Thursday, May 23, 2019

ご近所のお料理屋さんの奥様から芍薬をいただきました。 あまりに美しい芍薬の花。何度見てもはっとします。特にこの白さは何と表現すればいいのでしょう。 こんな美しい、夢のような白さがほかにあるでしょうか。透き通っています。ピンクの花も深い緑の葉も すべてが品よく清楚に輝いています。I received peonies from a lady who is running a Japanese restaurant nearby. The flowers are so beautiful and no matter how many times I look at them, I am struck by their color. I don't know how I can express this whiteness. Can you find anything as 
breathtakingly dreamy as this? They are so clear. Those pinkish flowers and deep green leaves also look gracious and are shining clearly.

Monday, May 20, 2019

先週の土曜日は大安で多賀大社で結婚式を挙げた若いカップル両家のご親族が 披露宴会場に向かう前に当店で1時間半ほど休息をなさいました。予めカップルが 来店なさって皆様にいなりセットをと注文をいただいていたので、先日購入した日野の陶芸家、 竹村嘉造さんのお皿にのせてみました。いなり寿司はアメリカ風に言うならスナック菓子か サンドイッチといったカジュアルな食べ物だと思うのですが、こうやって竹村さんの作品、 黄瀬戸手大陶板印刻文に並べて座敷に置いてみると何だか我が家のいなり君たち、お行儀 良い子に見えます。晴れの日に座敷も離れも正装の皆様で一杯になりました。Last Saturday (5/18) was Taian ( luckiest day in the six-day Buddhist calendar), and we had a group who held a wedding ceremony at Taga Taisha, and consisted of family members of both the bride and groom. They gathered at my cafe and rested for about one and a half hours before they headed for the reception place.The couple came to my cafe beforehand and ordered an Inari set. I prepared Inari-zushi and put them on the plate which I bought from ceramic artist, Mr. Takemura in Hino, the other day. Inari-zushi is a casual food like a snack or kind of a sandwich in America, but when I put them on Mr. Takemura's artistic plate "KIZETO TEDAI TOHBAN INKOKUMON", they looked like "well mannered elegant boys". All of the tatami rooms were full with guests who were formally dressed for the wedding on a beautiful fine day.

Friday, May 10, 2019

五月晴れの一日となりましたが、表通りは連休の賑やかさはどこへやら、また元の静けさに戻りました。 下の方で道路工事の音が響いています。さて、そんな朝に嬉しい贈り物が高知から届きました。愛知県刈谷市にお住まいの T.Tさんは滋賀の地酒屋さんにいらっしゃる度にご友人をさそって私どものカフェにお寄りくださるのですが、 そのTさんは毎年、高知県の馬路村にいらっしゃるとのこと、去年も色々なお土産をお持ちくださったのですが、今年は 現地から直接宅配便が届きました。馬路村の農協が出しているものと思われますが、その情熱が伝わる パッケージと贈り物の数々です。きっと全国でもこの馬路村のことは有名になっていることでしょう。 Tさんは毎年馬路村に行かれて村の人々の温かさを実感なさっているのでしょうが、贈り物を受け取る側にも この村がゆずの村として一丸となっている様子が伝わり楽しくなります。馬路村の愉快な贈り物と一緒にいつも お気遣いくださるTさんの温かいお気持もいただきました。Today is a beautiful fine day in May. During the holidays, the front street was lively with people visiting Taga Taisha, but now it has turned back to the usual quiet street. I can hear the noise of road construction from down the street. This morning I received a gift shipped from Kochi prefecture. It was from Mr. T.T who is living in Kariya in Aichi. Everytime when he comes to local sake shop in Shiga, he also stops by my cafe with his various friends. I heard from him that he travels to Umaji-mura (Umaji village) in Kochi every year. Last year he brought many products for me from Umaji-mura after he returned from the trip. This year, I received a package directly from the village. It was shipped by Umaji-mura agricultural cooperatives and it made me pleasantly surprised because everything such as the packages, messages and things inside were so warm and full of passion of the people in the village. They refer to the village as the Yuzu (citron) Village. This village must be already known widely by many people in Japan because it is so unique. Every year when Mr.T goes to the village, he must receive their warm welcome. Although I haven't been there before, I still I imagine that they are active and put so much effort in letting people know of their products and selling them.  I received these funny, pleasant and warm gifts, and at the same time received Mr. T's thoughtfulness as well. 

