2013年05月09日

Japanese barrel, as it is called "taru", is made up of rectangular cedar boards tightened up with bamboo hoops and a cedar lid on it.

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Different from a Western barrel featuring a fat body, a Japanese barrel has a straight trunk. "Taru" Japanese barrel is used as a container for liquid such as "sake", "soy sauce", "oil" and "urushi" lacquer, and sugar or dried food. Taru had spread throughout Japan as a convenient container for marine transportation.
We seldom find taru today as this wooden container has been replaced with metal or plastic ones. However, wood-made taru is still used for keeping sake owing to its characteristic fragrance. Many taru barrels as shown in the picture were found in front of a well-known sake maker's factory in Kobe, where fresh sake is poured into the taru covered with a straw mat, what is called "komo", to be delivered across the country.
This traditional "saka-daru" sake barrel is used for dedication to Shinto Shrines in the New Year. In some cases, this is used at an auspicious banquet as a sign of beginning when its wooden lid is cracked with mallets by representatives, then sake in the barrel is served to every attendee.

Licensed tour guide/travel assistant,
Masahisa Takaki.

通訳案内士 高木聖久


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posted by masahisa at 11:27 | Et cetera | このブログの読者になる | 更新情報をチェックする

2013年02月20日

A tuna filleting event, what is called 'Maguro-no-kaitai show', can be seen in many places in Japan.

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'Maguro' tuna is one of the most popular ingredients for sushi in Japan. Each part of tuna flesh is called 'otoro', 'chutoro', 'akami' and so on respectively, according to the part of its body. The same is the case with beef in Western countries. Japan's domestic consumption of tuna is the highest in the world as that fish is loved as the ingredients for sushi and sashimi. Frozen tuna from all over the world and chilled tuna from off the coast of Japan are sold by auction at many fish markets across the country, among those Tsukiji fish market is the most widely known. Just auctioned whole tuna is filleted on the spot early in the morning and sold to sushi restaurants and fish shops by brokerage houses.
This filleting work has become quite a show in recent years.
A tuna filleting event can be often seen in front of sushi restaurants in Tsukiji fish market, as shown in the pictures, and big fish shops in the country to draw attention.

Licensed tour guide/travel assistant,
Masahisa Takaki.

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posted by masahisa at 16:31 | Et cetera | このブログの読者になる | 更新情報をチェックする

2012年11月29日

"Sudare" means a rattan or bamboo blind used as a sunshade in summer.

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It has been very important for Japanese people to spend a confortable summer as it's hotter and more humid with a more fierce sunlight than European countries as well as North America. To cope with the hot climate, Japanese houses are designed to be airy with large windows and partitions between two rooms as large as possible using "fusuma" sliding screens.
And so, sudare was invented in order to shelter Japanese people from the scorching sun through large windows, particularly in midsummer.
Sudare has long been used in Japan since the 8th century and is regarded as one of the special features of summer in Japan.
Strictly speaking, sudare is broadly divided into two types. One is "kakesu" as shown in the picture, which is used by hanging from the ceiling, and the other is "tatesu" used by leaning against the wall.

Licensed tour guide/travel assistant,
Masahisa Takaki.

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posted by masahisa at 16:09 | Et cetera | このブログの読者になる | 更新情報をチェックする