Saturday, July 13, 2019

近所に小さい女の子がいるご家族がいて、そこのお母さんから幼稚園のバザーにうちのもち粉ケーキを 出してほしいと頼まれ、今朝はいつもより早かったけど7時半までにバザー用にケーキを焼きました。若いお母さん達が 買って、ちびちゃんたちが食べてくれるのかな、なんて思いながらパックに分けて入れてお宅まで届けたら、女の子の お母さんの顔がふわっと笑顔になりました。バザーにもち粉ケーキを出したのは初めてです。There is a family who has a little girl near my house. A couple of weeks ago, the mother of the girl asked me to donate Mochiko-cake in my cafe for the bazaar of her daughter's kindergarten. This morning I woke up a little earlier than usual, and baked extra cakes for the bazaar thinking of that young moms will buy my cakes and kids will probably eat them with joy. I put pieces of them in small packs, went to the girl's house and handed them in to the young mom. She looked at me with a big smile. It was the first time for me to donate my cake to the bazaar.

友人のH.Nさんが、「今日はガマを持ってきたよ」と言って、顔の高さまであるような長い瑞々しい葉の束と串刺しのような茶色い不思議な 植物と、そして、これまた成長のいい赤い菊を持ってカフェに来て下さいました。「ガマ」って何となく知っていましたが、こうして近くで見るのは初めてです。ネットで見ると、この茶色い部分はガマの穂と呼ばれ、ここがどうやら花らしく、この穂の中は綿が詰まっているそうで昔は火付けに使われたり、乾燥させて火をつけて蚊取り線香の代用品として使われたこともあったとか。艶のある勢いの良い葉と茶色いガマの穂が同じ深い緑の葉の中に散らばったピンクの菊とよく似合い、壷に挿すと引き締った涼しげな床の間になりました。何とも嬉しい贈り物です。Ms.H.N came into my cafe saying "I brought GAMA (Reedmace) today." and gave me a bunch of very long fresh leaves which almost reach my face, with strange shaped brown plants which looked like pierced sausage, and well grown fresh red chrysanthemum. I have known GAMA vaguely, but it was the first time to see them up close. According to the net info, this brown part is called an ear of GAMA and it is a flower of GAMA. It says that it is packed with cotton inside the ear and in the old days people used the cotton when they made fire or used them as a mosquito repellent after drying. These fresh long leaves and brown ears of GAMA match with the pink chrysanthemum flowers scattered in deep dark green leaves, and when I put them in a vase, they become an accent in the alcove and looks nice. I appreciate Ms. H.K 's wonderful gift.

私が見た昨日の天気予報では今日のお天気は午前は曇りで午後は雨ということで、朝のうちに外に出る予定を 立てていましたが、ベッドの中で既に雨の音。ああ、完全に梅雨のお天気です。 レインジャケットと帽子、それに雨が目に入らないようにとサングラスをかけて自転車で銀行や彦根へ買い物に出かけました。 大きい道路では歩道と車道があって、自転車は白線の外を走るものの、対向のトラックが(普通車でも)ものすごい水しぶきを 上げて通っていきます。左手で運転者にスローダウン!(速度落として!)と合図を送るも見えているのかいないのか 結構なスピード。日本では運転者はもう少し気遣いがほしいものです。According to the weather forecast I saw yesterday, it would be cloudy in the morning and rain in the afternoon, so I had planned to go out to do some errands in the morning, but I heard the sound of rain from my bed in the early morning. It seems we have truly entered the rainy season now. However, I decided to go out to the bank and grocery store in Hikone as planned by bicycle wearing a rain jacket, hat and sunglasses for avoiding rain drops coming into my eyes. The main road is divided into roadways and sidewalks, and I went outside of the white line (which is part of the sidewalks). Trucks (or even standard-sized cars) were coming from the opposite direction were splashing me in the rain. I lowered my left hand which was a sign to ask them to slow down. I didn't know whether the drivers noticed me or not, but most of them didn't pay any attention to me and continued to pass while splashing forcefully. Drivers in Japan should sympathize with people in the sidewalks like me.

