Hello and sorry for my absence again…
Lately I’m having a tough time with work and school and many other things… but I will try to continue the English reports until the very last one. But I may have to make them more simple with less details. Forgive me please （^人^）
This time I’m going to write about Tamaki san’s trip to Amami Ōshima in Kagoshima prefecture.
Doesn’t have a very large population,
but during the summer it will become a perfect summer resort.
A lot of rainfall… Full of trees… an interesting mangrove…
and many unique species of animals!
OK! Let’s follow Tamaki san and see what he’s about to show us this time!
Unfortunately,, the weather is not that great! But the island needs this water to go on…
Walking by the beach, he says that he has been here in this island before. Just one time during his childhood, but he doesn’t really remember anything about it.
Then he notices the coral stones on the beach…
He gets closer and then picks up some tiny coral stones…
Looking at the stones,
and then showing them to the camera…
he says that you can tell how sturdy and strong the stones are just by looking at them.
Also says that he thought they would be lighter
but actually they are heavier than what he had in mind.
Seems like there are 220 different kinds of corals living in the clean waters of Amami Ōshima.
The area where Tamaki san is about to visit today, is the south part of the island.
But before that, he will have a short stop at the most famous harbor town in the island, called “Naze”. Holding a lot of historical stories in its heart after the war.
Walking in the town, he notices a very old shopping street (Nagatabashi ichiba).
Of course he decides to take a closer look ^^
There’s an old lady sitting outside…
with a mountain of many different things piling up right beside her.
Tamaki san says hello and of course she becomes surprised XD
Seems like she cannot work today in her shop because of the rain…
Then Tamaki san asks her what she is eating XD
pointing to the plates on the table by her side,
she says “Shallots” and tells him he can take some if he wants…
So Tamaki san goes for one after getting the permission XD
It’s a famous product here in the island. Fresh and tasty.
The old lady searchs for chopsticks and brings them out but Tamaki san says that it’s alright, he took one with his hand XD
Of course the granny doesn’t mind.
Actually this is how her shop looks like on a normal day↓
Tamaki san asks her more about the shop and she says that she just runs it for fun now…
since she is already 86!
Entering the shopping street with a few shops inside and many of the closed on this rainy day,
somehow he finds a small shop with this sign “Amami FM”!!!
A radio station?!
Surprisingly, he finds out that a part of the shop is a candy shop!!
There are 3 kids, 2 boys and a cute little girl sitting on a tiny table.
As soon as he enters the shop, the kids look at him an become excited.
One simply says: “It’s Tamaki Hiroshi!”
Well… (^_^;) How about using a honorific title my dear! hehehehe XD
Anyway, Tamaki san enters and asks the two ladies about the shop,
and they say that they started the radio broadcasting first (3 years ago)
and then decided to start a candy shop next to it,
so that they can have more people visiting the place.
Then Tamaki san looks ta the little girl with a sweet smile and asks her what grade she is in.
“First grade!” she says with a cute smile on her face ♡
He takes a chair, put it next to her and sits down beside her…
the girl is a little bit shy of course XD
Then Tamaki san asks her if she has received pocket money from her mother to buy some candies in the shop and when she says yes (Just moving her head) he asks her how much she received and she says 10 yen!!
hahahahaha Tamaki san becomes surprised… just 10 yen?
Then taking a look inside her plastic bag with her candies inside, he says:
“Can you buy all of these with just 10 yen?”
The shop lady tells her to take the candies out and show them to us XD
Tamaki san gives her back the plastic bag and asks her with a very kind tone in his voice:
She takes out all the candies and Tamaki san is still wondering:
“Can you buy this much with 10 yen?”
The girl still insists that you can while she moves her head XD
But the lady shop on the other side of the counter says: “No! you cannot!”
Tamaki san repeats what she says as if he is relieved…
The two boys giggle and the girl becomes embarrassed a little bit ^^
The lady says something in a low voice which I cannot catch it very well,
then he says: “I see! Her way of counting is still… “
then he lowers his voice by the end of the sentence as if he has realized he will make her feel uncomfortable even more!
Well he shouldn’t have said it out loud to begin with (￣ｖ￣;) Guess he still needs to learn more about dealing with kids XD But I should say he is becoming better every day ^^ Comparing to one year ago!
Anyway, he changes the subject and asks her:
“How many days does it take you to eat this all? Will you eat them all in one day?”
And she just moves her head as “Yes!”
“Really?! Isn’t that overeating?!”
