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April 15-17

April 15

On Friday, instead of lectures and jitsugi, our class had a charcoal-cutting session. We donned samue, face masks, plastic bags for shoe covers, and—as part of a new giggle-inducing "tradition" begun by recent classes of Midorikai students—towels on our heads arranged a la Korean bathhouse, rolled up on the sides. Using a handy wooden length guide and hand saws, we took charcoal-ized branches of cedar and cut them to size for burning in the hearth in the upcoming furo season. It was enjoyable work, and the mood was jovial. I didn't bring my camera for fear of getting charcoal dust in its crevices, but at times the scene was downright picturesque thanks to a blizzard of fallen cherry blossom petals.

After we finished up, cleaned up, and ate dinner, I headed for the VIVRE grocery store to buy the ingredients for a panfried komachibu recipe I want to try making as part of the mizuya mimai for a senpai's chaji this Tuesday; mizuya mimai is food brought by guests to give the hardworking host and assistant some nourishment as they're working behind the scenes. I didn't find komachibu, and I still haven't, but I hope the mochifu I bought instead will suffice.

April 16

sad tea bowl?Yesterday I went downtown with June and Karoliina. We bought usucha from Ippodo and some kimono things from a few different stores, including Midorikai-student-favorite Daiyasu, where Karoliina got an iromuji summer kimono. We should wear iromuji to formal events like chaji, chakai, and meetings and lectures with the principals. (We can wear a wider range of styles, including komon and tsukesage, to daily classes.) So far I have one iromuji awase (lined) kimono and another on order but no iromuji hitoe (unlined, for wear in June and September) or iromuji summer kimono. I'll need to get those and the accompanying lighter underkimono, but I'm not in a hurry. We stopped for lunch at Mr. Young Men in Teramachi; the okonomiyaki was fine but so far I've preferred the okonomiyaki I've made in the U.S. to the okonomiyaki I've been served in Japan, which perhaps has a more egg-y batter. On my way back to the dorm I stopped at one of Kyoto's larger post offices and was pleased to find that they have a service desk that's open all the time, including nights and weekends.

April 17

me at Koto-inThis morning I met up with a former chado classmate who lives in Kyoto but spent a year in the DC area a few years ago. She now has one- and three-year-old daughters, and with the older one we went to Imamiya-jinja, their neighborhood shrine. After walking around for a bit we stopped for some aburimochi at Ichiwa and proceeded to Daitoku-ji, where we visited a couple of the sub-temples, Koto-in and Daisen-in. My friend's daughter loved the space to run around. It wasn't very crowded since there aren't any cherry blossoms in this area, but there are lots of momiji, so in the autumn I understand it becomes very crowded. We went to Yubanzai Komame-ya Kotaoji for a delicious light lunch set including yuba (their specialty), tofu, and okara. This neighborhood is only a few blocks away from my dorm, so I can definitely see myself going back there when I'm in the mood for some healthy, elegant Kyoto cuisine.

This entry was originally posted at http://bokunenjin.dreamwidth.org/15436.html.


( 1 comment — Leave a comment )
Apr. 21st, 2011 06:37 pm (UTC)
Thank you
I am enjoying your postings of your Midorikai experience. It really takes me back. I will eagerly read your blog and hope I can learn more about Chado from you.
Take care,

( 1 comment — Leave a comment )