Sunday, July 7, 2019

一圓屋敷で会議があるので、カフェが終って片付けを済ませ、荷物を自転車のカゴに入れ、玄関の鍵をかけて、いつも持つ 手提げバッグは持たなかったので鍵は背中のバッグパックを下ろすのも面倒なのでズボンのポケットへ。一圓屋敷には早く着いたので、宿の棚の整理をしたり、庭の草取りをしたりして時間を過ごしました。そして会議がまさに始まりかけたその時、携帯電話がなったので出ると、駅前の小菅医院の院長先生からでした。医院から呼び出しを受ける心当たりはなかったので不安な気持ちでいると、小菅先生が「鍵はありますか」とお聞きになりました。鍵?そうだズボン!とあわてて手をポケットへ。あるはずの鍵がない!今度は男性が代わって話しを始めました。男性は町の駐在さんで、彼によると、誰かが私の鍵を道で拾い、鍵は免許証などが入ったパス入れに繋がっていたので中をみると運転免許証、保険証、アメリカでの運転免許証、それに小菅医院の診察券が入っていたので近くの駐在所に届けて下さったようです。そこで、お巡りさんが免許証に書いてある住所、つまり私の家に行ってみたが留守で、鍵がなければ家に入れず困るだろうからと、小菅医院の診察券を頼りに医院に行って先生に事情を話し、医院で診察を受けた際の記録から電話番号を調べて下さり、先生がまず私に鍵をなくした本人かどうか確認。それからお巡りさんが代わって話してくださったという次第でした。鍵を無くした当の本人はまったく気付いておらず呑気なものでした。けれど、実はその間にいろいろな方が何とか落とし主を探そうと一生懸命になってくださっていたのです。ほんの1時間ほどの間にこれほどの厚意を皆さんから受けることになるとは…。駐在所に届けてくださった方はお名前も私には知らせなくてもいいとおっしゃったそうです。また家まで届けに来てくださった駐在所のお巡りさんも機転を利かして病院に行って電話番号を調べようとしてくださり、そして、小菅先生。1年ほど前にどこかが具合悪くなって診ていただきましたが優しい女医さんでした。ああ、今回は本当に本当に皆様にご迷惑をお掛けし、そしてお世話になりました。大事な鍵を落とし易いポケットに入れてしまったことを深く反省し、もしかしたら途方に暮れながら夜道を鍵を探し回っていたかもしれないところを皆様のご厚意がいくつも繋がって大事に至らなかったことを本当に幸運だったと感謝した一日でした。Since ICHIEN YASHIKI were expected to meet in the evening, I cleaned up the cafe quickly after I closed, put the necessary things in the basket of the bicycle and locked the front door. Usually I put the key in my handbag, but I decided to take my backpack instead and put the key in the pocket of my pants because taking off my backpack from my shoulder in order to put the key would be a pain in the neck. When I arrived at ICHIEN YASHIKI, it was too early before the meeting, so I spent the time cleaning the shelves and taking off weeds in the garden. Then, when the meeting had just started, my cell phone rang. It was from Dr. Kosuga, whose clinic is near the train station. I was not expecting a call from the doctor, so I was worried about speaking with her. She asked me if I had my keys. keys?...oh, I remembered it was in my pocket and checked. Then I noticed that they were not there. Next I spoke with a man who was a local policeman in a police substation. According to him, someone had found my keys on the road and the key chain was attached with a pass case. There he found my Japanese driver's license, Health insurance card, driver's license in the US and patient's registration card. He brought it to the local police station. On the driver's card, my address was written, so he came to my house to hand it in, but I was not in. The policeman sympathized with me because I can not get into my house and the only way to reach me is through my telephone number on the patient's registration card. He went to the clinic and asked the doctor to find my number through my past patient information sheet. As he expected the person at the clinic found my telephone number so Dr. Kosuga called me first to see if it was the person he wanted reach. When I found out about all of this, I was very moved by their sincere, warm hearts. I could easily imagine myself walking around trying to find my keys without any guarantee of retrieving them, had this not happened. I was so lucky and appreciate everyone's effort.

