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 » 2014 » 12月 » 26

Workshop of Making New Year Decoration and Mochi-tsuki (pounding Mochi)

I participated in the workshop held at Yu ju Kan@Kou Fu Rin

The workshop was provided by Mr.&Mrs. Sano (R Koubou) who enjoy the agricultural lifestyle in Isumi. We learned to make New Year decoration with the rice straw of red rice (ancient rice) named Kanniho, and then we did mocha-tsuki in the workshop.
They told us that it was the day of “Shogatsu-kotohajim (the day of starting New Year’s preparation.)” on the day of the workshop.
I think it was the best day to make New Year decoration.

First, Mr. Hiro Sano talked about the attractiveness of self-sufficient lifestyle and rice growing, and then we started to make rope with the rice straw.
Mr. Sano is very good at straw work, making animal of Chinese Zodiac every year.
Here is the sheep in Chinese Zodiac (2015 is the year of sheep) made by Mr. Sano.
It creates a lovely atmosphere.

It was also the first experience for me to make a rope with rice straw!
It seemed easy, but it was not!
When I actually tried to make rope using my hands, I did trial and error to figure out the knack of how to entwist the straw.
But I felt somehow comfortable.
I thought in old days, people might have made livingware etc. in this way using their own hands.
At least, it took shape of a rope!?
Everyone seemed to get intense to the work.

After that, we had a lunch time and then we did mochi pounding with red rice using a mortar and a pestle.
Children had been very looking forward to it ^^
For the first time I had mochi made of red rice.

Children also helped to make mochi round^^
It was really tasty with the special flavor! I was surprised.
The side dishes were Natto made using Mr. Sano’s rice straw, Ama-Natto (sweet natto), walnut miso, and hand-made pickle, etc.
The dishes were simple, but were slightly sweet and tasty. It made me feel happy.
The mochi was pounded with the right extent with some lumpy texture in the mochi left

I left the workshop after lunch, but everyone continued to make New Year decoration in the afternoon.
This is the finished piece! I hope everyone could make it nicely.

I realized the abundance of living with the benefit of the local plants.
There is a theory that the decoration made of rice straw is the “grain god” of rice, so it is meaningful to make it with rice straw. I also thought of utilizing the rice straw as a rice farmer.

( Shu / Yasuko )

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