Tuesday, May 7, 2019

日野の陶芸家、竹村嘉造さんの福始窯陶展<>に行ってきました。近江線で多賀から日野駅まで約1時間。そこからしゃくなげ渓谷行きバスで藤の寺停留所下車。ご自宅までは遠いと言われて電話して迎えにきていただきました。近江鉄道は、カメラを持った男性が駅や車内に多く、また沿道でカメラを設置して待ち構えている人がいるので何かと思って日野駅に着いて駅の人に尋ねたら近江鉄道の700型「あかね号」 が引退する日だとか。私の乗った電車は「あかね号」ではなかったのですが、それでもお目当ての駅に向かうためか車内は鉄道ファンの 熱気で満ちていました。近江鉄道の話しはまた別の機会に写真と一緒に話したいと思います。竹村さんは工房を別に構えていらっしゃり 今日はそこへは行かずに展示会場のご自宅へ。まず、その風情あるお宅に感激し、展示されている趣のある作品の 一つ一つに誠実な竹村さんらしい味わいが出ていて素晴らしいと思いました。永源寺の野田さんののれんがあちこちに掛けられて立派な古民家と作品の引き立て役になっていました。竹村さんには焼き物について色々教えていただき、展示会に訪れていたご友人たちとしばし楽しい会話が続きました。最後に私にはいささか贅沢と思いつつ、竹村嘉造さん作の大きなお皿を購入し、展示会が終ってから届けて下さるというお申し出に甘えることにし会場を後にしました。I went to the exhibition of Fukushigama by ceramic artist, Yoshizo Takemura in Hino It took about an hour from Taga to Hino by Ohmi railway line, then got on a local bus bound for Shakunage ravine, and got off at Fuji no tera. Since a local old man told me that it would be far to get to Takemura's house where the exhibition was held, I asked Mr. Takemura for a ride by his car. I saw many men with their cameras at the station and inside cars, and there were people standing by for a chance to take photos along the railroad line. I was very curious about what was going on today, so asked station staff about it. One staff member said it was because today is the last day for the railway vehicle of 700 type "Akane". The railway vehicle which I got on was not it but still many railway fans were inside the car and full of enthusiasm. It was fun but I will talk about it another day and get back to Mr. Takemura. He has his own work studio but today's exhibition was held at his home which is a very old Japanese house. First, I was very impressed by his elegant house. When I entered the house, big earthen pots, vases, dishes were displayed with presence and they each expressed different things but I could see Mr. Takemura's sincerity in all of them. Mr. Noda's spirit curtains were hanging here and there effectively. Mr. Takemura kindly taught me about pottery and I could join the pleasant conversation with his guests. In the end, while it was too luxurious to me, I bought a big rectangle dish created by Mr. Takemura. He kindly offered to bring the dish to me after the exhibition. I accepted it and left his house.

Sunday, May 5, 2019

今年は長い連休で、まさにゴールデンウィークでしたが、そろそろ終わりです。今日は「こどもの日」。 晴天に恵まれ表通りも朝から何かしら明るい雰囲気でした。昔は祝祭日は旗日(はたび)といってどの家も門口に国旗を掲げていたもの ですが、今はそういう家もほとんどなくなりました。私が長くいたアメリカでは年がら年中星条旗が敷地内のポールに掲揚してあったり 玄関に掛かっているのは普通に見られますが、日本人はナショナリズムを嫌うのか、いつの間にか門口に国旗を掲げるのが 珍しい風景になってしまいました。私は「旗日」の習慣が何となく気に入って国旗を掲げています。「憲法記念日」「みどりの日」そして 「こどもの日」と3日連続で祝日。我が家の国旗も連日出番となりました。5月に入って座敷の床の間には武者人形を飾っています。 掛け軸は平井東庵の絵。平井東庵(ひらいとうあん)は実業家で万延元年(1860年)に滋賀県で生まれ、後に京都、西陣の 織物卸商に養子に入ったとWikipediaにあります。絵や茶道に精通していたそうです。手前の白い動物は何だろうと、ちょっと不思議な 気持ちで眺めています。 This year we have long consecutive holidays which we call "Golden Week in May", but it will end soon. Today is "Children's Day". It was a clear day and the main street was somehow a bright atmosphere since the morning. When I was a child, I remember every house displaying the national flag outside the front door as they called it "flag day", but nowadays the majority of houses don't do it. In the US where I had been living for many years, it has been seen commonly that people put up the US national flag in their yard or entrance area all year round. I don't know why Japanese people don't display the flag nowadays. it probably is because many people dislike nationalism. I just like the custom of "Hata-bi (flag day)" and display the flag on the festive day. We have three consecutive national holidays as " Constitution Day", "Greenery Day" and "Children's Day" and the flag appeared outside of my house on these days. Since it is May, I also displayed warrior dolls in the alcove for the Children's Day (originally it was boy's day). The hanging scroll is by Tohan Hirai. He was born in 1860 in Shiga prefecture and became a businessman in Kyoto. He was also well known as a painter and a master of tea ceremony. When I look at this scroll, I am always wondering what the white animal is in front.