Saturday, June 29, 2019

一昨日は朝から曇り空でお昼には雨が降りだしましたが、午後になって止んだのを幸いに、しばらく手入れが滞っている一圓屋敷の 日本庭園の様子が気になって草取り鎌を持って自転車で行ってみました。一圓屋敷とは登録有形文化財に指定された江戸時代の 庄屋屋敷で2008 年に彦根景観フォーラムに譲渡されましたが、老朽化を放置するのを止めたいと有志で合同会社を設立し、多賀さとの宿「一圓屋敷」として6月から宿泊事業を始めました。私もその一員として参加しています。江戸後期に建てられた建築様式をそのまま残した宿として風情よく改修されましたが、広い敷地の庭まではなかなか手入れが行き届かず立派な池泉回遊式の庭園もすぐに雑草で見苦しくなってしまいます。部分的にしか除草作業は進みませんが雨の合間を縫って何とか少しでもと草取りをしていると、脇からピョンと跳ねるものがありました。見ると大きくも小さくもないトノサマガエル君。石の上でじっとしているので、カメラを 取りにいって戻ってくるとまだそこに。回り込んで写真を撮ったりしながら観察しているとお腹や口の下あたりを時々ぴくぴくさせながらも丸い目はずっと開きっぱなし。そばにいる私が見えているのかいないのか、知らん顔しています。何を見ているのかな、何を考えているのかなと不思議に思いながらカエル君と一緒にしばらくそこにいました。少しして、今度は土のついた今取ったばかりの草の上に飛び移りました。後で写真を見ると、カエル君の色が背景に合わせて変わっているのが分かります。池ではアメンボが数匹スイスイ泳いでいました。The day before yesterday it was cloudy in the morning and started raining around noon. However the rain stopped in the afternoon, so I went to ICHIEN YASHIKI to take care of the Japanese garden. ICHIEN YASHIKI was a village headman's house in Edo period which was certified as registered tangible cultural property and kept by Hikone Landscape Forum since 2008. Since it is getting harder and harder to maintain the old building, some members of the forum and local people made Limited Liability Company and converted the house to a lodging facility named "Taga Satonoyado ICHIEN YASHIKI" from this June and I am one of the members. The facility preserves the architectural style from Edo period and some part of the building was renovated for the lodging. The construction was done pretty well, however otherwise the building has remained the same. There is a splendid Japanese garden in the property but if you ignore the maintenance of the garden, it will soon be full of weeds. I went to ICHIEN YASHIKI to remove the weeds. When I was working in the garden, something jumped from my side. It was a leopard frog on a stone covered with green moss. I went to take my camera and came back to the same spot. The frog was still there. While I was taking photos from the side or front of the frog, he stayed still there keeping his eyes open. I was curious and watching him for a while. I wondered whether he noticed me or not and what he was thinking about. Then he jumped on the weed with soil which I had just removed. When I look back at the photos at home, I noticed that the color of the frog had changed depending on the background color. I also saw some Amenbo (water spider) on the surface of the pond.

Sunday, June 23, 2019

プロのクラシック・サクソフォン・アンサンブル「ミ・ベモル」(音楽監督:前田昌弘氏) の演奏会を栗東芸術文化会館さきらに聴きにいってきました。このアンサンブルの存在を知ったのは、去年カフェのお客様としてお見えになった女性二人が店内にあったマリンバの布谷史人さんの公演チラシを見て「私達もクラシックサクソフォンをするんですよ」とおっしゃったのがきっかけで、サクソフォンはジャズやブラスバンドでしか知らなかった私はクラシックと聞いて驚き、お名前と連絡先を教えていただいたのが始まりです。Youtubeで演奏を聴いてそのレベルの高さにびっくりし、お客様だった亀井友恵さん(バリトン・サックス)、山本恵さん(ソプラノ・サックス)のファンになりました。今回、生で演奏を聴かせていただいたのは初めてです。6種類のサクソフォンで24人の皆さん一人一人が巧みな技量で音を織りなし曲を創りあげて、まるでオーケストラのような広がりと深み、そして繊細な演奏でした。素晴らしいサクソフォンアンサンブル「ミ・ベモル」。メンバーの皆さんに心から拍手を送ります。I went to the concert of Mi-Bemol Saxophone Ensemble (Artist Director: Masahiro Maeda ) at Ritto Art And Culture Center Sachira. It's a professional classic saxophone ensemble. I know of this ensemble from customers who came to my cafe last year. They were two women who saw a flier for Marimbist Fumito Nunoya's performance at Taga Asahiya and one of the women said that they were professional classical saxophone players. I was surprised because to my knowledge saxophone is played in jazz or brass band and I had no idea of the existence of aprofessional classical saxophone ensemble. One of them left me their names and her email address as well as the name of the ensemble. I listened to their music on youtube and admired their high level of music and I became a big fan of the two women, Ms. Tomoe Kamei (Baritone Saxophone) and Megumi Yamamoto (Soprano Saxophone). Today was the first time for me to listen to their music live. They have six kinds of saxophones (Soprano, Alto, Tenor, Baritone, Bass and Tubax), and each one of the 24 members creates beautiful music with their high level of technique. Their music was really large scale like an orchestra and the sound was deep and sensitive. Bravo Mi-Bemol! I will send my applause to all of the members!

