝶」だということです。夏に日本本土で発生してその多くが秋になると南西諸島や台湾まで南下するそうです。2011年10月10日に和歌山県から 放たれたマーキングしたアサギマダラが83日後の12月31日に香港で捕獲されたそうです。フジバカマやキク科の植物の甘い蜜をたっぷり吸って旅支度をするとはいえ、こんな小さな体が海を渡って飛んでいくなんて何とけなげな蝶でしょう。仲間と一緒に旅をするそうですが、生物の神秘を感じます。There is a continuation of the story of Fujibakama from the last blog, and it involves "Asagimadara (Chestnut Tiger butterfly)". I heard the story and saw photos of Asagimadara from Ms. S.K who often helps me in the cafe, and from Ms. Nakagawa. Asagimadara is a beautiful butterfly as you will see in the pictures which often comes to the flowers of Fujibakama. It doesn't fly with flapping movements. It is also seen in a mountainous region. But the most surprising fact of Asagimadara is that it is a "Traveling butterfly " (long distance migration butterfly). A marked Asagimadara which was released in Mt. Nishiyama, Wakayama prefecture in Japan on 10 October 2011 was captured in Hong Kong on 31 December 2011. I can hardly believe that a tiny species can travel such a long distance. What a brave butterfly! Asagimadara migrate in groups but they highlight the mystery of living creatures.


アサギマダラ(Chestnut Tiger)photo by N. Nakagawa
photo by N. Nakagawa

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

11月13日(火曜日) 
桃原(もばら)ごぼうの復活に力を入れている中川信子さんが桃原で採れた 「藤袴(フジバカマ)」の花を持って来てくださいました。フジバカマは 秋の七草の一つ。中川さんから「桜餅の香りがするよ」と教えてもらい花に鼻を近づけると、なるほど「美味しいにおい」がします。この芳香は「クマリン」という成分のせいだそうです。初冬に秋の花がそばにあって春の桜餅の香りがするなんて面白いなと思いました。Ms. N.Nakagawa who has been putting in her efforts towards reviving Mobara goboo (burdock) brought me "Fujibakama (Thoroughwort)" from a mountain village, Mobara. Fujibakama is one of the seven autumnal flowers. She told me that it smells like Sakura-mochi (rice cake with bean paste wrapped in a preserved cherry leaf), so I put my nose close to the flower of Fujibakama. Indeed it smelled like a delicious Sakura-mochi. She also told me it is because of the component "coumarin". I think it is interesting that there are autumn flowers beside me now despite it being the early months of winter, and that they smell of a Japanese traditional sweet enjoyed in the springtime.



Sunday, November 11, 2018

11月11日(日曜日) 
昔の仲間が主催している演劇集団「GADSMITH」のフランス古典劇の朗読会に浦和まで行ってきました。昨日はジャン・アヌイ(1910-1987)の「アンチゴーヌ」でした。これはギリシャの三大詩人の一人ソポクレスの「アンティゴネー」を 題材としてアヌイが第二次大戦下のフランスで出版した悲劇です。真っ直ぐに進み決して心を曲げない少女アンチゴーヌ。冒頭、反逆者として野ざらしにされていた兄の遺体に彼女は夜明けに抜け出して張りつめた思いで弔いの土をかけた後帰ってきて乳母に言う言葉(正確には覚えていませんが)「きれいだったわ、何もかも灰色…。でももう絵はがきになってしまったわ。色のない世界が見たかったらもっと早起きしなくっちゃ。」若いときに演じてみたいと惹かれたアンチゴーヌ。演劇的基礎が訓練された俳優達による朗読劇の終った後の浦和のたそがれは何だかとっても優しく穏やかでした。I went to Urawa (in Saitama prefecture) to listen to a reading of classic French play by the theatre group "GADSMITH" which my old friend and her husband organize. Yesterday, they read Jean Anouilh's (1910-1987) "Antigone". It is a play inspired by the Greek tragedy, Antigone by Sophocles and it was published in France during the second world war. Antigone is a girl who stands up for what she believes in. Creon ordered to leave her brother's body outside to rot as a warning against rebellion, but Antigone went out to bury him for mourning even though she knew that the penalty for doing it was death. She sneaked back into her home in the early morning but was found by her nurse, at which point Antigone said to her: "It was beautiful. The whole world was gray. And now you wouldn't recognize it. It's like a post card. You should get up earlier, if you want to see a world without color." I wanted to play the role of Antigone when I was young. The reading was well done by the actors who were well trained in dramatic articulation. When I went outside after the reading, it was a beautiful twilight in downtown Urawa. I went home with a nice and comfortable feeling.


