Here I am with another English report of
Tamaki Hiroshi’s Journeys in Japan.
It’s been a while since I started writing these reports.
So I thought it might be a good idea if once again,
I write a short explanation of what this blog is all about ^^
For everyone who has started reading this blog recently.
I got too many messages and comments
asking about the new documentary series being aired
from BS Asahi in Japan right now.
Sorry I can’t share any videos in respect of the Copyright rules
and everything… but this is the best I can do!
I will write an English report for each episode!
With as many screenshots as I can!
Hope it can make it easier for everyone to imagine
how the new program is like.
Will be glad if you take the time and read my report
and let me know if there’s anything more
you would like me to add or change my style of writing
or anything like that.
Hope this can make Tamaki Hiroshi fans
living outside Japan happy
… at least a little bit ^^
Now let’s get back on the road with Tamaki san and the filming crew XD
This time he will be exploring
Gokanoshou in kumamoto prefecture, Kyuushuu
Tamaki san stops by on his way and has a look at the view of the village in front of him from the top of the hill. Explaining to us about the place and the history of it a little bit.
Seems like this area was a hidden place for the Heike no Ochudo many years ago (fugitives from the Taira clan who lost the Genpei War to the Genji clan and had to run away from them). And since they could not show their faces in the public very often, they had to move to the heart of the mountain and live in isolation for many years.
Let’s start the Journey with him!
The first village he’s visiting is called Shiibaru.
He’s simply walking on the road and suddenly
he encounters a lady, washing Daikon in the front yard of her house.
Tamaki san greets her and she greets him back but as soon as she notices the camera and the filming crew, she kinda hides her face and the situation becomes weird.
Tamaki san asks her for permission to talk to her and while it’s obvious she doesn’t really feel comfortable about it, she agrees.
Tamaki san understands her right away and starts asking simple things with a friendly tone.
She’s washing the daikons clean to make them ready for Tsukemono (Pickled Vegetables). Tamaki san watches her doing it and says with a bitter sweet laughter: “The water must be cold!” and she says it is XD
Then as she starts to feel comfortable with him, she says:
“I think they showed you on a TV Drama around 4 o’clock…
You were wearing the head of a Deer or something like that… “
Tamaki san gets her right away and says “Aaa!!… “
But before he has a chance to say anything else she continues:
“Shikaotoko or something…”
It’s so cute the way she explains!
Tamaki san laughs and says:
“Right! Shikaotoko as you mentioned!”
Then he adds:
“Even if I don’t wear the head of a deer,
I’m always being told that I look like a deer!”
Finally he was able to break the ice
and the lady feels comfortable with him and starts talking.
He asks her about the vegetable garden in their backyard
and she tells him that they have built this all
with her husband when they moved here.
Tamaki san leaves the lady with her beautiful garden
and continues his journey in Gokanoshou.
Reaching to a place which looks like a shop,
he opens the door and says hello!
And asks them if this is a shop…
They reply with yes and the old man in the photo yells
“A Handsome man!”
Tamaki san laughs and then goes inside.
Seems like it’s a tiny restaurant but they also
sell the vegetables being harvested in the area.
As Tamaki san asks about the vegetables,
the shop lady tells him that the most famous one is the
red daikon which is kinda rare and the specialty of this area.
Then she asks him if he wants to try it out and
of course he never says no! XD
Then he asks her if it’s spicy and she says yes.
It is said that the red color of these daikons is because of the
height of the ground here and the
tough, cold weather situation in the area.
As she prepares the daikon for him and
serves it in a cute tiny dish,
she tells him that the spicy tatste
is too much for some people,
so they add some sugar to make it mild.
Then he asks her “Is it that spicy?!”
He tries a little bit…
says that it tastes sweet in the beginning,
but the spicy taste comes after that
and stays in your mouth!
The lady says that they make this very often for the new year
and add some yuzu to make it taste even better.
Tamaki san notices a unique type of doll
on the cabinet behind him,
and asks the lady if this is a charm…
But she says that it’s a puppet (ningyou mawashi)
And each family has one for each of their daughters.
The girls go out on January 15th every year and
sing a song while moving the puppets in their hands.
(The interesting thing is that this show was first aired
on January 15th!! By coincidence of course!)
Then she shows him how it works.
She moves the puppet like a Pendulum clock’s movement.
Somehow reminds of how they move a pocket watch
to hypnotize someone… XD
And then she starts singing the song…
The girls walk in the village and sing the song,
and receive sweets or fruits from the residents.
