BLOGArt & Craft
Hand made New Year's card
Happy New Year!!I hope you will have a great Year!Did you send New Year's cards?We made our company's New Year's cards by ourselves.In recent years, the use of New Year's cards have been decreasing, and I think that many people do so by email or telephone nowadays.And some companies do not send New Year's cards in consideration of the environment.I understand that way. But at the same time, I want to keep the analog traditions in order to fight with the too convenient world. This year we made a simple wooden stamp.Stamping one by one makes a nice taste.They are same but different that what we like about handmade. Each one has own expression and warmth.We introduce you to the warmth of Satoyama this year as well! I wish you the best 2020!
Yatsura shrine amulet
The other day, a neighbour brought a new amulet provided by a local shine for next year.Our local shrine is Yatsura Shrine for Satoyama design's office.We enshrined the amulet in the Shinto altar of the office.(There is Shinto altar in many office in Japan.)We got two amulets, Yatsura Shrine and Amaterasu omikami.I think our guardian deity protected us well. We would be able to end this year without any problems. Thanks!This is the Yatsura shrine. There are several shrines in the shrine. We enshrine many Shinto deities and have a shrine for each deity. (Main shrine is shared by some deities.)there is also a special shrine called Ushi-jinja that enshrines the spirits of farm animals.An old house in Keihoku had a room for cattle. Cattles were very important for local people like a family because they helped farm work. Yatsura shrine is about 10mins walk from the Keihoku JR bus terminal. It would be a nice walk.------Yatsura Shrine28 Shiroyama,Shuzan-cho, Keihoku, Ukyo-ku, Kyoto City
loofah eco-friendly sponge
My farmer friend gave me loofahs.I brought them back to my office and put them on the desk, it looked like modern art and cool.Nature makes the most beautiful shapes.they look like a face when seen from the cross-section of the round slice.Recently, the microplastic pollutions of the ocean appear in the news more as Starbucks coffee stopped using plastic straws. Microplastics are released in large quantities after washing clothes made of chemical fibers such as fleece.The trouble is that microplastics are so small that they pass through the sewage filters.Fish and other maline life eat plastics, and we humans are eating them and get plastics.With this loofah sponge, you don't have to worry about microplastic from the kitchen or bathroom.Of course, it is very comfortable to use.I think the old lifestyle like Satoyama lifestyle has many hints for solving social issues. I like new technology, but I think the traditional wisdom of Satoyama is wonderful.It is exactly Satoyama chishin.How about using a loofah sponge instead of plastic sponge?
winter solstice custom
It's winter solstice today, called Touji in Japanese. We have customs for the day, eating pumpkin and yuzu and tahking a yuzu bath. Yuzu is a citrus fruit and it has a strong aroma smell. My wife cooked pumpkin and yuzu dishes at home.This is a simmered pumpkin with soy sauce and sugar.This is daikon radish with yuzu miso dish.Yum, yum.Yuzu and pumpkin are very nutritious they are healthy.After dinner, we had a yuzu bath.A yuzu bath warms the body up and soothes dry skin caused by the cold of winter.This winter has been warmer than usual, but it seems to get as cold as usual at the end of the year.Let's eat nutritious food to get ready for the cold and survive the winter!