会場:夢工房MARUYAMA2階



Tuesday, November 6, 2018

11月6日(火曜日) 
あまりよくない天気予報が出ていましたが、朝から陽が差して お昼ごろにはポカポカの陽気になりました。今日は二人の方から 秋のお花をいただきました。コスモスとかすみ草は床の間へ。何かしらと 思った赤い葉っぱはブルーベリーですよと教えていただき、同じ色の赤い菊と白い菊を一緒にふわっときれいに上がり口に、種類も色もとりどりの華やかな小菊群は蔵に飾りました。「コスモスって花の雰囲気と音の響きがよく合ってる」と31歳で他界したすぐ上の兄が言っていたのを思い出します。優しい兄がそばに来てくれたようです。花々に囲まれて何とも贅沢な秋の午後となりました。The weather forecast for today was not very good, but it turned out to be a nice and calm day. I received beautiful autumn flowers from two guests today, so I put cosmos with gypsophila in the alcove. Initially I wondered what the red leaves were, and was told that they were blueberry leaves. I placed them along with similarly red colored chrysanthemums and white chrysanthemums on the shoe box, and assorted these colorful chrysanthemums in the flower vase at the warehouse. I remember my fourth elder brother who passed away at the age of 31 saying that cosmos just fits the image of the flower and the sound of the flower name. Looking at the cosmos in the alcove, I feel as if he is with me. It was a happy afternoon day surrounded with beautiful autumn flowers.








Sunday, November 4, 2018

11月4日(日曜日) 
文化の日の昨日、カフェを休業して京都祇園のシルバーウイングスというライブハウスにRone & Gigiのクラウン(道化師)のショーを観に行きました。 この二人、何とクラウン歴28年目とか。アメリカのクラウンカレッジ卒業後、 コンビを結成。モスクワの芸術座やイギリスで著名な師についてクラウンの演劇的表現やパントマイムを学び、世界のクラウンコンテストで最優秀賞、優勝など多くの賞を獲得し各国のアーティストたちに衝撃と影響を与え続けています。 前列の一番端に目立たぬようにそっと座ったつもりでしたが、ステージが始まると、アハハ、オホホと結構な声を上げて笑ってしまいました。ちょっとすかしてその演技や表情を見るとどのシーンも到底付け焼き場でできるものではなく、長年の地道な訓練とセンスの良い笑いの積み重ねであることが分かります。 このRoneさん、実はむかーしちょっと私と接点があったのです。30年の歳月の間に彼女はここまで実力をつけて私の前に現れてくれました。嬉しいと同時に立派だと尊敬します。Yesterday was a national holiday called Culture Day. We closed the cafe temporarily and I went to a club named Silver Wings in Kyoto where a professional clown show was held. It's a Japanese clown duo "Rone & Gigi" and this is the 28th Anniversary since they became a pair. They both graduated from clown college in the US and studied more clowning and mime from masters in Russia and UK for years and received grand prize, championship in the international clown contests and other many awards. They have been motivating and impacting other clowns throughout the world. At the club, I took the endmost seat in front row as I didn't want to stand out, but I laughed out loud the entire time . Seriously observing their performance, their clowning was so trained and full of good humor. Actually, there was a time I shared with Rone decades ago. She showed herself yesterday as a big person who has established her ability as a world entertainer while we hadn't seen each other in 30 years. I am glad to see her again and I truly respect her very much.


Gigi(ジジ)and Rone(ロネ)

Rone and Gigi


Sunday, October 28, 2018

10月28日(日曜日) 
滋賀県には「じゅんじゅん」という鍋料理があることを、私はごく最近まで 知りませんでした。「じゅんじゅん」は「すき焼き」と同じと考え てよいと思います。主役は牛肉、かしわ(鶏肉)、うなぎ、琵琶湖産のいさざ、鴨など。私の家では「じゅんじゅん」とは言わず「すき焼き」と言っていましたが、鍋奉行は父で、「わりした」と呼ばれる「だし」は使わず、肉を焼いて砂糖、酒、醤油だけで味付けをしていました。昨日は「かしわのじゅんじゅん」を仲間でいただきました。かしわの他に、ネギ、玉ネギ、丁字麩、焼き豆腐、キノコ(3種)、赤こんにゃくを入れました。思いのほかあっさりとした味で、新米の炊きたてご飯もとても美味しかったです。In Shiga there is a hot pot cooking called "Jyun-jyun" and I didn't know this name until recently. I think that "Jyun-jyun" is almost the same as "Sukiyaki". The main of the hot pot changes such as Omi beef, chicken, eel, Isaza (small fish hatched in Lake Biwa) or duck. My family was not saying "Jyun-jyun" but "Sukiyaki" instead. My father was the person in charge of the hot-pot and he didn't use Warishita (sukiyaki stock) but only used sugar, sake and soy sauce. Yesterday, I ate Chicken Jyun-jyun with my friends. In the pot, we put chicken, green onions, onion, Fu (bread-like pieces of wheat gluten), grilled tofu, three kinds of mushroom, and Konnyaku (jelly made from Konnyaku yam routs). It was so good and the taste was lighter than I expected and we also enjoyed new crop steamed rice.