Friday, May 3, 2019

新しい元号、令和になって二日目です。昨日はあいにくの雨でしたが、それでも多賀大社に 参拝の方は多く、カフェにいらっしゃった東近江市からのお客様は、平成最後の日と令和初日の 御朱印を多賀大社でいただくために二日連続で多賀に来ましたとおっしゃっていました。 お願いして御朱印帳を見せていただいたのですが写真を撮らせていただくのをうっかり忘れてしまい、 ここに載せられないのが残念です。確かに、平成と令和の多賀大社の御朱印が立派な毛筆の字と ともに押されていました。私には思いもつかない楽しみ方があるものだと感心しました。Today is the second day of the new era, Reiwa. Even though it was a rainy day yesterday, many people visited Taga Taisha to celebrate and pray for the new era. Guests from Higashi Ohmi in Shiga stopped by my cafe and they said that they came to Taga for two days in a row because they wanted to get GOSHUIN (red ink stamp) of the last day in Heisei and the first day in Reiwa at Taga Taisha. I asked them to show me the stamps on their stamp book (Goshuin-choh). Indeed they were there but I can not show them here because I forgot to ask them to let me take photos in order to put them up on this blog. I saw the red stamps of Taga Taisha dated for two consecutive days and they were with powerful, majestic brush hand writings. I admired their way of enjoying the change of the era, which I had never thought about.

Monday, April 29, 2019

平成が今日で終わります。明日からは令和の新しい日々の始まりです。 毎月、多賀大社はお朔日(ついたち)に多くの参拝客で賑わいます。 明日、5月1日は令和元年のお朔日であるため、絵馬通りのお店は お参りにいらっしゃる方々のために特別なおもてなしをしようと朝7時から 開店することになりました。我が「多賀あさひや」もいつもは11時から ですが明日は7時にカフェを開けます。そして、朝ご飯がメニューに加わります。 お客様に喜んでいただけるようガンバリマス!!Heisei era ends as of today. New era, Reiwa, will start tomorrow. Every month,  many people come to Taga Taisha on the first day (we call it OTSUITACHI) and pray for the health and prosperity of themselves and their family. Tomorrow, May 1st is the special first day because new era starts on this day. Shops along the main street (Ema doori) decided to give a special service to open their doors at 7 a.m. for the people who come to the Shrine. Taga Asahiya will also open at 7 a.m. instead of 11 a.m. which is the usual opening time. Japanese-style breakfast will be served as a special service. I will fully prepare so customers will be pleased with it. 

二月に風野工房、染色布展を「多賀あさひや」でして下さった野田さんの工房展が 永源寺の工房兼ご自宅で開催されていて、本日S.Kさんに車で連れていっていただきました。 今日はいつもの静かな雰囲気とは少し違って、子供さんが沢山いて家の中は賑やか。 野田さんのリクエストでお友達の若いご夫婦のライブコンサートも始まり楽しかったです。 野田さんを通じて知り合った陶芸家、ガラス工芸家の方達ともお会いできて嬉しかったです。 皆さんとお別れして、駐車場のところまで来たら、家のむこうに山々が見え、 少し出てみると、山桜と新緑の混ざった素晴らしい山の景色が目前に迫っていました。 見事な景色に圧倒されました。Since the dyeing textile exhibition by Mr. & Mrs. Noda is being held at their home in Ehgenji now, Ms. S.K took me there with her car. They also held an exhibition at my cafe this February. I have been to their exhibition several times, and it was always a very quiet atmosphere but today was a bit different from others. Many kids who were Noda's grand children and Noda's friends were there and it was a very friendly atmosphere there. Upon Noda's request, they had a live concert by a young couple who are Noda's son's friends. We enjoyed it very much. I was also glad to meet and talk to ceramic artists and a glass artist to whom Noda introduced me before. After saying goodbye to them, when we came to parking lot, we saw a mountain behind houses. We walked a little ahead to see more. A beautiful mountain view was just in front of us, in which wild cherry blossoms and fresh verdure were mixed. We were overwhelmed by this spectacular view.

Sunday, April 28, 2019

6月1日(土曜日)に能楽師、大倉流大鼓の大倉正之助氏<>をお迎えして当店、多賀あさひやにて公演会を開くことは既にお伝えしていますが、加えて一噌流笛方の一噌幸弘氏<>にも来ていただくことになりました。 一噌幸弘氏も正之助先生と同様に伝統的な能楽の囃子方として演奏なさるほかにソロでの演奏、また作曲家としても大変活躍していらっしゃる笛の名手です。正之助先生の紹介でお忙しい中ご都合をつけて多賀までお出でいただけることになりました。素晴らしいお二人の演奏を「多賀あさひや」で聴かせていただけるとは夢を見ているような心地で興奮いたします。こんな機会は恐らく東京でもないと思います。 大変貴重な大鼓と笛の共演です。是非、皆様ご都合をつけてお出で下さい!I already announced the Ohtsuzumi (Large hand drum) concert by Shonosuke Okura on June 1st (Sat) <>. Today, I would like to add one more great artist who will join the concert. Yukihiro Isso is a flutist of Noh and he also actively plays as a solo performer and composes music <>. I am so proud to have two great international performers in my cafe at Taga and excited to watch their performance. I guess that it is rare to see them both on the same stage even in Tokyo. I strongly recommend you to come to the concert by all means.

