Tuesday, August 11, 2020

日本を留守にしている間にいつの間にか新しい祝日がカレンダーに入っていました。今日は「山の日」。「桃原(もばら)プロジェクト」の中川さんのお誘いを受けて「藍の生葉染め」体験を杉木立に囲まれた桃原の森口さんのお宅でしました。山の中の爽やかな空気は久しぶりです。まずはゴボウ畑の隣に植えられている藍の茎を切り取るところから。藍の茎が濃い茶色でなければ競い合って生えている雑草の中から見つけ出すのは難しかったでしょうが、何とか十分な藍を確保しました。次は葉だけ水と一緒にミキサーにかけ、その絞り汁に無地の絹布を数回くぐらせて、水気を切って天日に干す。それを水で洗ってもう一度干して出来上がり。淡いブルーのスカーフに仕上がりました。While I was away from Japan, a new national holiday was added in the August calendar before I knew it. Today is Mountain Day. Since I was invited to "Indigo dye workshop from fresh Indigo leaves", I participated in it at Mrs. Moriguchi's house in Mobara village which is surrounded by cedar trees in the mountain. Being in the fresh air in the mountain after a long time, I felt so good. The first step of dyeing was picking indigo plants. Someone told me that the stem of Japanese indigo plant is dark brown, so I could get the plants easily otherwise it must have been hard to find one because the field which was supposed to be planted indigo was full of weeds. After getting enough indigo plants, you separate the leaves and put them into a blender with water. Squeeze the juice, and dip white silk cloth there several times. Dry it in the air, rinse with water and dry it again. With this method, finally I could get a beautiful pale blue scarf for myself. It was a fun experience on Mountain Day.