Tuesday, October 23, 2018

10月23日(火曜日) 
晴天の昨日、布団を外に干した後、家の中へ入ろうと裏口のガラスドアにふと目をやると大きなカマキリがそこに。長さ10センチほどの細長い体にこれまた細長い脚が四方に出てガラスにくっついていました。三角の頭からは触覚が2本伸びていて、前で折り重なるようにギザギザのカマ(前肢)がありました。別名「オガミムシ」とも言うそうです。カマキリは肉食で、生きた獲物をこのギザギザのカマで素早く捕まえてその場で食べてしまうというかなり凶暴な昆虫です。どこから来たのか、買い物から帰ってきた時はもう姿はありませんでした。Yesterday which was a clear fine day, after having taken out a futon for drying I was about to come inside the house, when a big praying mantis caught my attention on the glass door of the back entrance. It was about 10 cm (3.9 in.) length with four slender legs and sickles (forefeet) which were folded and zigzag-shaped on one side. Because of these crossing forefeet, it was named "praying mantis". Contrary to the name, it is a carnivore and rather ferocious insect that can catch live pray quickly with the sickles and eat it there. I didn't know where it came from but when I came back home from the grocery store, it had already gone.




Sunday, October 21, 2018

10月21日(日曜日) 
秋晴れの一日。多賀の町は「ふるさと楽市」で賑わいました。 今年で13回目だそうですが、私は去年から二度目の参加です。 主に多賀に住む人が物品、飲食、野菜などの販売や展示などをします。 多賀大社前駅から多賀大社までの絵馬通りに50以上 のテントや出店が並びました。午前10時開始でしたが、それよりも前に 多くの人が集まり人でごった返すほどの盛況ぶり。我が「多賀あさひや」 もカフェの営業のほかに餅粉ケーキを店頭で販売し、行き交う人に買って いただきました。年に一度のこのイベント。かなりの盛り上がりを見せました。It was a clear fine autumn day. There was a "Furusato rakuichi (lit. Hometown Market)" event in Taga and the main street was crowded with people. This is the 13th year it has been held but this was the second time for me to participate. Mainly people in Taga area were selling or exhibiting their goods, food or vegetables by themselves. There were more than 50 tents or stands along the street from the station to Taga taisha (shrine). Officially it should have started at 10 am, but many people gathered much earlier than that and everywhere was crowded with so many people. We were selling "Mochiko cake" at the door beside the cafe. It was so lively and successful in this annual local event.









Saturday, October 20, 2018

10月20日(土曜日) 
今年、2月に皆さんと一緒に作った自家製味噌が食べられる時期と なりました。私には初挑戦の味噌作り(2月10日ブログ参照)、裏の小屋に封をして寝かせて おいた壷を出して、胸が高鳴る中、お手伝いいただいて いるS.Kさんと一緒に中を開けてみました。白っぽかった酒粕の蓋の色も 飴色になり、その下にきれいに出来上がった味噌を見た時の嬉しさは 格別です。大豆と塩と糀だけで添加物が一切入っていない自家製の味噌の味は 最高です。We made homemade miso (fermented soybean paste) at the cafe in February this year (cf. Feb. 10 blog), and we believed it should be ready by now. This is the first time I challenged myself to make miso on my own. I put it in a storage shed in the back for about seven months to let it ferment and now is a good time to take it out. I asked Ms. S.K who is always helpful, to assist and together we opened the container of miso. The color of the cover of Sake Kasu (the left over bits from the sake making process) was a brown color which had been whitish at first in February and it was a wonderful moment when I was able to see a beautiful light brown miso underneath it. It is perfect homemade miso which contains no additives, only soybean, salt and malted rice. Needless to say, it has a great taste!