A very cute tradition ^^
It’s already time to leave…
Tamaki san says while leaving the shop:
“I pray for prosperity in your business!”
wonder if they talked about business issues of the shop
and we didn’t get to watch that part >__<
He thanks them, says goodbye and leaves the shop…
getting back on the road,
Tamaki san says that keeping these traditions
from old days and handing them over
to the next generation
is a really good thing he thinks.
Next is a visit to one of the houses,
which is known as one of the residences of the fugitives
of the Taira clan after the war.
He meets our gauide, Sakata san here.
And asks him about the place.
Tamaki san of course knows about the basic part
which is why they moved here,
They first moved to Ouita in Kyuushuu and then
moved here to this area after 3 generations.
This year it will be 763 years
since the time they started living in this house.
Of course no one lives here right now XD
It is said that the descendants of Kiyotsune, Kiyomori’s grandson,
used to live here in this house and changed their family name into Ogata.
(If you are a Tamaki Hiroshi fan and have watched the taiga drama
“Taira n kiyomori”,
then you will be interested I guess XD )
They get inside and Sakata san shows him around.
They enter a room with a tokonoma with tatami flooring.
The room is seperated in to 2 areas and Sakata san asks him
to pay attention to the ceilings…
The design is different as you can see.
The room they are standing in is the place for
seppuku (Suicide) or known as harakiri in the western world.
A room like this really existed in the past!!! >__<
Moving to the other room…
Here Sakata san points to the shelves placed in the wall,
and guess what they used to keep here in these
shelves?! The heads! … O_O
It also takes a few seconds for Tamaki san to get
what that means…
and then suddenly he says: “Heads?… in the shelves?”
hehehe!! Sakata san says yes and continues the explanation!
They used to bring back the head of their enemies as a sign of victory,
and put them here in these shelves!!
There are also some places for hiding in the ceiling,
since they never knew when they might be attacked
by the Genji members.
As they move to the second floor,
another place for hiding the family members appears
in front of their eyes.
Standing there and picturing a real situation,
Tamaki san says that it must have been really hard
to live like this in the isolation all the time.
Then he adds right after that:
“Well there was no helping it! It was just an era like that!
But it wasn’t just one life,
they lived here with their family members and
you have to protect your own family!”
Then Sakata san opens the windows and then the wooden shutters.
Then Tamaki san looks at the shutters
and says that the residents probably
couldn’t open these back then.
Sakata san agrees,
saying that it’s fine to open them now
but in the old days, they should have been hidden
from the eyes of the society all the time.
And keep their hidden places of the house as a secret.
The look in his eyes and the expression in his face,
makes me wonder what he’s really thinking about ^^
I know he is putting himself in the situation…
it’s a sad story but let’s move on…
Tamaki san is heading to a very beautiful spot,
right in the middle of the nature…
Momigi no oyako tsuribashi (樅木の親子吊橋)
The two bridges famous as the parent and child bridge.
As Tamaki san reaches the spot,
he’s amazed by the beauty of the place and says:
Then he suddenly grabs his camera and
moves toward the bridge…
Ayatori Bridge which is the longer one is 72 meters long and
Shakunage, the shorter one is 59 meters long!
Tamaki san steps into the longer bridge and starts walking on it!
Says that comparing to a normal bridge,
you can feel that this one was made by the hand!
The sense of insecurity you have,
because of the swings and shakes of this bridge…
Now time to walk on the shorter bridge…
Tamaki san says that it’s narrow compared to the other one.
and when he steps his foot on it,
says that it doesn’t swing like the other one.
He almost runs and jumps on it (￣▽￣;)
Then he notices the other bridge and suddenly
realizes that the longer one is actually placed much higher!
He says that the place is really quiet and peaceful,
“Watching this landscape,
somehow makes you feel calm and relax.
It feels like your five senses are being healed…
and Sense of smell as well…
since you can sense the smell in the air!”
And while grabbing the rope of the railing,
he adds: “And being able to touch these textures…”
An extraordinary place…
this was not selected as the kokoro no Hikyo XD
Tamaki san gets back on the road again…
He finds something interesting…
there’s a huge building on the left and
he doesn’t know if it’s a house or something else…
There’s a sign at the entrance
saying “tofu misozuke”!
What could it be…
He is curious of course and enters the yard…
says hello to a lady inside the building…
First she says hello but then she notices who he is
and a very happy expression appears on her face!
Tamaki san asks her if this is a Tofu shop and she says yes!