Fire ceremony "Agematsu"
There is a famous sacred bonfire in Kyoto "Gozan no okuribi" or "Daimonji", but also there are traditional fire ceremony in the moutainous areas of Kyoto. It's called "Age Matsu" or "Matsu Age". There is a shrine called Atago jinja shrine in Kyoto. The shrine represents protection from fire. So the locals have this ceremony with the wishes and the gratitudes of fire protection and rich harvest and health. We have this ceremony in Ojio area Keihoku on Saturday, August 24th.Local men throw torches into a big wooden container thing(2meters in diameter, 4meters in height.) on 15meters high pole called "Tourogi" with yelling diety's name. It's exciting to have a look. If you want to have a look, better to come with your own car or by taxi.Local transportations are not working on this time.There is parking space at the place.・Ojio Agematsu Date: Saturday, August 24th 20:00〜 Adress: Ojiocho, Keihoku, Ukyo-Ku, Kyoto
I hear "Wheeen!" sound from fields at this time of year,It's the sound of a mower.In this season, vegetables grow rapidly, but also grasses grow rapidly.Actually, mowing is very important in Keihoku life.If you cut the grass properly, you will be recognized as "a decent person".because if you don't cut the grass, they grow like a wild and it will be harder to cut them.And many insects proliferate and damage crops.To get notice venomous snakes in the grass, it's easier not to have long grass.So it's better to cut them.However, I need it done.And be a decent person!Mowing the grass with a potable mower can be a good exercise, and you feel refreshed after you finish.I move forward little by little while swinging the mower like a pendulum of a clock.I twist my hip while doing it that might work on my body to have a pretty curved waist. well, I wish.Mowing is repeating the same movement. It's tiring but makes me runner's high after doing a while."Mowing the grass is not a job! It's an exercise!"With that as my motto, I will enjoy the mowing this year.
Mecca of Ayu fishing
Have you ever taste Ayu(sweetfish)?Ayu is one of the most popular river fish in Japan.It's really tasty if like river fish. And they have a different taste by the river (temperature, water, and moss).If you haven't tried ayu yet, I recommend you to try to taste the summer of Japan.They are anadromous fish like a salmon. They get born in downstream and go to the ocean. And then they come up to the river in the spring and they go down the river to lay eggs and finish their life.We don't have a real wild ayu in Keihoku. because we have a dam in our river.So Ayu fishes cannot come up.Kamikatsura river fishery cooperatives release the baby Ayu fishes into the river every year.Keihoku locals used to offer ayu fishes to the imperial family from the 8th century to the 19th century.Because Keihoku's ayu is really good quality.Ayu like a clean river and eat the mosses.So Keihoku's Kamikatsura river is a perfect place for them.To fish Ayu, we use a unique fishing method called "Tomozuri".Ayu have a habit to have a territory and if another ayu comes into ayu's the territory it would attack another ayu.Tomozuri is using that ayu's habit to fish ayu.Put an alive ayu on hook and let it swim to another ayu's territory and another ayu attack the ayu then catch ayu by the other hook.※To fish ayu, you need to buy a ticket.Price of the recreational fishing ticket (free for the age of under 18 years old.)AyuAnnual ticket 13,900 yen (site charge 16,600 yen)Daily ticket 4,500 yen From June 27 (field charge 6,700 yen)AmagoAnnual ticket 5,200 yen (site charge 6,200 yen)Daily ticket 2,000 yen (site charge 3,000 yen)Miscellaneous fishAnnual ticket 2,300 yen (site charge 2,700 yen)Daily ticket 700 yen (site charge 800 yen)※ As fishing fees are used for the release, please cooperate.
There are three well-known festivals in Kyoto, Aoi Matsuri, and Gion Matsuri, and Jidai Matsuri.May 15 is the day of Aoi Matsuri, the oldest festival of Kyoto since 567 AC.It's a festival of harvest.About 500 people parade dressed in Heian era kimono costumes from Kyoto Imperial Palace to Kamigamo shrine.There is a shrine called Kamo shrine since 1,000 years that is the branch shrine of Kamigamo shrine in Keihoku.Every local gathered in the shrine and had a festival on May 15th too.A deity of thunder is enshrined in the shrine. So we pray for rich harvests and safe from thunder.Our lumberjacks will be safe not getting struck by lightning. What do you think this is?This is katsura branch with aoi (hollyhock) leaves.Every local put this in front of the house.So this is an amulet for protection from thunder.This custom has been inherited from a thousand years ago,It is great that people of Keihoku really cherish their belief and culture. Thankfully I got an amulet for our house, so our family and the house won't get struck by lighting this year.