Saturday, June 22, 2019

今朝早く彦根のN.Kさんが犬上川での釣りの帰りに釣りたての鮎をお持ちくださいました。N.Kさんは二日前も 鮎をお持ちくださったばかりで、ご主人が入院中のご近所のおば様にお裾分けをして美味しくいただきました。 今朝もアイスボックスにはたくさんの鮎が見えました。小鮎にしてはちょっと大きいかなと思われる大きさでしたが 今日はカフェのお客様にお裾分けし、残りを私の夕食に。夕方は、イベントの時はいつもお出で下さる彦根のK.Kさんがお立ち寄り 下さり、畑で作りましたとおっしゃって採れたての立派なインゲンをお土産に下さいました。鮎もインゲンも地元の初夏の食材です。 夕食は、上級野菜ソムリエの立花尚子さんに教えていただいたナスのピリ辛焼き浸しに新鮮なインゲンを入れて一品。 鮎は天ぷらにしました。内蔵を取っておいたので苦みもなく骨も柔らかく大根おろしで美味しくいただきました。Mr. N.K who lives in Hikone brought a lot of Ayu (sweetfish) after fishing in Inukami-river early this morning. He had just brought me Ayu two days ago and I shared them with a lady nearby whose husband is in the hospital now. This morning I also saw a lot of ayu in his icebox. The size of the fish is bit large even though it is called "Ko-ayu (small sweetfish)". Today I shared them with a guest at the cafe and I took the remainder for my dinner. In the late afternoon, Mr. K.K who kindly comes to every event at my cafe from Hikone stopped by my cafe and gave me fresh green beans saying that he grew them in his vegetable garden. Both ayu and green beans are local foods in early summer. For my dinner, I prepared a spicy eggplant dish which I learned to cook from Naoko Tachibana who is a Senior Vegetable Sommelier and I added the fresh green beans there. As for ayu, I fried them. Since I cooked them after taking out the organs from each of them, they were so soft and tasty without bitterness. I ate them with grated daikon (Japanese radish).

6月の花といえば何といっても紫陽花です。我が家の紫陽花は地味ながらも今年も座敷と蔵に登場しました。それから2日ほど前にご近所に届け物があって伺ったら玄関に美しい花が挿してあったので思わず「わあ、きれい!」と言ったら家に咲いている紫陽花よとおっしゃって、おば様が庭の枝を3本ほど切らせて下さいました。同じガクアジサイでもIさんのは明るく華やかなお花です。紫陽花の花言葉は「無常」「移り気」「高慢」「辛抱強い」などおしゃれな漢字にしては意外な言葉が連なっていました。今年は梅雨入りがあるのかないのか分からないようなお天気ですが、季節感いっぱいの紫陽花を眺めながら6月も早、中旬を過ぎた日々を過ごしています。Speaking of the flower of June, Ajisai (hydrangea) represents it. I arranged the flowers of hydrangea from my backyard in the guest room and warehouse this year, too. About two days ago, when I visited a house nearby, I noticed beautiful pinkish flowers in the entrance, and I praised them. The lady who owned the house said to me that it is also hydrangea and they were from her garden. She took me to her yard and let me cut a couple of the branches. Those two are both lacecap hydrangea, but hers are more bright and flowery. Hydrangea symbolizes frigidity and heartlessness despite the beautiful Chinese characters of the flower. This year, I don't know exactly whether we have rainy season or not, but still I am spending my days during this latter half of the month looking at the flowers of hydrangea which symbolizes rainy season.