Friday, April 26, 2019

昨日は用事があって自転車で高宮の中山道を通りました。高宮は昔、近江国犬上郡にあって中山道の江戸から数えて64番目の宿場で 今は彦根市高宮町になっています。道幅が狭いこの街道は車の通行は似合わず写真で見ると電柱電線がまったく邪魔でがっかりしますが この通りはなかなか風情があっていい感じです。通りかかってふと見ると、何と提灯(ちょうちん)屋さん! 高宮には提灯やがあると聞いていましたが、ここだったのかと、思わず自転車を道脇に止めて写真を撮りました。先日の多賀大社の 古例祭の時も家の前に大きな祭提灯を下げましたが、それもここの職人さんが作ったに違いありません。 何とも言えずカッコイ〜イ!お店です。Yesterday, I went to Takamiya which is a town next to Taga and I went along Nakasendo with my bicycle. In Edo period, Takamiya was the 64th inn town on the road named Nakasendo from Edo (Tokyo) to Kyoto. It was only for people and horses in the old days, so the street is narrow which does not suit modern cars, and when I saw the photo which I took, I was so disappointed by the telephone poles and electrical wires. Even though they insensitively disturb the calmness here, I liked this tasteful street very much. When I was about to pass by, a big white paper lantern came into my view. It was a Paper lantern shop! There was a time I heard that there is a paper lantern shop in Takamiya. I immediately realized that this was it and got off the bicycle and put it at the side of the street to take photos. There is a big paper lantern for festival in my house and I hang it down in front of my entrance door on the day of the Taga Taisha Spring Old Festival, which was a couple days ago. I am sure the craft man of this paper lantern shop must have made it. This paper lantern shop is sooo cool!

Tuesday, April 23, 2019

多賀大社の春の古例大祭が昨日(4/22)執り行われました。今年は祭り日が平日の月曜日だったので人出が 心配されましたが、お天気に恵まれて、正確には分かりませんが人出もそこそこあったのではないかと思われます。 指揮太鼓の音がドンドンと遠くから近づいてくると、おわたりがやって来ると分かって表に出ます。案内のパンフレット によると、関係者全員で午前8時半から本殿でおまつりがとり行なわれるとあり、午前十時半におわたりの行列は先ず栗栖の 調宮神社へ向かいそこで休息。午後1時に栗栖を出発して本社に戻り、今度は馬頭人とお使い殿も加わって町内尼子の打籠(うちごめ)の 馬場に向かいます。打籠のお旅所で祭事を行なって、お渡りの行列は多賀大社へ戻りますが、この行き帰りに行列がカフェの前を お通りになります。騎馬の方々も歩く方々もお渡りのご一行はさぞかしお疲れになったことでしょう。りっぱな騎馬行列の古例大祭でした。Spring Old Festival was held at Taga Taisha yesterday. This year the festival day, April 22nd, turned out to be a Monday and everybody was worried whether many people would come to see because it was the weekday. I don't know the exact number of the people but a pretty good number of people came for the festival because of the fine weather. When we heard the sound of drum from the person who was walking at the head of the line, we recognized that the procession was approaching and stood outside of the front door of the cafe to watch. According to the brochure, the festival starts at 8:30 at the Grand Shrine with all related members and at 10:30 the procession leaves for Totonomiya shrine in Kurusu. After festivities and a break there, they come back to the Grand Shrine again. This time Batohjin (people in charge of the festival) were added to the procession. A procession of 40 people riding horses, about 400 walking, and Mikoshi passed by my house. They all must have been very tired. It was a really big old Spring Festival.

Sunday, April 21, 2019

知り合いの方からワラビをいただきました。わらびは春から初夏にかけて平原や谷間の酸性土壌に生息するシダ科の 山菜とwikipediaにありました。調理するには灰汁(あく)抜きから始めなければならないので、灰も一緒について いました。ワラビを調理するのは初めてです。教えてもらった通りに沸騰した灰汁に漬けて一晩置き、よく洗って 更に水を取り替えながら漬けて調理の下準備をしました。さて、これをどう調理して食べるかただいま試案中です。I got Warabi (bracken from my acquaintance. According to information from Wikipedia, Warabi is a species of fern. It is abundant in sunny places such as grasslands, valley and wilderness. It prefers to grow in acidic soil, and is counted as one of the wild vegetables. From spring to summer, we collect young shoots (leaves) whose leaves are not open yet and use them as sprouts. Since we need to remove the harshness before it is cooked, I also got ash with Warabi. It was my first challenge both to remove harshness of Warabi and to cook them. As I learned from my acquaintance, I first put Warabi in boiled ash water and took them out, washed them clean, and placed the Warabi in water overnight. Now it is time to cook. I am in the middle of thinking how I should cook and eat it.