Then he asks her if it is Tofu they sell or misozuke toufu?
She explains for him that they make toufu
and use the left over to make misozuke.
It would have been a waste if they had to throw them away.
Then she shows him their Tofu while
putting her hand on one of them.
Tamaki san realizes that the tofu is harder than normal.
Then he puts his own hand on one of them and
says that they are really hard!
Takaki san (the lady) says that they are made like this,
because it’s easier to carry them around this way.
She explains that people had to climb up the mountain in the past,
and used to carry their baggage on their back.
If the tofu is too soft and tender in texture,
it will be heavier and easier to be ruined with a few movements.
Kazura doufu which is being made in gokanoshou from years ago,
is made of Kumamoto beans.
Takaki san invites her guest into her house ^^
Tamaki san gets inside and puts his backpack down
and while taking off his jacket,
he notices kumamon
(Kumamoto prefecture’s character)
on the tissue boxes in the shelves XD
hahahahaha! They both laugh and
Tamaki san says that he often sees
Kumamon wherever he goes in Tokyo!!
hahahaha!! TRUE!! He’s everywhere (^_^;
Love the way he always makes people feel at ease,
when he realizes they are being a little bit tense XD
While Takaki san is bringing him the Tofu to try it out,
he asks her if she lives all by herself here…
and she says that she lives here with her husband,
which is out in the mountain doing work right now!
Time to eat some delicious tofu!
Tamaki san pours some soy sauce on it,
and tries cutting it with the chopsticks.
surprisingly… it’s harder than that!
“Can’t cut it with the chopstick!”
he says while laughing!
And Takaki san laughs as well!
After eating one bite, he says that it’s so delicious
and he can feel the taste of the beans in his mouth.
Then as he goes for the next bite,
Takaki san asks with a super happy expression on her face:
“Are you gonna finish it?”
“I’m going to eat it all ♥”
They really look like a mother and son XD
Then while eating, he asks her if this is the best way to eat it
or perhaps they cook or fry it as well.
Takaki san says that there are many
delicious dishes they can make with it.
When she gets up to prepare some misozuke tofu for him,
Tamaki san notices a clock hanging on the wall…
and says that he once had one just like this…
A wrist watch looking wall clock!
seems like he had won it as a prize in a matsuri or
something like that… the misozuke arrives while he’s
telling us the story of it and then it’s all forgotten (^_^;
Looking at them, he says that he expected them
to have a stronger color…
Then Takaki san tells him that it can also be eaten
with toast… like a sandwich!
Tamaki san is confused… Tofu sandwich?!
seeing his surprised face,
Takaki san can’t help it anymore and
decides to make him one of those sandwiches!!
“Wait a minute, I’ll make it for you ♥”
XD She says with the loveliest smile!
She toasts the bread,
and starts putting the tofu on them with a knife.
Tamaki san says that it’s his first time seeing
a tofu which can be eaten on the bread XD
Takaki san asks him if it’s OK to put plenty of it?
And Tamaki san replies that plenty is GOOD!
hehehehe!! Both are really cute ^^
While waiting for his sandwich,
Tamaki san asks her:
“When do you eat it okaasan? in the morning?”
Busy putting some lettuce and tomatoes in the sandwich,
Takaki san says:
“in the morning…
and when my husband is not home,
I eat them secretly!!”
They both start laughing out loud!
When the sandwich is ready,
Tamaki san decides to roll the pan
to make it easier to eat…
Takaki san says that triangle shape would be fine too
but this way feels like a real sandwich he says XD
He loves it!
Says it’s delicious ♡
Takaki san laughs and is happy he likes it this much!
It felt so good being at her house that even
I don’t want him to leave so soon…
but it’s gonna get dark soon…
he has to say goodbye : (
Keeping Tamaki san’s hand in her both hands,
with a very kind smile on her face,
Takaki san says like she is his mother:
Tamaki san bows many times,
thanks her and asks her to take care too!
Then as he starts walking he turns back and they wave
to each other XD
He walks away but she is still standing there >__<
I think the staff looking at her makes him realize that she’s
still right there watching him…
so he turns back once more and waves his hand for her!
Finally walking away and turning into another way,
Tamaki san says that
she treated him like her own son,
even though they had never ever met before!
It was one of those unforgettable meetings I guess ^^
End of part 1
The journey doesn’t end here of course…
but I will leave the rest for the 2nd part if you allow me ^^
Thank you so much for reading and please stay tuned!!
☆ Will be back really soon ☆