The girl doesn’t talk anymore >__<
She puts all the candies in her plastic bag and starts playing with the tiny coin case she has in her hands.
Then the shop lady standing beside Tamaki san, points at a sign on the counter’s wall,
and asks her to teach Tamaki san the words they use here in the island.
It’s written “Ugaminshouran” and “Arigassamaryouta”
The lady is trying to help him become friends with the little girl again…
He looks at her and says with a kind voice: “Let me know… what is ugaminshouran?”
She looks at him with a cute smile… but she is still not talking…
He waits for her while looking at her with a smile… but somehow,
one of the boys says: “konnichiwa”
which means “Hello” in Japanese.
Tamaki san looks at the boy (I think he would have preferred if he could keep silent!!) and then his eyes goes back to the little girl’s face again right away…
She looks at her coin case again and it’s obvious she is disappointed…
Tamaki san keeps looking at her
and then repeats the Amami words as if he is trying to learn them.
Then he (Or maybe the lady) asks the kids to say the word for him.
First the two boys say it in order and then when it’s the girl’s turn,
Tamaki san moves his head closer to her and she says shyly:
hehehehehe finally she talked!!
And it’s obvious Tamaki san is happy to hear her voice again XD
OK it’s time to go… somehow the little girl is not there anymore when he is leaving…
He looks at the two boys and thanks them in Amami words:
After leaving the candy shop,
he stops by at a small cafe and greets the customers.
They are all surprised!! Too surprised I can say XD
One of the ladies actually ask: “Are you the real one?”
ahahahaha is there a fake version of Tamaki Hiroshi going around talking to people you mean?! XD
He laughs and says: “That’s right!”
Guess now he is a little bit nervous!! Let’s keep the show going XD
Then he greets the owner and asks her about the shop.
Seems like she has been running the shop for 1 and a half year.
She is actually not from this area.
She came here on a trip and after seeing this shopping street,
she just decided to open a cafe here ^^ She is from Gunma!!
Tamaki san then asks her if he can have a cup of coffee and then sits down at the counter,
with the other customers.
As always, first he smells the coffee and then goes for it.
The shop lady is looking at him, probably hoping for a good reaction.
Sorry but he hardly ever shows any on his face (^_^;)
Then the lady sitting next to him, asks him if he likes sweets
and gives him the chocochip scone on her plate,
saying that the owner has made them herself XD
Tamaki san loves sweets of course. But he asks her:
“You were not planning to eat this yourself?”
hehehe she says no and he starts eating.
The owner is again looking at him with hope XD
He takes a bite and says that it’s delicious, and the handmade taste is nice.
Then he asks the customers if they are from this area and the lady next to him says that she was born and raised here.
Then asks her what kind of a job she does and he says that she is in the business of producing a traditional handmade craft called tsumugi silk.
It’s a traditional fabric with unique print designs, and it stands on the third place after Persian carpet, and Gobelins tapestry in the world’s best fabrics ranking.
The lady highly recommends him to try the fabric.
Hearing that, Tamaki san decides to go to a workshop where they actually dye these fabrics.
Here it is!
So he enters the workshop (Of course after getting the permission for the shooting)
and greets them.
The old man (Nozaki san) working there, tells him that they use the body of a tree called Sharinbai. They steam it for 2 days on the fireplace, and then produce the color they use for dyeing the fabrics.
Nozaki san doesn’t really look very friendly at first, strict you may say XD
Then takes a look at Tamaki san’s cloths and suddenly asks him:
“Not willing to try dyeing something?”
hehehehe the way he asks probably makes Tamaki san go nervous and lose the words… but he gets a hold of himself and says: “No, I would like to try it.”
Then he asks Nozaki san what they usually use at times like this,
and he says: “A T-shirt would be fine!”…
Tamaki san stands there still…
probably thinking that Nozaki san will give him a T-shirt to use…
but somehow he doesn’t XD
Then looks at Tamaki san and repeats: “A T-shirt!!”
hehehehe he looks at the staff, then another look at the director (probably!!)
and asks for help with his eyes…
Somebody!! GIVE me a T-shirt!! XD
But no one has prepared anything…
so he turns his head toward Nozaki san and says that they don’t have one.
But right there…
the staff say that they can use the camera man’s T-shirt!!
Tamaki san becomes surprised: “The one he is wearing?!” O_O
I liked the way he looked at the cameraman… as if he was saying Are you sure?! XD
But what else can they do?!