Saturday, June 15, 2019

一昨日は多賀町共栄会による視察研修で岡山県倉敷市の美観地区の見学があったので朝からカフェを閉めて新幹線で岡山に出かけました。街の歴史や風情を守るために丁寧に作られた街並を先ずは人力車で元気な車夫の説明を聞きながら回る事になりました。人力車に乗るのは気恥ずかしさもあって抵抗がありましたが、結果的に街全体を見るのにはとてもよかったと思います。車上から美しい街並の写真を撮ろうとしたら何とバッテリー切れ。情けないことこの上無し。隣に乗ったY.Sさんの写真を後でいただくことにしたので、受け取ったらここに載せます。美味しい昼食を皆でいただいた後は自由行動だったので倉敷中央病院に設置されている鍛 フォージワークスの石倉兄弟制作のベンチを一人で見に行きました。屋内に造られた蓮池の周りに石倉さんたちが造った鉄のしっとりと素敵なデザインのベンチが確かに置かれていました。ただ、そばにあるカフェが出しているのか丸いテーブルと白木の背の椅子がベンチの数よりも多く出ていて、蓮池や落ち着いたベンチとは色彩的にもバランス的にも邪魔していると思いました。ヘムスロイド祭りの時に見せていただいた病院内に設置されたばかりの池とベンチの写真があまりに美しかったのでその後の無神経な場所の使い方に正直残念な思いでした。The day before yesterday, I went to Okayama with the members of Taga town shop association to visit Kurashiki Bikan Area. It is a beautifully preserved historical district in Kurashiki city of Okayama prefecture. When we arrived at the entrance of the area, the organizer of the group gave a tour of the area by Jin-rikisha (man-powered vehicle) for us in pairs. I was hesitant to get on it because I felt embarrassed, but eventually it was good opportunity to have an overview of the whole area and I enjoyed the tour. I wanted to take photos of the area, but I noticed that my camera was out of battery. I was so disappointed with myself. I asked Ms. Y.S to get some photos for the blog so when I receive them later on I will put them here. We had a very good lunch with the group and after that it was free time, so I went to Kurashiki Central Hospital to see iron works by Ishikura brothers of Tan Forge Works. Inside the hospital building, there was a man-made lotus pond and around it there were iron benches made by Ishikura brothers. The benches were so nice and elegant. I was glad to see them. However there were other tables and chairs which were probably placed by the cafe located in the corner of the area and they did not match the lotus pond and iron benches. When I first saw the photo of the scene at Ishikura's studio which appeared to have been taken just after they had set it up, I was so impressed because it was so beautiful and I thought that it was not in Japan. Now I was bit disappointed by the scene because the beauty was ruined by many other things.

Sunday, June 9, 2019

6月8日(土曜日) あさひや始まって以来、100名を越える大勢のお客様をお迎えしての大倉正之助氏と一噌幸弘氏の迫力ある演奏会から 一週間が経ちました。演奏者の気迫に圧倒されながらも観客との間にある種、和みある空気が創りだされたひととき でした。そして、その余韻が未だそこかしこに残っています。昨日からお天気が曇り空になって時折激しい雨が降りだしています。 滋賀は梅雨入りしたのでしょうか。雨に濡れた庭石に露草がよく似合っています。It has been a week since the powerful performanance of Mr. Shonosuke Okura and Mr. Yukihiro Isso which had the biggest audience (over 100 people) since we started the cafe. Our audience was overwhelmed by their playing which was full of spirit. At the same time, it was a wonderful warm moment created by both players and audience. I still feel the afterglow of the great performance. Since yesterday the weather became cloudy and occasionally there is heavy rain. I wonder if we have entered into rainy season in Shiga. Asiatic dayflowers (we call it as Tsuyu-kusa (lit. Dew-grass)) in the garden match well with the wet stones.