Thursday, April 18, 2019

あっと言う間に4月も半ばになってしまいました。 東北や北海道の桜の開花情報が聞こえていますが、滋賀の桜はこのところの強い風に吹雪のごとく散っています。 縦長の日本らしく順々に桜の風景が北上して面白いと思います。 さて、お知らせです。来る6月1日(土曜日)に能楽師大倉流大鼓の大倉正之助氏をお招きして公演をしていただきます。 大鼓はお囃子の中の一つの楽器ですが、大倉正之助さんは単独で独自の手法で演奏なさることでも有名で、日本は勿論、 世界各国でも活躍していらっしゃいます。多賀あさひやの古民家に大倉さんの神秘的で深い、うっとりと するような大鼓の調べが響きわたるのが楽しみです。是非、お出で下さい。 April is going by fast and it is already the middle of the month. I hear flowering information of Sakura from Tohoku and Hokkaido , but at the same time cherry blossoms in this area are falling because of the strong wind these days. By the way, I would like to announce the performance of Ohtsuzumi (Large hand drum) by Shonosuke Okura which will be held on June 1st. Ohtsuzumi is one of the instruments which serves as the musical accompaniment of Noh, and Master Shonosuke Okura is famous for being a solo performer who plays the large hand drum in his special way. He is playing actively not only in Japan but also around the world. It is a great pleasure to have him in my cafe, Taga Asahiya. You will enjoy his deep, mysterious and beautiful sound resonate in my old Japanese house. I would like to share the feeling of the excitement.

Sunday, April 7, 2019

ボストンからの帰りはスイス経由で成田に着きました。これは単に切符代がこちら回りの方が安かったからですが、成田ボストンが太平洋線だったので、地球を一周したことになります。直行便より時間は掛かりましたが、スイス航空に乗ってみたこと、乗り継ぎとはいえヨーロッパに入ったことなど、それなりに楽しかったです。白地に赤の日の丸と赤字に白のクロス。デザインは違いますが日本とスイスは国旗の色合いが似ています。九州ほどの小さな国ですが、多言語が使われていることでも知られています。 朝ご飯の箱に書かれた文字。英語、ドイツ語、フランス語、イタリア語までは分かったのですが最後の言葉に「??」と思ったのでCAの女性に聞いて、それでも分からなかったので書いてもらったらRumantsch (ロマンシュ語)という言語でドイツ語というよりラテン語に近い言葉だそうです。スイスの中でも400人ぐらいしか使っていないと教えてくれました。私の窓からはアルプスは見えませんでしたが、ハイジが遊んでいそうな丘や森の景色がきれいでした。On the way back to Japan from Boston, I had a layover in Switzerland. It was because the air ticket for this route was cheaper than the pacific route. When I went to Boston from Japan, I took the pacific way, so I went around the earth this time. Although it took more hours than if I had taken direct flights for both ways, I enjoyed this stopover because it was the first time to get on Swiss Airlines, and I could enter Europe even though it was only for a few hours in transit. Red circle on white background is the Japanese national flag, and white cross on a red background is the Swiss flag. Those are different designs but similar color combination. Switzerland is a small country whose size is similar to Kyushu, but it is known as a multilingual country. I found many languages on the box for breakfast on the plane. From the top, English, German, French, Italian and ...??. Since I didn't have any idea about the last language, I asked the cabin attendant about it. She told me about it but I couldn't catch it, so I asked her to write down the name for what it is. It is "Rumantsch" and only about 400 people in Switzerland are using that language. I could not see the Alps from my window, but I saw beautiful hills and woods where I could picture Heidi playing.


Monday, March 25, 2019

ステンドグラス作家の宮嶋幸雄さんが先日カフェに作品展の案内を持って来てくださり、これまでの作品の写真集を奥様が 見せて下さり、その時に作品の行程や見方、難しさなど教えて下さいました。それで、今回ボストン美術館に展示してある ジョン・ラ・ファージ(1835-1910)とルイス・カムフォート・ティファニー(1848-1933)の作品をもう一度見たくなり行ってきました。二人 はアメリカ美術工芸運動の中心になった人物です。作品は見事で、ラファージは浮世絵に興味を持ちアメリカにおけるジャポニスムの火付け役になったとも言われ1886年に来日しています。アメリカ館を見て疲れたので休んでいたら非常警報が鳴り出し館内の者は全員外で待機させられ、戻れた時は閉館まで残り20分ほど。伊藤若冲の絵も見ておきたいと大きな美術館の中をアチコチ歩き回りながらやっとたどり着いたのですが、あいにく改修工事中で日本の作品は殆ど見られず、快慶(1189-1223)の弥勒菩薩像に対面しただけで帰ってきました。The other day, stained glass artist Mr. Yukio Miyajima came to my cafe with his wife to bring the information of his art exhibition. He explained the process of creating stained glass work and told me the difficulty of his work as his wife showed many photos of his work to me. As I remembered that Museum of Fine Arts in Boston has some stained glass collections of John La Farge (1835-1910) and Louis Comfort Tiffany (1848-1933), I went to the MFA yesterday to see them. La Farge and Tiffany were artists of the American Arts and Crafts movement. Their stained glass are marvelous. La Farge was intrested in Hokusai who worked with Japanese wood print and he sparked Japonism in the US. He visited Japan in 1886. When I was resting after looking around Art of The Americas, suddenly the fire alarm started ringing and we were all forced to evacuate. By the time we were allowed to re-enter, there was only 20 min left until closing. I wanted to see the painting of Jakuchu Ito who was a Japanese painter in Edo period, so I tried to get to the Japanese art section but it was not easy to find because the museum was huge. When I finally got there, I found that they were in the middle of a renovation and I could not see most of the exhibitions.What an unfortunate day it was! I only appreciated beautiful Maitreya Bodhisattva by Kaikei (1189-1223) and came home.