2月10日
10月20日
10月20日



Thursday, October 18, 2018

10月18日(木曜日) 
先日、スケッチ画家の松居清恵さんがスケッチのお仲間大勢とカフェに 来てくださり、離れでコーヒーとおしゃべりでゆっくり過ごしてくださいました。お仲間の一人「名古屋かこう会」の副会長の井出のりこさんが、カフェにいらっしゃる前に外でお描きになったスケッチをご自身のFacebookにお載せになったそうで、それを松居さんが私に送ってくださいましたので、ご紹介します。 普段あまり気づかない電柱が存在感を発揮していて新鮮です。松居さんによると、来月は名古屋から数十名の方が彦根へスケッチにいらっしゃるそうです。 スケッチを通して他府県との交流、なかなか素敵だと思います。The other day, a sketch artist, Mr. Kiyoshige Matsui came to the cafe with his sketch group and had a relaxing time with coffee and chatting at the annex room. One of the group members, Ms. Noriko Ide who is the vice president of "Nagoya Sketch Club" drew a sketch of the front area of the cafe just as she arrived. She put it on her facebook, and Mr. Matsui sent it to me. It is a wonderful sketch, so I would like to share it here. On her sketch, I like the three telephone poles which I usually do not pay much attention to. They are existing lively here. According to Mr. Matsui, a big sketch group from Nagoya will come to Hikone next month for drawing. It is very nice to have cultural interactions with other cities through sketching.


画:井出のりこ(名古屋かこう会)

Sunday, October 14, 2018

10月14日(日曜日) 
彦根市野田山町にお住まいの風景写真家、中村憲一(のりかず)さんが 多賀町を流れる芹川上流の秋の写真をお持ちくださり、期間限定で カフェの蔵に飾らせていただいています。見事な紅葉と山から流れ落ちる 川のしぶき。静かな山間(やまあい)のいっときの艶やかな秋の風景が楽しめます。普段は色の少ないひっそりした蔵ですが、中村さんの写真で蔵の家具や柱たちが嬉しそうに感じられます。どうぞ観にいらして下さい。A landscape photographer, Mr. Norikazu Nakamura, who is living in Nodayama in Hikone brought his beautiful work which depicts the fall scenery of the upper stream of Serigawa (Seri-river) which runs through Taga. It is a picture of gorgeous autumn foliage and the stream which is making a big splash in the mountain valley.  We display it in the cafe during the fall season. It is on the wall in the warehouse portion of the cafe which is typically monochromatic and quiet but because of this gorgeous picture, the furniture and pillars come alive and it is almost as if they are having a pleasant time. Wishing you will come and appreciate this photo in the cafe. 


芹川上流(犬上郡多賀町)
写真:中村憲一


Friday, October 12, 2018

10月11日(木曜日) 
アメリカから日本に来ている友人夫妻が日帰りで多賀に来てくれたので 曇り空の午後、一緒に甲良町の西明寺(さいみょうじ)を訪れました。 天台宗の西明寺http://www.saimyouji.com/は湖東三山の一つに数えられ、本堂と三重塔は国宝の指定を受ける堂々とした立派なお寺です。名神高速道路と国道307号線が入口付近を通り、その騒音に正直驚きましたが、参道中腹からはうっそうと茂る緑の木立とその下に広がる一面の苔の美しさにいつの間にか騒音は耳に入らなくなっていました。紅葉は少し始まっていましたが、本格的なのは11月半ばとのこと。さぞかし見事な絵模様であろうと思いつつ、訪れる観光客は私達以外にいない静かなお庭を散策できたのは至福の時間でした。A couple from the US who are my friends and currently in Japan, took a day trip to Taga yesterday, so we visited Saimyouji in Koora in the afternoon although it was not perfect weather. Saimyouji http://www.saimyouji.com/ (temple which belongs to the Japan Tendai sect of Buddhism) is one of the "Kotoo Sanzan (three temples in the east of Lake Biwa) ". The Main Hall and Three-story Pagoda of the temple, built in Kamakura period (1185-1333) are designated National Treasures and they are standing in a massive structure. At first I was bothered by the noise of the highway and Rt 307, but while I was walking along the path towards the temple where thick and dense trees are on both sides and covered with deep green moss under the trees, I was amazed by the beautiful greenish scene and forgot about the noise. Some maple leaves have started to change color, but we have to wait until the middle of November to appreciate the autumn foliage. It must be gorgeous when you visit then. We, however, were able to enjoy walking through the beautiful Japanese garden where there were no tourists around except us.


