Thursday, January 25, 2018

1月25日(木曜日) 
雪の朝です。積もった雪は30センチほど。定休日なので少しほっとして、先ずは表通りの雪かきをして、雪の神社を見ようと家を出ました。融雪用の水が道路の中央から勢いよく四方に飛び出ているので、歩行者には決して有り難くありません。神社は既にきれいに参道の雪があけてありました。太閤橋はふんわりと雪で覆われ、広い境内も一面の銀世界。その中で神社の方が数人シャベルを持って雪かきをしていらっしゃいました。森に進んでいくと、そこに現実とはかけ離れた神秘の世界がありしばし目をこらしました。森を抜けると車道は除雪されて車が通っていましたが、広い歩道は手つかずの状態。中学生たちや出勤の人が歩いていました。8時ごろでしたがこの歩道は公共の除雪機で雪があけられるのだろうかと思いながら、人の踏み込んだ足跡を私もたどって歩きました。It was a snowy morning and about 1ft of snow has accumulated in my area. Since I am off from the cafe, I cleared the snow of the front street without any hurry. After that, I went to Taga Taisha because I wanted to see a White Shrine. There is a snow-melting system on the front street, and so the water used to melt the snow spurs out in different directions like a fountain. It really bothered pedestrians like me. At the shrine, the walkway was already cleared of snow. The arched bridge and the spacious precinct were all covered with snow. A couple of Shinto priests were working with shovels. I went into the woods. It was a mysterious world that made me forget about the real world. When I got through the woods, I saw many cars were passing by without any snow problem, but the snow was left in a walk way. Some junior high students and people who were going to work were walking there. It was around 8 am. I went on behind other people's steps thinking that the walkway by the public office should be cleared of snow, too.


太閤橋
能舞台
表通り




Friday, January 19, 2018

1月19日(金曜日) 
一年振りに伊勢の大神楽の一座が多賀に来て下さいました。遠く聞こえていた笛と太鼓と鐘の音がだんだん近づいてきて、ついに大きなお獅子が家に 入ってきた時のドキドキ、ワクワク感が何とも言えません。カフェの中で一舞して下さり、お獅子に頭を噛んでもらって無病息災を祈願。それから、玄関先で二つの獅子がお囃子に合せて獅子舞を見せてくださり贅沢な心持ちになりました。昔から続いている年中行事。何とも風情のある光景です。Today a troupe of Shishi-Kagura came to our town from Ise district after one year, when they came last January. First, I heard the sound of flute, drum and bell in the distance, then it gradually came near, and finally two men, one putting on a big Shishi (lion mask) and the other holding a flute, came into my house. I was really excited when I saw them. They showed Shishi-mai (lion dance) in the cafe and after that the lion bit my head (it means that I was promised safety and good health). The troupe showed another dance in front of the cafe. This is an annual custom in this area. What a tasteful and enjoyable scene it is!





Thursday, January 18, 2018

1月18日(木曜日) 
お正月のしめ縄飾りも外され「松の内」も終りましたが、家に残っている百人一首のかるたが面白いので写真を撮りました。先ず、一番古いものから。古い木箱にそれは入っていました。印刷でしょうが、草書で絵も描かれています。作者と上(かみ)の句が書いてあって左の赤い字は下(しも)の句の始まりです。明治の曾祖父の時代に購入されたものでしょうが、これでかるた遊びをするのは現代人にはハードルが高すぎます。当時は百人一首の和歌を諳んじていることは常識だったのでしょうが、読み手はこの草書を読まなくてはいけないし、取り手は下の句を暗記していること、またこの草書が読めなければ札を取る事ができません。この下の句を見つけるのが私には何と大変なことか。色々な情報を駆使して何とか下の句を見つけたものもありますが、文字が解読できずペアが見つけられないもがたくさんあります。使い古されたこれらの札を見るとお正月に皆が賑やかに遊んでいたことが想像できます。昔の人達の知的レベルの高さに感心します。次のかるたも木箱に入ったものですが、これは文字だけです。これは私が子供の頃に家族で遊んだ記憶があります。父が読み手となり、祖母、母、四人の兄達と私がバラバラに置かれた札の周りに丸くなって頑張って取っていたのを覚えています。私はまだ小さい子供だったので母と一緒でしたが、亡くなったすぐ上の兄が張り切って札を取っていました。最後の色付きのかるたは私が中学か高校の時に買ったものです。古き良き時代の一場面が蘇ってきます。The decoration of New Year's sacred straw rope was taken off and the New Year's celebration was over, but I would like to write a little more on a thing related to new year's entertainment. It is a card game called Hyaku-nin Isshu (One Hundred Tanka Poems by One Hundred Celebrated Poets) which my family had played for a long time. The oldest one is from the Meiji period. The cards were kept in an old wooden box. The letters are probably printed but all are written in cursive Japanese with black ink drawing. It starts with the poets' name and then the first half of the poem is on each card. The left tiny red letters are starting words of the second half poem. It is too hard for the modern Japanese people to play with these cards. One of the reasons is that unless you are familliar with those cursive style of Japanese, you can not read the poem although old people could easily read those. The other reason is that you should memorize the second half of the poem beforehand because it is the game to take the card with the second half of the poem when you hear the first half and it seems that the reader doesn't give much clue. These hundred cards should be paired, but I haven't found many of the second cards yet because it is so difficult to read cursive letters for me. I highly respect old people who were educated and played with those cards. Another completely different set of cards were also in the wooden box and those are newer than the first one. Those are letters only. I remember that my family played with those on new year's day. My father was a reader and my grandmother, mother, my four brothers and I sat around the scattered cards on which the second half of the poems were written. Since I was small, I sat with my mom. My youngest brother was very excited to play the game. I recall the old good days of new year's day.

百人一首 3箱
百人一首 箱と札
百人一首(古)
百人一首(中)
百人一首(新)





Wednesday, January 17, 2018

1月17日(水曜日) 
先日年賀はがきの当選番号が発表になりました。もとより大当たりは期待していないものの、せめて切手シールが当たりますように…と密かに期待するのは人情というもの。いただいた年賀状の下二ケタを見てみた結果、3枚当選番号がありました!早速、郵便局に行って記念切手をもらってきました。かわいいワンちゃんの切手です。The other day, we knew the result of New Year's lottery postcard. From the beginning, I didn't expect a "big hit", but naturally I hoped that I would get the commemorative stamps at least. As a result of checking all of my receiving cards, there were three cards with the winning number among them! I went to the post office and received three sheets of stamps. They are a cute design of dogs which made me happy.



Friday, January 12, 2018

1月12日(金曜日) 
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

1月9日(火曜日) 
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

1月2日(火曜日) 
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.