Feb 25, 2012
But I have not yet learned Japanese and so the frustration I am feeling is of my own making. If it was really important to me to read these books, I'd be learning Japanese and hauling out my dictionary to help me understand what is written in them.
So many times we get frustrated with life, and rail against all the things stopping us from getting what we want. When in reality, like my frustration with reading and learning more about Chanoyu, it is a frustration of my own making. I have been studying tea for 30 years and I could be very fluent in Japanese and reading and translating these texts if I had been studying the language for 30 years as well. Sensei says, "If it is really important to you, you will know what to do and how to get what you want."
For those of you, like me, who do not speak or read Japanese, I have compiled a reading list to get you started in English. Want to know more? I suppose you could learn to speak and read Japanese.
Feb 12, 2012
Feb 10, 2012
Feb 6, 2012
Japan. It came in a beautiful black silk slipcase with an embossed kanji for Nihon on the outside. Inside the book cover is rising sun red with a simple white JAPAN on the outside. As part of the exhibition, you were given a clipboard and paper and encouraged to write haiku as you went around the gallery to view the photos.
He has done much more work since then, in France, San Francisco, England and all of them very much in the same style. I have several of his calendars that I turn over and over again. You can see more if his work here. And if you are so moved to purchase and support this artist, his publisher is Naraeli Press where you can purchase a calendar for this year.
He has returned over and over again to Japan, especially in winter and has published other books based on the Japanese landscape, most recently Hokkaiko. Also here is an interview with Michael Kenna talking about filming in Hokkaido in the winter. Enjoy
Feb 4, 2012
Last week I had an opportunity to attend a matcha tea tasting with the Aoi Tea company.
It was educational to see how they taste and grade matcha. To begin with, we looked at the tencha leaves. The tea plants for matcha are grown under shade, and the tender leaves are harvested, immediately steamed and dried. Then the leaf part from in between the veins are used.This is tencha, before the leaves are ground.
The tea is stored as tencha and when an order comes in, the tea will be freshly ground. Matcha comes in 30 or 40 gram cans. It can take an hour or more to grind enough tea for a can. Please store your matcha in the freezer or refrigerator. Unopened the matcha will most likely be good up to a year. Once you open the can, it will last up to 30 days if stored in the refrigerator. Opened cans of matcha will last maybe a week or so before they become oxidized. If you are buying expensive matcha, store it in the refrigerator or freezer otherwise you are wasting your money. Oxidized matcha that you don't want to drink can be used for cooking or baking.
Fortunately, I don't have to worry about storage. At my house, a can of matcha once opened rarely lasts more than two weeks.