西明寺
参道
受付前



Wednesday, October 10, 2018

10月10日(水曜日) 
一昨日、彦根ゴーストツアーのグループ19名様がうちでお昼ご飯を 召し上がってくださいました。去年に続き二度目の来店です。」 このツアーは一般の観光とは趣向が違います。 「空(くう)の旅人舎」が企画したもので「目に見えないモノを見ることが できるかもしれない旅をしませんか?現世(うつしよ)と幽世(かくりょ)の狭間、湖東、湖北の伝承をおいかけ文化遺産を巡るTourに出かけませんか?」と 紹介がある通り、湖東の9カ所を訪ねて、それぞれの地で同行の学者や専門家の話また講談師による講談を聞いたりと、地域に住む者さえ知らないその歴史や いわれが分かる密度の濃い旅行です。今回多賀への立ち寄りは多賀大社が江戸時代以前は「多賀社」と呼ばれ、森の名は「神明の森」別名を「遊行の森」と呼ばれたそうで、その所以を知るためです。ちらしに天狗の絵が描かれているところからも、今回のツアーは各地の天狗にまつわる話しを知るもので大いに興味をそそられます。同じ多賀来訪でも去年と今年ではテーマが異なるため 遠くから毎年常連の方が参加なさっていて、私も一年ぶりにお顔をお見かけする方が何人もいらっしゃいました。腕を振ったランチの写真を 撮るつもりが、慌ただしくグループをお迎えした為、その時間がなく残念ですが、お客様はほぼ全員がお代わりそして完食でとても喜んでくださったのが何とも嬉しく励みになりました。The day before yesterday, a group called "The Ghost Tour" consisting of 19 people came and had lunch at my cafe. This was the second time following last year's tour. This tour is a little bit different from typical sightseeing tours. It was planned by "Kuu no tabibito-sha" and the idea behind it is to see things which usually are not visible. They invite participants by saying "Won't you come with us to see the border between the present world and the afterlife, and visit the cultural heritage of the northern and eastern parts of Shiga Prefecture?" Indeed they visited nine places and listened to accompanying scholars or experts and enjoyed a talk by a professional storyteller. This time the theme was "Tengu (a long-nosed goblin)" as you see on the flier, and participants came to Taga to learn about Tengu which was believed to be in the shrine's woods. The theme changes every year, so there are many regular participants who enjoy the tour. I wanted to take a photo of the dishes which I prepared for their lunch, but unfortunately I couldn't because I didn't have time to do it before their arrival. I was so happy to have them. They enjoyed second helpings of rice and finished up all dishes. Yeah!!


Sunday, September 30, 2018

9月29日(土曜日) 
郊外のモールで友達と待ち合わせをして、ショッピングセンターの中に 新しくできたスーパーに入ってみました。二階まである大きなスーパー で、その広さと品数の多さに驚きました。日本食の食材やテイクアウト用 寿司なども、サラダバーはもちろん、色々な国の料理が食べられるフードコート、レストランもありました。面白いと思ったのは、一階と二階を カートと一緒に移動できるエスカレーターがあったことです。つまり、普通のエスカレーターと並んでカート用のエスカレーターがついているのです。何でもあって便利ですが広すぎて困ることもあります。友達と昼食を済ませた後一人で買い物をしようとカートを引いてギョーザの皮を探しましたが、どこにあるのか分からず、商品の整理をしていた店員に聞いたら、持っていたスマホで場所を確認してから、私をそこまで連れていってくれました。スーパーの中ですが結構な距離を歩きました。2ドルほどのギョーザの皮探しをするには広すぎるスーパーです。I met my friends at a mall in a suburb, and went into a new supermarket together which was very big with two stories inside of a shopping center. I was surprised by the huge space and large stock of goods. You can find foodstuff used in Japanese cooking, prepared sushi for taking out, salad bar, food court where you can have a variety of ethnic dishes, and a restaurant. In the supermarket, I was interested in an escalator for carts which ran parallel with a regular escalator for people. It is very convenient because you can find almost everything you want, but there are times when it is inconvenient to shop in such a supermarket. After our lunch meeting, I wanted to buy foodstuff for the dinner and tried to find a pack of dumpling skins. Since I couldn't find it by myself, I asked a shop person. She searched it with her smart phone and took me there. It was far to get there even though it was still inside the shop. I think it is too big to find two-dollar dumpling skins.