I’m back with the 2nd part of the report…
So let’s go to Okukuji (Ibarakai prefecture) and see
how Tamaki san helps out with the Soba making process ^^
Hikuchi san’s wife brings him an apron
but it’s a ladies apron XD
tiny and cute!!
Tamaki san says that he doesn’t mind at all…
actually he likes ladies stuff XD hehehehe
Hikuchi san’s wife helps him put it on.
And that’s when he realises how tiny it really is XD
then he laughs and says that it feels like
he’s wearing baby cloths!!!
XD XD XD
OK! Let’s make some soba!!
Hikuchi san’s wife starts teaching him how to do it.
First he has to spread and flatten the dough on the table.
Being careful not to put so much power
and do it as gently as he can!
So it’s his turn XD
Keeping the round shape is important.
he can do it perfectly!
He asks Hikuchi san’s wife if he’s doing alright,
and she says that he is too good at this
that makes her wonder if it’s really his first time doing it!
Now he has to roll the dough around the rolling pin,
roll the pin on the table 5 times,
and then spread it on the table again!
What we need now is a shape of a square.
This has to be repeated many times,
until the dough becomes thin ^^
Tamaki san is concentrating,
and is doing it very gently!
Hikuchi san’s wife is amazed and praises
him, saying that he’s very gentle!
Then Tamaki san says that
this is the kind of task in which
the person’s real character would come out!
saying that he really is a gentle person?!
Hikuchi san’s wife says that no one
can make such a perfect square shape
when they do this for the first time!
Everyone make a deformed shape dough in the end!
Now she teaches him how to cut it!
He practices standing beside her…
and then she hands him the special knife
being used for cutting soba noodles.
First he makes sure
if he’s keeping it correctly in his hand.
Then he starts cutting!
When making soba, you have to cut it straight,
and you need to cut it really thin!
So they use a wooden board to keep the knife staright
and also, help you figure out how thin you should cut.
As you can see… he’s cutting them too thick!!
She warns him… “That might be a little bit thick!”
He says that it’s hard for him to see how thin he’s cutting
(Guess someone needs his glasses on!!) <- Evil me!
Then he tries to cut thinner but she warns him again:
hahahahaha! It’s not easy to do this after all!
“Cutting them equally is so hard!!”
Tamaki san says.
He keeps doing it until Hikuchi san’s wife says:
“Now they’ve become thin! It’s OK!”
Doing it all by himslef,
Tamaki san is almost finished XD
Hikuchi san comes closer and takes a look!
Then his wife points at the soba noodles with her hand
“Look how beautiful the noodles turned out!”
Tamakis san laughs and says:
They both say yes and the wife says that
the beginners cannot
make the soba so beautifully for the first time!
Tamaki san’s happy but he says that
he used too much power,
his hand is stiff!! XD
A blow kiss for your hand! XD
The cooking part is done by Hikuchi san’s wife!
Tamaki san and the Hikuchi family
sit down around the fire space
and wait for the soba.
Here comes the soba!
She says that the soba looks very delicious,
then takes it t where Tamaki san
is sitting and shows it to him,
asking how he likes it!
Tamaki san looks closely and says:
then adds immediately:
“There’s a thick one laying on the top!!”
Everyone laughs and Hikuchi san’s wife says that
she put it there on purpose!!
“But it looks delicious!”
Tamaki san says ^^
They also have something else
being cooked on the fire…
“This is just so luxurious!”
Tamaki san says after seeing what’s inside!
miso kenchin jiru（味噌けんちん汁）
Making it with Soy sauce is common,
but here they add miso,
and lots of fresh vegetables in the soup.
Tamaki san can’t wait to eat it…
but after saying itadakimasu,
he realizes that he has no idea how to
ea the soba with miso kenchin!
Then asks them how to do it,
and they tell him that he should
put the soba in the soup,
and then eat it.
That’s why the whole set is called
Tamaki san takes the soba and put in his bowl,
then he finds the thick one…
he picked it without realizing!!
After taking a bite,
Tamaki san says that the thin ones are tastier after all XD
Then also adds, that it tastes even more delicious
when you know you were involved
in the process of making it.
seems like they eat this meal even during the summer!