Sunday, March 24, 2019

日本では桜の開花も聞かれる頃だというのに、ボストンでは今朝雪景色となりました。 日陰には前の雪が残っていて、私がいた滋賀に比べるとこちらは寒さがまだ続いています。 所変われば気候も変わる。当たり前ですが、住む人も暮らし方も違います。 半年振りのボストン。それほど長くない滞在ですが、何かおもしろいものが見つかるかな と思っています。 In Japan it's the time to hear news of flowering of Sakura (cherry blossoms), but here in Boston we had snow this morning. As there are some previous snow left in shaded areas, it is still cold compared to Shiga where I was until a couple days ago. Different places have different climates. Everyone knows that the people and the way of living are different depending on the place. It's been six months since I last came to Boston. This time, I will not be here as long, but I will try to find some "interesting things or facts".

久しぶりに新幹線で東京に向かいました。天気がよければ富士山が見られるだろうと 列車に乗る時はいつも期待します。車中まどろんでどことも分からずふと目を開けると、空は 霞がかかって目を凝らしてもどこにも富士の輪郭は見えません。でも、そこはまだ 静岡の手前だと分かりしばらく山あいを進むと、突如開けた所左手に富士の姿がくっきりと現われました。 この感動は何なのでしょう。撮った写真を後で見るとそれほど大きくもないのですが、その時は 目の前に富士がそびえ立つような迫力でせまり、あまりに美しいその姿に心が震えました。 葛飾北斎、横山大観など多くの画家が惹かれて描いた富士。私もやっぱり富士には特別な想いを感じます。 It had been a long time since I headed to Tokyo. If it is clear sky, when I get on the Shinkansen (Bullet train) I always hope that I might be able to see Mt. Fuji from the window. When I woke up after dozing off for a while and didn't know where the train was passing, I tried to find the shape of Mt. Fuji in the hazy sky, but I couldn't. I realized that it was still before Shizuoka. The train kept running by the mountainside, then suddenly beautiful Mt. Fuji appeared on the left n a widely open space. I can not express how breathtaking the view was. It came up in front of my eyes spectacularly, I was moved by such a beautiful shape. I felt it was a much bigger figure than that depicted by the photo which I took at that time. Many great painters, such as Hokusai Katsushika, Taikan Yokoyama were attracted by the Mt. Fuji and drew their own versions of Fuji. I also have my special fondness for Fuji.

Tuesday, March 19, 2019

春分の日が近く、お墓の掃除とお参りを兼ねて山に上っていったら、結構な数の猿を見かけました。最近はお供え物などしていないはずなのに、これはどういうことなのでしょう。昨日、一円近くの乾田に猿が群れをなしている写真を友人に見せてもらいましたが、多賀の裏山もかなりの数がいると思うと何か不穏な思いです。 さて、床の間は内海吉堂の掛け軸を描けています。以前に友人のH.Nさんが調べてくれた資料によると、吉堂は明治から大正にかけて京都画壇で活躍した日本画家とのこと。生まれは福井県で、はじめは、森寛斎、塩川文麟の門下で丸山・四条派を学ぶも、のちに南画に転じ、中国にも度々渡り、日本南画協会の結成に参加したそうです。この吉堂は多賀の久徳在住だった医師で漢学者の小菅兎峰に漢学を師事したとのこと。(我が家に残る兎峰遺稿集(漢文)に吉堂と一緒に過ごしたことが書かれていました。(アメリカで教えていた時の中国人の学生が遺稿集の一部を解読してくれました。)小菅氏の家へは曾祖父も出入りしていたので、恐らく曾祖父は内海吉堂と会って彼の絵を購入したのでしょう。Vernal Equinox Day is approaching. I went to the graveyard on the mountain which is located behind my house to clean up my ancestors' grave and pray for them. When I went up almost to the top, I saw many monkeys hanging around the graveyard. I wondered why they were there because people don't make food offerings in the graveyard these days to prevent animals and birds from approaching. Yesterday my friend showed me photos of monkeys staying in dried rice fields a little far from my house but I supposed there must be another group of monkeys also living around my area which makes me little uncomfortable. By the way, I hung a picture scroll which is by Kichido Utsumi in the alcove of the guest room. According to data from my friend H.N, Kichido (1850-1925) was born in Fukui prefecture and he was a Japanese painter in a Kyoto painting circle from the Meiji to Taisho era. First he was a disciple of Sijhyo school and learned from Kansai Mori and Bunrin Shiokawa but later he changed to the Southern school of Chinese painting and made an effort to organize Japanese Nanga Association. Kichido interacted with Toho Kosuga who was a doctor and a scholar of the Chinese classics who lived at Kyutoku village in Taga. Kichido learned Chinese classics from Toho Kosuga. ( I found a book of a collection of Toho's posthumous works in my house and there Toho wrote that he was with Kichido. ( My Chinese student to whom I taught Japanese in the US translated the part for me.) Since my great grandfather visited Toho's house, he probably met Kichido and bought his picture.

