| fieldwork || observations || week 7 ||

07|09|2011 § Leave a comment

|| observations || week 7 ||

::  Dinner at the table  : :
221011 |  福岡

I was delighted to receive a photograph of the Table we designed and built with the children at the first workshop | Table Storm |. Yōsuke & Haruki took their table home and used it to eat dinner on that same night. The workshop proved to be a success and those two brothers came back for another day of ‘food and tables’ related activities at | Exhibitable |. We will proudly show their contribution to the project at the exhibition.

i* テーブルでの夕食 (dinner at the table)

|| Back to Bivi ||
221011 |  福岡

Yukako and I went to our Ryouri no jugyou #03  料理の授業 #03 at Bivi where Keiko taught us how to cook inari zushi. This time there was plenty of action involved and in small groups we cooked a very diverse and tasty meal.

i* How to prepare 稲荷寿司 (inari zushi, pouch of fried tofu filled with sushi rice)

::  Hōshuyama mura  : :
201011 |  宝珠山村

Having woken up at 5am with incredible sacrifice I was certainly gave in as we approached Hōshuyama mura. The landscape was incredibly beautiful as I had not yet seen here in Japan. The mountains remained present in the background, but we drove through fields over fields of  planted ground where no boundaries between farms could be perceived, as if it was a continuous propriety only broken by the occasional water channel.

The whole village and mountain was full of small surprises not just amongst the landscape and nature, but the buildings themselves and the welcoming character of the local population who always greeted us with a cup of tea and some tiny sweets.

It was a wonderful day and an alluring discovery of inner Japan and its people.

i* Hōshuyama, from an old school

i* In season, サツマイモ (sweet potatoes) :: sweet potatoes (satsumaimo) are simply steamed what makes their texture incredibly soft and delicious ::

i* 宝珠山

i* 背の高い杉の木 (Se no takai sugi no ki), in Hōshuyama one can find cedar (sugi 杉 ) trees called ascetic cedars, as tall as 59 m with a 2.5 m diametre trunk and as old as 800 years. 

i* Koishiwara Pottery

i* 宝珠山村に近い

i* リンゴ農園 (ringo nōen), apple plantation :: we bought some delicious sundried apples from this lovely lady’s orchard ::

I was taken for lunch at a beautiful traditional Japanese house close to Hōshuyama where Keiko’s fiancé sister & husband have a restaurant. Not only the location and the building were incredibly beautiful surrounded by mountains and lushly cultivated fields, but the food they served us was equally beautiful and delicious. Having lived in France, and worked as a chef in a Parisien Hotel, the food we ate was a blend of European and Japanese food served with the care and attention to detail one can always find in Japanese restaurants.

The number of dishes was vast. From starter to desert we ate no less then 10 different small delicious dishes. Each with incredible colours and exquisite flavours of those two complementary cuisines.

i* 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 … (part 2)

::  Miso factory  : :
201011 |  宝珠山村

Most people assume that miso is always made with soy beans fermented with salt and kojikin (fungus), but there are many varieties of miso made with other grains such as rice and barley.

I went to visit a family run Miso factory in Hoshu mura that has been producing miso for over 6 generations where Miso is only one of the soy, rice and barley produces one can be delighted to encounter.

The smells were intense and the steam of the fermenting rice and beans was overpowering.

Miso soup is what normally comes to ones mind when thinking of miso, but this incredibly versatile and nutritious product is present in many other dishes as I found on one of my favourite Japanese food websites Savory Japan.

It was an enriching visit though the intricacies of the process could not be properly absorbed in so little time. Further reading and tasting is required to truly understand the full potential of miso as an ingredient.

i* 味噌の工場 (miso no kōjō),  at the miso factory 

i* over 100 years

::  茶道 tea ceremony (sadō) : :
191011 | 福岡

For a long time I have been curious about what a Tea Ceremony consisted of. My parents had a Japanese friend, Kioko, who taught us that tea should never be poured in a cup all at once. It should be poured little by little, distributed in layers around the different guests so an even intensity of flavour could be reached.

That was a precious information I always kept in mind since I started appreciating tea. Having lived and travelled in Asia before made me aware of the peculiar flavours of certain Asian teas that I learned to love. So the more teas I had tasted, the more intrigued I was about what a Tea Ceremony really was about.

I imagine it must be hard to master the subtleties of the variations on flavour and colour between the different varieties of green tea and as much as I might appreciate all the many particular types I have tasted so far I couldn’t possibly tell the difference between some of them. So far, my favourite discoveries have been 玄米茶 genmaicha, roasted brown rice tea and ‘xxx’ that have very exquisite flavours. The first is strong and reminds one of the Autumn, the latter is delicate and slightly fruity, but not at all like the western fruit teas.

Tea is so embedded in Japanese cuisine that nowadays there are all sorts of things that taste like green tea (green tea ice-cream, candies, castella and so on…). And it is precisely about this special green tea, 抹茶 matcha, that this chapter is about. Sadō, the Tea Ceremony, is like a choreography on how to prepare and drink green tea where the viewers are also the dancers/actors… each step, each movement is so meticulously made that one feels that Sadō is as much about the choreograph, the gestures, the looks as it is about 抹茶 itself.

We (Yukako and I) arrived at a charming traditional Japanese house with a marvellous garden where a pre-wedding photographs session was taking place. A couple dressed with traditional wedding costumes was posing amongst the landscape on that warm autumn day.

We took off our shoes and put on the white socks that both had to buy specially for that occasion. Two beautiful elderly ladies guided us through the building and gave us some folded washi paper, a stick (that turned out to be a fork for the delicate cake we would eat with our tea) and a fan. We followed them and were taken to a room where the smell of the tatami and the sound of the boiling water immediately told us we were about to be part of this ceremony.

i* Japanese wedding :: photo shooting ::

i* 茶道

I would like to finish this post with Yukako’s kind email explaining the essence of Japanese Tea Ceremony that should be applied in everything and at all times in life.

安田由佳子 ✆ to me
show details 19 Oct (6 days ago)
Dear Luisa,Today’s tea ceremony was good experience for us!
and don’t worry about my photograph(^_^)
I introduce today’s proverb!
‘一期一会 ichi-go ichi-e’
一=one    期=opportunity   会=meet
meaning: Treasure every meeting, for it will never recur.
                  a once-in-a-lifetime chance.
This proverb originates from 茶道(tea ceremony).
It suggests that it is  wonderful for us(tea ceremony’s organizer and gests) to meet on the day in a our life,so we should cordially(magokoro!) do tea  ceremony every time. 
I think that it is good word.
All people who we met at this project are also  一期一会!!See you on Friday
yukako

2011年10月19日15:29 urban nomads <atelier.urban.nomads@gmail.com>

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