He’s really enjoying it…
saying that he wants to eat it everyday!
Tamaki san talks to their son,
sitting in front of him,
about this taste and how he’s been
experiencing it since his childhood.
Then asks the young lady sitting beside him,
if she can already make this taste!
And she says “NO!”
hehehehehe! Not yet （^ω^”）
While everyone’s busy eating,
the baby (Hikuchi san’s grandchild)
wakes up in his mother’s arms and looks at the
stranger sitting next to his mother
with a curious expression!
Tamaki san notices his look and turns his head this way…
and says after a few seconds of staring at each other:
“He’s probably thinking: “Who’s that guy?” !”
Hikuchi san is going to take Tamaki san
and his team to a special place.
Tamaki san thanks the wife for
everything and leaves their house.
They get inside Hikuchi san’s car
and start riding on the road.
There’s a shrine called
Nishikanasa jinja (西金砂神社)
The place is located on a hill in the middle of the nature.
A famous place
being loved by the residents.
There are 100 steps waiting for them!! O__O
While climbing up the stairs one by one,
they talk about how obvious it is that the place
was built many many years ago…
A historical place!
Even the stones of this stairway are being moved
by the movements of the roots buried inside the ground.
Right when they thought they’re done with the steps….
here comes another stairway!!!
Tamaki san laughs out loud!
“It’s too steep!” Tamaki san says while laughing!
“It’s almost as sharp as a ski jumping hill!” he adds XD
They start climbing up again….
Somehow it even gets sharper as they go up XD
Finally done with the stairs…
They arrive at the shrine’s main building!
They take a few minutes to pay homage to the shrine,
and the walk to the highest spot they can reach!
The view expanding in front of them is amazing!
Tamaki san says that a view like this
is a never changing landscape.
Hikuchi san agrees and says that it hasn’t changed
at all since the old days.
“It’s like going back to the childhood days…
in a good way!”
The place is wide and boundless!
Covered by 770 different types of trees and plants!
“This shrine is a place where the residents have been
visiting for years, coming all this way up
and looking at the very same landscape
ever since their childhood days…
So being able to feel this and how it has been loved
by them all these years…
somehow makes me happy deep inside!”
It is decided…
Chosen by Tamaki Hiroshi,
kokoro no hikyo #9
Continuing his journey,
Tamaki san and his team enter a town called
kuji-gun daigo machi.
He’s heading to a workshop called
Suzuri (Ink stone in English)
is used for creating the liquid type of ink,
made by the sumi (ink sticks)
which are common in some
Asian countries like China and Japan
for traditional painting or calligraphy process.
He finds the building and says hello…
then goes inside and a finds a man
who is actually working on a stone…
Tamaki san greets him and asks him
if this is Suzuri he’s working on…
And he says yes…
(Satou Taizan, 67 years old)
Daigo suzuri keeps a 500 years history
in it’s background!
Even some types being covered
with daigo urushi,
which is one of the famous products around this area.
Satou san explains for him that there are
minerals in the gemstones
they use to make the suzuri.
These minerals serve as the sharp blades which
produce the liquid ink when you rub the sumi
on the surface of the suzuri.
Tamaki san says:
“It should be something you cannot see with your eyes
when looking at it, right?”
But he is wrong!
Satou san tells him that you can see them.
The minerals are the sparkling spots visible on the surface.
Tamaki san holds a suzuri in his hand
and touches the surface.
It’s soft and smooth!
As soft as the skin of a baby as Satou san says.
No need to rub the sumi hardly with too much power,
just rubbing it gently will produce the ink you need.
Now how about making a suzuri for yourself?
Tamaki san is going to take the challenge.
The stones taken from the mountains around here
are perfect for this job!
But they also have a weak point…
Satou san breaks the stone into a smaller piece
to make a suzuri.
But there are cracks in the stones
which is why he keeps breaking it
smaller and smaller until he can make sure
the piece he has in his hand, won’t break easily!
The stone is ready…
Now they sit down at Satou san’s desk and
he teaches Tamaki san how to carve the stone.
He has to keep the knife in his hand
while laying the end of it on his body
and make a triangle as you can see in the photo.