Camera man san, arigatou!! m(__)m
Then Tamaki san puts on a plastic raincoat to prevent his cloths from getting dirty.
They enter another room where Nozaki san shows him some of their works.
Keeping one of the fabrics in his hands, Tamaki san says:
“If you look carefully, you can see that it has gray, reddish brown and black.”
Nozaki san likes this I guess and says that it’s exactly as he says,
those are the 3 colors they used.
Tamaki san actually loves this very much. Dyeing fabrics has always been interesting for him. And I think Nozaki san can see that when he sees him asking many questions about the colors and the designs.
Tamaki san asks about the bright yellow color on one of the fabrics and Nozaki san explains that this color is made of a tree called “Fukugi”.
OK! Now it’s time to decide about the design of the T-shirt!
Somehow Tamaki san is really good at this! Always has the best ideas in mind XD
After thinking for a few seconds…
“The center… “ he says but he stops and starts thinking again…
he is imagining it in his mind.
Then after some more seconds XD He continues:
“Making the center Reddish brown…
leaving the fabric white on both sides…”
while drawing two lines with his fingers XD
“Then making here black!…”
says while moving his hands on the two sides.
After explaining it with details, Nozaki san gets what he wants and starts rolling the T-shirt.
Tamaki san is surprised but seems like this is their style.
Then he asks Tamaki san to hold one side of the T-shirt and then ties it with a plastic tape.
Tamaki san looks at what he is doing carefully.
Now it’s time to sink it in the color.
Nozaki san teaches him how to do this and then leaves it to him.
He has to sink it in the color,
wash it in water mixed with Limestone powder,
then sink it in the color again.
While doing the process,
Tamaki san asks Nozaki san how many years it has been since he started this job.
He says half a century XD 50 years!! WOW!
He also says that this job has some fun and some tough parts of course.
Tamaki san agrees on that and says that the way they have to bend over and do the job must be tough, it will get into your backbone with no doubt >__<
Nozaki san says that he never thought it would be as tough as it is while he was looking at his father doing the job XD
It takes a lot of time and effort to make the color you want.
After they are done with this step, they go back inside the room.
Nozaki san uses his experience and his techniques to make the design even more interesting.
Looking at them with a curious face,
Tamaki san says that he cannot imagine how it will look like when the dyeing is done.
Nozaki san brings out a rubber thread and makes him surprised again.
While rapping the fabric with the thread, he says:
“Next time you come here,
you can do it all by yourself! You were watching me all the time, right?”
The tone of his voice is much softer and kinder than the minute they met.
Tamaki san makes a cute face, smiles and says: “Wonder if I can really do that!” ^^
But Nozaki san says right away: “You can!! You can… well not that I’m saying it’s easy!”
The connection built between them is already lovely.
I really think Tamaki san is good at making people come to like him in a short time.
Probably because he is always down to earth and honest with others.
Now they have to tie it tight!
And this time Nozaki san gets more help from him…
He takes care of the rubber thread and Tamaki san has to take the fabric and bring it out!
hehehehehe working as a team! Tamaki san says: “It’s like making mochi!” XD
Nozaki san and the staff all laugh at his comment XD
Becoming excited like a young boy ♡
Going out again, they need to take care of the most precious step in making tsumugi fabrics.
Dyeing in mud!
Getting busy again, somehow Tamaki san finds something moving in the mud XD
grabs it with his hand and brings it out…
It’s an imori!! (Newt in English)
hehehehe the way he could catch it right away is kinda amazing!!
Shows how much he used to play like this when he was young (^_^;
Then he asks Nozaki san:
“If the imori gets stuck in our fabric, it will turn into imori pattern?”
Nozaki san then explains that a certain amount of Iron in this mud,
is needed for some chemical changes on the natural color of Sharinbai.
That’s why this step must be done very carefully and with patience.
Now they put the fabric in the dryer.
After a while when the drying process is done, Nozaki san tells Tamaki san to use the break and stop the machine.
and he follows as he says…
Somehow the reddish color has turned into gray!! Interesting!!
Spending a long time dyeing the fabric in color and mud…
this is the cool color you get to have in the end XD
This is gonna be Camera man’s precious T-shirt!!
Made by Tamaki Hiroshi XD
Tamaki san’s journey in Amami oushima doesn’t end here…
But let me leave some for the 2nd part as well XD
Thank you so much for staying with me until the end…
See you soon! ( ´・ω・｀)ﾉ~ﾊﾞｲﾊﾞｲ
End of part 1