さんち 〜工芸と探訪〜

SUNCHI ~ Explore japan through regional crafts ~

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A snippet of knowledge for a living in Japan November in 2016

Published : November 1, 2016
Production area : Morioka
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Hi, I’m Kumi.
As I’m a product buyer, sometimes I will visit production area of every district in Japan. Utilizing those experiences, I helped for publishing a book about the table of annual event, “Nihonnokurashino Mamechishiki”.「中川政七商店が伝えたい 日本の暮らしの豆知識」(PHP研究所出版)The items made in Japan related to the annual event and the wisdom of living taught by craftspeople are introduced in this book.
The items made in Japan related to the annual event and the wisdom of living taught by craftspeople are introduced in this book. There are still many untold in this book such as Japanese quality items and techniques developed in Japan. On this “SUNCHI ~Explore Japan through regional crafts~”, we’d like to introduce my own favorites and items what I want to use in the future according to the annual event. I hope you enjoy it.

November is called “Shimotsuki” in our old calendar. The origin of this word is widely accepted as the abbreviation of “Shimofuri Tsuki” or frosty month. It seems to mean that the time of frosting literally. I was grown up in Musashino City, the suburb of Tokyo. I remember it used to frost in November when I was a child and I enjoyed the frost crunched underfoot as I walked along. Due to the global warming or the decrease of the soil on the land, I seldom walk on the frost now. I feel a little sad to have less that kind of experience because the seasonal feature is unforgettable on our mind.

Nonetheless, it gets colder and colder in November. We’ll become attracted naturally to the warm clothes and the hot drink, especially in the morning and the evening. I myself prefer green tea to coffee and I drink hot tea all year round. Tea leaf and a way to brew effects on the taste of tea, but the taste of the water is the key, too. I use purified water, and boil it in an iron kettle to make it tastier.
It’s said that when the water is boiled in the iron kettle, chlorine will be removed and the taste of the water will be mild. You can tell the difference when you drink the plain hot water. The iron kettle that I usually use is the product named “Yuzu” from an established Nanbu iron kettle shop “Kamasada”, which runs over 100 years in Iwate Prefecture, Tohoku district. It’s made by the third shop owner Mr. Nobuho Miya who communicates with Finnish craftspeople. His iron products inherit the spirit and the technique of the traditional craft and at the same time, they have the modern and the new feel. “Yuzu” has a charming simple round shape and prettiness in chic.

You might have an image that an iron kettle is easy to rust but it’s not as easy as it seems. Basically, it has to be dried well with the remaining heat, not to leave it as wet. And the daily use makes it fur inside and prevents excess rust and the boiled water will be milder. The components such as calcium contained in the water will be a boiling scale and the scale will be easily formed by letting the water boiled for long hours. In terms of that, the iron kettle, whom Japanese used to put on hibachi brazier and stove all day long with letting it give off steam , must have been grown into the aesthetic one. Nowadays, many don’t use hibachi brazier in the modern life. The steam coming out of the iron kettle looks soft somehow and I will look at it on a burner for a while.

The iron kettle is getting popular among foreign people these days. If you pick it up free from preoccupation, your drink will be tastier and you will feel enriched by it.
We introduce the iron kettle for a daily tool of November. Why don’t you have and enjoy it growing in your hands beyond the difficulty of wielding.




Kumi Hosogaya
From Tokyo, having entered craft industry via tea trading company.
Fondness brought me to the tea and craft.
Fondness brought me to the tea and craft.
The seeds of happy are encounter with good bakery and a cat.
While aiming for “Danshari”, minimalism, love shopping these days.
I’d love to introduce wonderful Japanese craft.

Writer and Photographer: Kumi Hosogaya

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