Monday, June 3, 2019

大倉正之助氏(大鼓)、一噌幸弘氏(笛)による「神秘の世界、能 優美なる調べ」の演奏会が昨日100人を越えるお客様を迎えて「多賀あさひや」にて行なわれました。両先生方には前日に多賀入りしていただき、当日午前に多賀大社への参拝も済ませ、当地の空気を感じていただいた中での演奏会でした。蔵から静かに鼓と笛の音が聞こえてくるという始まりで、間もなく二人の奏者が座敷の赤い毛氈の上にお立ちになりました。実は椅子を用意しておいたのですが、後ろのお客様が見えないでしょうとおっしゃって90分間立っての演奏となりました。大鼓と笛を立って演奏することがどれほど大変なことか想像できるのですが先生がたの躊躇のない判断にまず驚かされました。神聖な三番叟が始まり、大鼓と笛の気迫に満ちた演奏に観客の皆が圧倒され息をこらして聴き入りその姿に見入りました。一番終った後、大倉先生がマイクを手になさいましたが息が切れていて、その熱気と集中度がどれほどであったかよく分かりました。一方、笛の 一噌先生の能管の空気を切るような鋭さにも圧倒されました。この緊迫感が演奏が終るとすっと解れ、大倉先生のお話と一噌先生の冗談まじりの愉快なお話に演奏者と観客の距離がグッと近づくのが分かりました。一噌先生は和洋を問わず様々な笛を信じられないほど巧みな技量で演奏して下さり、皆「えっ?うっそでしょ!」という感じで唖然としてしまいました。お能をよく知る方は、普段はシテを中心に見てしまうが、今回のように大鼓と笛の調べで能が表現されるのを耳から聴いて、舞台のシテの舞が目の前に広がって素晴らしい感動を受けたと印象を話してくださいました。能という日本の伝統芸能の中にいて、その神髄をあくまでも大切に更に深めつつ、同時に鼓の可能性に向かって果敢に挑戦していく。これはどれほど力の要る事かと思います。滋賀県の小さな古民家から流れ漏れていく大倉先生の大鼓と一噌先生の笛の調べ。この波動は力強くそして確かに目指す方向に向かうと信じます。A concert event " Mysterious World, Noh. Graceful Music by Shonosuke Okura and Yukihiro Isso" was held at Taga Asahiya on June 1st with an audience of 103 people. Performers came to Taga one day before the performance and they visited Taga Taisha in the morning of June 1st. It seemed that they were perfectly ready to have their performance in Taga. As the introduction, audience only heard the sound of Fue (Japanese flute) and Kotsuzumi (small hand drum) and it was from Kura (warehouse : dark right room of the cafe). Then two performers appeared on the red carpet in front of the audience. They both played instruments while standing. Actually I prepared chairs for them but they didn't use them because the audience could not see them if they sat on chairs. I could easily imagine how hard it must be to play their instruments without sitting but they both kept standing and played for about 100 min. I was surprised at their decision to do so. The program started with Sanbaso (the third Okina in Sanbaso Play). It was so powerful and overwhelming. When they ended their playing and Mr. Okura took the microphone, he was out of breath and couldn't speak easily. We all knew how much energy and concentration he put in to his playing. We were also overwhelmed by Mr. Isso 's flute whose sound was so sharp like cutting air. However, once they finished playing, the tension was relieved and Mr. Okura explained about instruments. Mr. Isso demonstrated his various kinds of flutes with incredible technique. We enjoyed their talk and were able to relax. One of my friends who is a specialist of noh theatre said to me that usually she mainly looks at the dancer on the stage, but this time she could concentrate on listening to the sound of the instrument, then in her mind the dancer danced more clearly. She was so impressed by Mr. Okura's big hand drum. Mr. Okura was born in the head family of Noh drums. He keeps the spirit of noh and at the same time he is expanding the possibilities of noh drum. I guess it is so hard for him to do so in such a traditional and conservative world as noh. The sounds of Mr. Okura's big hand drum and Mr. Isso's flute flew out from my small Japanese house and I believe the sound waves must certainly be headed for where they wish. 

 All photos below were taken by HORITA CAMERA

Sunday, May 26, 2019

見たこともない不思議なお花をM.Oさんからいただきました。「けむり草」というそうです。 英語名は「スモークツリー」。Webの情報では、雌雄異株の落葉樹で初夏に咲く花とありました。 フワフワして淡い色が濃淡微妙に混ざり合って夢の中にいるようなお花です。古民家の我が家にも 素敵に溶け込んでいます。Ms.M.O gave me flowers which I have never seen before. It is named Smoke tree (Kemuri-soh in Japanese). According to the web info, it is a dioecious and deciduous tree which blooms in early summer. The flowers have delicate colors which is a mix of dark and light and I feel like I am in a dream. This Smoke tree matches nicely with my old Japanese house.

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!