While doing it, he says that it’s hard to use the
equal amount of power for carving all the surface…
But Satou san tells him that it will be fine
if he keeps the shape of the triangle correctly,
and moves the knife with his body and not his hand.
This way he can keep the balance easily.
Tamaki san is really enjoying it,
he is already into it!! XD
“It needs a lot of power!”
Pointing to his shoulder where the end of
the knife is laying on, he adds:
“It’s likely to get a bruise around this area!”
“You will!” Satou san assures him!! (^_^;
Also on the palm of the hand he says… but it’s fine
since Tamaki san is wearing gloves right now!!
Tamaki san keeps carving
and Satou san keeps his eyes on him.
Then he asks:
“Were you good at craft making
when you were at school?”
Tamaki san says that he liked it very much
but somehow he could never continue
what he started!
He wasn’t patient enough he says.
When drawing a painting, he would have drawn the
rough sketch but when it came to adding colors,
somehow he would have given up on it!
Satou san says that he is good at this!
Then Tamaki san remembers something else
“Also, I used to cut my hand very often
with the carving knife!”
Satou san says that the more you cut your hand,
the better you will get at doing it!
Next is the process of making the suzuri
soft and smooth.
Tamaki san starts polishing the suzuri
with the polishing paper in his hand.
He is soooo into this XD
Satou san asks him if his hand is not cold,
and Tamaki san says that he’s fine.
“Surprisingly, you forget all about the cold when you
become completely absorbed in doing the job!”
Tamaki san says.
checking the texture
and making sure the polish is done perfectly,
the making process of
the daigo suzuri is already done!
Satou san carves the name of the workshop,
and his own name on the back of the suzuri.
Then asks Tamaki san to carve his name as well.
Right beside Satou san’s name!
And he does…
A high quality suzuri made by the hands
of our traveler… TAMAKI HIROSHI ♥
ヽ(・∀・)ノ <- (want this suzuri soooo bad!!)
Satou san tells him that he did a great job,
and looking at the back of the suzuri he also says that
he carved his name perfectly…
even bigger than Satou san’s name (^_^;
But Tamaki san laughs, apologizes,
and says that the first line he carved became longer
than what he was expecting…
and he had no other choice
but to write it in this size…
sorrrrrry!!! XD XD
Handing over the suzuri in its box,
Satou san also recommends him
to visit another place around this area…
Tamaki san asks him
if they can walk there and he says yes…
but then he asks Satou san:
“Isn’t it going to be dark? Will that be alright?”
Satou san says with no hesitation:
“It will be dark!!”
They both laugh but Tamaki san says
that it will be a waste if he cannot see the waterfall
after coming all the way here!
So let’s use the chance and visit the place…
Tamaki san enters a tunnel like way which
leads to the waterfall…
But somehow the freezing breeze is so sharp
that he cannot keep his eyes open
while walking (>_<)
He reaches the place where
he can see the waterfall
the scale is huge!!
During a limited period of time in the year,
they have a beautiful light up here at night…
Lucky that Tamaki san visited the place
in one of those special nights!
During the day, the waterfall looks like this:
But on a light up special night, it looks like this!!
Tamaki san says that it looks like ait was made
by the hands of human beings…
even though it’s not.
He also says that he’s amazed of
how delicate and subtle the
flow of the water is,
despite the hugeness of the waterfall.
“For me, Ibaraki (Prefecture) is quite an unknown place…
being able to discover so many new things here…
and the existence of such a rich nature like this…
Guess you can say,
it’s a place where you can taste the feeling
of being away from people for a while,
and enjoying the quiet atmosphere.
I think It was a kind of interaction
which a strong existence of local loyalty
and the love for the hometown could be felt!”
Another great ending to another trip…
with Tamaki san’s pure feelings
turned into words one more time…
The photo he chose for the postal card this time,
was taken at the paper fan workshop…
Do you remember the old lady from the 1st part?
here it is!
Beautiful, isn’t it? ♥
Nice choice Tamaki san!
Thanks again for being with me until the end…
sorry if I made you bored with unnecessary details!
Hope you could enjoy it as much as I did!
See you soon ( ´・ω・｀)ﾉ~ﾊﾞｲﾊﾞｲ
is being aired on BS Asahi,
Every Thursday at 23:00
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