Sunday, March 17, 2019

最近のお天気は不安定で日によっても、午前と午後でも晴れたり曇ったり雨模様になったりします。 今朝はお陽様が出て気持ちのいい始まりでしたが、お昼ごろから曇りだし、その後また陽が差してきました。 庭の紅梅が膨らんで可愛く咲き始め、ツツジの新芽も出てきました。 谷川俊太郎さんの詩に木下牧子さんが曲をつけた「春に」という合唱曲の一節が、毎年春になると頭の中で 流れます。一部を紹介します。     

「春に」   谷川俊太郎 

よろこびだ しかしかなしみでもある 
いらだちだ しかもやすらぎがある 
あこがれだ そしていかりがかくれている 

These days the weather is variable. It sometimes turns to a different condition depending on the day or the time; for example, it could be clear in the morning but then turn to a cloudy or rainy day in the afternoon. This morning it was fine day but around noon time, many clouds covered the sky and eventually the sun came out again. The red plum buds have started opening and the fresh green color of azalea has come out in my garden. Every year during this season, phrases of a certain poem comes to mind. Namely, I recall the lines of the chorus (poem by Shuntaro Tanikawa, music by Makiko Kinoshita). Let me introduce part of it here. 

 ”In spring"      by Shuntaro Tanikawa 

I wonder what this feeling is? 
The invisible flow of energy comes up from the earth and into the sole of my feet. 
It comes to my stomach, chest and up into my throat. 
It is welling up and becomes my silent scream. 
I wonder what this feeling is? 

New buds which are bursting at the top of branch and prods my heart. 
It is joy, but it also sorrow. 
It has impatience, but it also has peace of mind. 
It is longing, but anger is hiding. 
It is blocked by the dam of my mind. 
But it is stagnating, swirling and fighting. 
It is about to flood over.
I wonder what this feeling is?

Thursday, March 14, 2019

朝、寝室から出て外を見たら何と屋根にうっすら雪が積もっていて、しかも白いものがふわふわ舞っていたので 驚きました。今年は大雪もない暖冬ですっかり春に向かっていると思っていただけに、今頃…?!という感じです。 ようやく膨らんで今にも咲きそうな庭の紅梅を背景に白い雪を撮ってみましたが、暗くていい写真になりません でした。小学校の読み聞かせから帰ってくる時は雪は止んでいましたが風が冷たくて、今日は冬に逆戻りしたような一日でした。When I got out from my bedroom in the morning and looked outside from the window, I was surprised because there was snow on the roof and fluffy snow was falling. We didn't have much snow this winter and I thought that spring was just around the corner. This snow made me a bit puzzled. I tried to take a photo of the red plum buds in the garden which were about to open and the white snow on the roof but I failed at it because it was too dark. When I was on the way home from the elementary school where I perform storytelling for the school children, the snow had already stopped. However the wind was chilly and it was cold all day long as if we were back to winter.

Saturday, March 9, 2019

去年の9月から毎月一回、多賀町立文化財センターによる古文書講座と文化財サポーター養成講座が 開催されて参加しています。今日が今年度最後の講座。午前の古文書講座の会場は胡宮神社でお天気も良く庭の白梅が 美しく咲いていて古文書を学ぶにはぴったりの背景でしたが、肝心の古文書は私にはどう考えても難しくて解読は困難。 それでも胡宮神社の福寿院にまつわる史実が書かれた内容は興味あるものでした。帰りにかつてのSLパークに置き去りに された古い蒸気機関車の前を通るとそばにピカピカのオートバイが並んでいたので、そのコントラストが面白くて 写真を撮りました。午後は場所を変えて文化財サポーター講座。今日は古い建造物の構造と修復についてoffice 萬瑠夢の 村田信夫先生が沢山の写真を見せながら解説して下さり充実した時間を過ごすことができました。Taga Town Cultural Property Center has been organizing a course on ancient documents and a supporter training course on cultural property once a month since last September and I have been participating in both of them. Today was the last day of courses for this fiscal year. In the morning the ancient documents course was held at Konomiya-jinjya (shrine). It was a clear sky and white plum blossoms had fully opened beautifully. This sight was the perfect background for learning about ancient documents. Although it was too difficult for me to read the documents, the content of the documents about Konomiya shrine was very interesting. On the way back to home, I saw an old steam locomotive which had been left abandoned at the former SL park and there was a new motorbike just beside it. I was interested in the contrast between the old steam locomotive and the new motorbike. In the afternoon, the supporter training course on cultural property was held at the Cultural Property Center. Mr. Nobuo Murata of  Office Marumu explained the structure of old Japanese buildings and how they are restored showing many photo pictures on powerpoint. I learned a lot and it was a very enriching time for me.

