| fieldwork || observations || week 6 ||

07|09|2011 § Leave a comment

|| observations || week 6 ||

::  長崎 Nagasaki  ::
141011 |  長崎

A day out in Nagasaki
Where the Portuguese got established in the XVI century…
The city of castella … the link between Portugal and Japan…
… a new city born from the ashes of the atomic bomb

A rainy day, a grim day…
A hilly city by the sea…
The smell of the tram tracks,
the sound of the rain…

The colours of Japan
The memories of what no longer exists
Tohoku Kyushu project

A different view of this country through Shomei Tomatsu’s lenses…
A journey back home along the sea.

i* in Nagasaki

::  Chawan-Mushi ::
141011 |  長崎

On our day out in Nagasaki we went for lunch in one of the oldest restaurants in town, a place that survived the atomic bomb… a building that is almost 100 years old, Yossou. Yossou is a beautiful timber restaurant that looks almost unreal, as if it had come out of a  Yasujirou  Ozu’s film.

The entrance shelves full of shoes reveal how popular Yossou is by the number of shoes packed in the different dividers. We sat on a step covered with a red carpet, took off our shoes and went up some incredibly narrow stairs that took us to the first floor (2F in Japan) where we found two very large rooms covered with tatami mats and some beautiful dark timber low tables.

We looked at the menu and made our choice chawan mushi, the house’s speciality. Nagasaki is famous for being a port city where different cultures met. Chinese, Korean, Portuguese, Dutch… all have pass through and left their mark in Nagasaki making it an eclectic city at all different levels. Food is certainly not an exception and different flavours and ingredients from distinct origins lead to certain types of food, like ‘chawan mushi’ that somehow look and taste unreal. A bowl full of white rice layered with shredded smoked mackerel and egg noodles next to the soup. The mixture between dashi and egg resulted on a strange custard looking creamy liquid where one could dig out some pieces of tofu, chicken and a green and white fish cake… and finally two diagonally cut slices of cucumber. Simple and somehow strange. Not the most delicious food I have tried in Japan, but certainly the most colourful and exquisite looking.

The restaurant was marvellous and the fact that we were all seating down on the mats made it somehow feel like all the people in the room were having lunch together.

The rain wouldn’t stop pouring, we had to go and hide in the oldest catholic church in Japan. Nagasaki is certainly the least Japanese city I have visited here in Japan.

i* Yossou

::  And so we started… ::
121011 |  福岡

The first register of what will soon be a [Table for 100’s].

i* Reclaimed timber >> table layout

::  Tsukimi paatii ::
101011 |  福岡

 The connection between people and nature can be fully acknowledged everywhere. Shops change decoration to celebrate the start of Autumn. Tableware also changes depending on the season and parties are held to simply admire the full moon tsuiki.

I was invited to a Tsukimi party (moon viewing party) at the beautiful Soba restaurant I had already been to to watch Rakugo. The setting was beautiful. A traditional timber building with very steep stairs and tatami mats in the main room. The garden is small, but each flower pot is carefully positioned. Sayaka, the party host, had prepared a table full of Autumn and moon related small delicacies, a real treat for the eyes and the month. I tried Asian some incredibly soft roots I had never seen before, some delicious fish balls and at the end, a full moon cake that had been specially brought for me, the guest foreigner.

All the guests were delighted looking at the moon… ii desu ne! ii desu ne! kirei ne. …

Any excuse is a good excuse for a good party. Admiring the full moon, seems to me like an excellent one. (something to import back home)

i* Moon viewing, 月見 (tsukimi)

::  乳製品 Dairy products ::
101011 |  福岡

The words of Luís Fróis vs. today’s reality.

39. Nós estimamos coisas de leite, queijo e manteiga e tutanos; os japões abominam tudo isto e cheira-lhe[s] muito mal. 

39. 私たちポルトガル人にとっては、牛乳、チーズ、バターなどの乳製品が重要だが、日本人にとってはそれほど重要でなく、ひどい匂いだと思っている。

39. We value dairy products, milk, cheese, butter and other relics; the Japanese despise all of these, for them, these have an awful smell.

i* スーパーマーケットで

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