Thursday, March 7, 2019

あっという間に3月の一週間が過ぎてしまいました。梅の花があちこちで咲いています。 定休日の今日、お昼に自転車で外へ出て、帰って来たら家の前に男性二人。 誰かと思ったら石倉さんご兄弟でした。カフェは休みでしたが家に入っていただきお茶をお出ししたら 楽しいおしゃべりが始まりました。石倉創(はじめ)さん、康夫さんのご兄弟は京都の方ですが「鍛 フォージ・ワークス」という鉄の工房を東近江市のことう
ヘムスロイド村にお持ちで40年近く創作活動をなさっています。 ヘムスロイドとはスウェーデン語で「手工芸」を意味する言葉だそうで、スウェーデンと 交流のあった旧湖東町の自然に囲まれた地に5つの工房をもつことうヘムスロイド村が作られて以来、様々な創作活動が なされて5月の杜(もり)まつりには2日間で2万人もの人で大変賑わうそうです。石倉さんたちとは 一昨年の「つなぐ通信」が縁で友人を通して知り合いました。木工作家はよくいらっしゃいますが、鉄の作家 というのは珍しいなと思って聞いていると、若い時のご苦労、ユニークな人たちとの出逢い、ラッキー だったと謙虚におっしゃりながらユーモアたっぷりにお話になるその奥に石倉さんたちの独自の着眼点と 作品創りに向かう熱意が伝わってきました。東京や大阪などは勿論ニューヨークやドイツ、イタリアなどあちこちでの 仕事や展示会の話し、交流をお持ちの人達の話しなどスケールが広がり楽しい時間でした。 The first week of March has passed quickly. We can see white and red flowers of plum trees everywhere. Today is a regular closing day and when I went out and came back home by bicycle just after noon, I saw two males in front of my house. They were Ishikura brothers. I invited them to my home and served tea, then they started talking enthusiastically. Hajime and Yasuo Ishikura are iron artists who own their studio "Tan Forge Works" at Koto Hemslojd village in Higashi-ohmi. They said that they have been working on iron for nearly forty years. "Hemslojd" is the Swedish word for "crafts" and Koto Hemslojd Village which has five art studios was made in Higashi Ohmi (old Koto-cho) commemorating the friendship of sister cities between Sweden and Koto-cho. Every year they have an art festival for two days in May at Koto Hemslojd Village and around 20,000 people come to the festival. I knew them through the people of the free magazine "Tsunagu Tsushin" . It is the first time for me to meet iron artists and I was very curious about what they were talking. They talked about heavy work while they were young, encounters with unique people who changed their lives, etc. They said humbly that they were lucky, and talked about everything humorously, but they had an original point of view and passion for their work which made me feel stimulated. They are working and meeting people in Tokyo, Osaka as well as in New York, Germany and Italy. It was a nice and enjoyable talk with individuals who are actively involved in projects across the world.

Wednesday, February 27, 2019

5日間の風野工房、染飾布展が昨日終りました。開催中お天気に恵まれたのは幸いでした。 展示会にお出でくださった皆様、ありがとうございました。野田さんの作品が古民家の我が家に ぴったり合うとお客様皆様が言ってくださり、作品と日本家屋の両方を楽しんで下さったのは この上なく嬉しいことでした。展示会の片付けが終って、すぐ今度はお雛様を飾りました。古いお人形ですが 一年振りに床の間に飾るとそれぞれが息を吹き返したように語りかけてきます。展示会で購入した 野田さんの額が床の間を一層明るくしています。The five-day dyeing textile exhibition by Kaze no Kobo finished yesterday. We were lucky because during the exhibition all the days were clear fine days. I am grateful for those people who came to the exhibition. They said that Mr. Noda's art work matches well with my old Japanese house and they appreciated both his beautiful work and my old house which made me very happy. Soon after cleaning up the exhibition, I displayed Hina dolls in the alcove. Old Hina dolls appeared from the boxes they were stored in since one year ago and it looked as if they were talking lively to me. Mr. Noda's frame which I have just bought at the exhibition brightens up the area in the alcove.