Enjoy chopsticks! with plum blossoms Vol.1 "Wakasa lacquerware"

Enjoy chopsticks! with plum blossoms Vol.1 "Wakasa lacquerware"

Now, in Kyoto, plum blossoms are fully bloomed.
Even it is still cold, beautiful flowers give us hope for spring.


When we talk about plum blossoms, the theme of "Kitano Tenmangu shrine" is indispensable.


Kitano Tenmangu shrine is located in the west of Kyoto city where the God of learning, Sugawarano Michizane is enshrined.

Sugawarano Michizane was a great scholar but at the same time he was a politician in 9th century.

Some aristocrats got jealousy of him, especially for his talent and the power as a politician, so Michizane had a lot of difficulty for his work for the government at that time. He was talented person but he was un happy.

After the death of Michizane, a lot of disaster occurred, and people thought that it was because of curse by the spirits of Michizane.
This is why the shrine named as "Kitano Tenmangu" was established to enshrine Michizane.


As Michizane loved plum blossoms tree, we can see a lot of beautiful plum blossoms there.


In the 25th February of every year ,the festival of plum blossoms is held in Kitano Tenmangu for the death anniversary of Sugawarano Michizane. ( A long time ago, pelple celebarate the festival with the seasonal flower "Rapeseed flower, but the system of calendar has been changed, then we celebrate it with tea ceremony in enjoying plum blossoms which MIchizane loved so much.)


This year, as we have the difficulty to get together under the pandemic, we can enjoy only plum blossoms flowers quietly in the garden of the shrine without tea ceremony. If we see well the flowers, it seems that plum blossoms flowers also pray the end of pandemic with us.




So, now, we have to enrich the moment of "stay at home" in enjoying the plum blossoms flowers.




This life style might give you the tip to enjoy your life with different from others, for example, to prepare good Japanese meals and have them with good quality chopsticks!

■Origin of chopsticks, "Wakasa Nuribashi", Wakasa Laquerware


There are a several kinds of chopsticks in Japan.
Today, we will introduce the "Wakasa Nuribashi",a kind of chop sticks made in Obama city of Fukui Prefecture,100km northeast from Kyoto (1h 50min by car from Kyoto), you will be able to visit there when you come to Kyoto next time.

Wakasa Nuribashi is the origin of the chopstick culture in Japan which is made by wood or bamboo coated by Japanese lacquer with the beautiful decoration on the bottom parts; it expresses the undersea of beautiful Wakasa bay with the fine inside parts of shells which have various shiny colors, and traditional colorful lacquers in many layers.

Japanese traditional lacquers become transparent if you use them for a long time, the bottom decoration of chopsticks will get shiny and you can enjoy the pattern of shell decoration better.

If we talk about Japanese traditional lacquer, it is called as natural coating system. You can see a lot of Japanese traditional crafts coated by traditional lacquer, it makes not only smooth touch and makes but also great protection against the mold and humidity.

And, please look at the tip of chopstick.
It is so thin and called as "beak of crane".


This is because to use easily to catch food , like a piece of baked fishes, row fishes, and pickles.
As the shape of tip "beak of crane" shall bring you happy long life for the reason that it is one of the lucky item. The item  relevant to cranes are considered as the symbol of happy couple and longevity in Japan. If you are looking for some gifts for your family and friends, this kind of chopsticks would be great as a gift.


And, if you are looking for useful chopsticks for yourself also,  we recommend you ones have thin tips like "Wakasa Nuribashi", at the same time you can enjoy beautiful decoration.

Please see here if you are interested in good quality Japanese chopsticks.

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2月も下旬に入り、梅の花も見頃を迎え、雪に見舞われる日もあれば、春めいた暖かな日の訪れも増えているように感じられます。


さて、この時期、梅の景勝地としては北野天満宮が有名ですよね。
北野天満宮といえば、菅原道真公が神様として祀られていて、その命日である2月25日に梅花祭がとり行われます。


むかしは菜種の花をささげていたのですが、新暦になり花の時期が変わったため、菅原道真公が好んだという梅の花を代わりにし、梅花祭として親しまれるようになったといわれています。


毎年この梅花祭では、梅の花を愛でながらの野点の茶席、露店も出てにぎやかです。
しかし、今年はこのご時世ですから、北野天満宮では「花より団子」ではなく「団子より花」でございます。
シンプルに梅の花を愛でておりますと、静かに咲き誇る花々が人々の無病息災を願っているように感じられるのです。





こんな時だからこそ「おうち時間」大切にしたいですよね。
梅の香りを感じながら、たまにはちょっといいお弁当を・・・というのもよいではありませんか?


そして、できることならば、「ちょっといいお箸で」お食事をお愉しみいただくというのも粋ではありませんか?

ということで本日のテーマは『お箸』でございます。

 

まだまだ外出がままならないなか、心豊かな日常の食のお供に、そして春から新生活を迎えるご家族やご友人への贈り物にも、おすすめしたいアイテムです。

お箸といってもその種類は、素材やデザイン、形や大きさ、用途や好みに応じて、さまざまです。
そのなかでも、木や竹の素材に漆(うるし)を塗った「塗箸(ぬりばし)」は、
日本ならではの実用性のなかに美しさが込められた伝統工芸の逸品です。

その始まりは、福井県小浜市で作られるこの「若狭塗箸」。

虹色に輝くアワビ貝や卵の殻、そして色とりどりの漆を何層も塗り重ねて、
若狭湾の美しい海底を表現しています。

漆には、時をかけて空気中の水分と反応して透明になってゆく性質があるので、
使い込むほどに表面の光沢がつややかになり、下地の文様があざやかに浮き上がってきます。

また漆は天然のコーティング剤。
漆によって、滑らかな手触りや口当たり、防腐や防水にもすぐれた、
繰り返し心地よく使い続けられる箸となります。

若狭塗箸は、「鶴のくちばし」と言われるほど細い箸先が特徴でもあります。
焼魚やお刺身、お漬物などの和食を食べるのに最適ですし、
長命長寿の縁起物として贈り物にも喜ばれます。



『塗箸』は、外見の美しさ、耐久性、機能性を兼ね備えた、
お箸のなかでも素晴らしい一品と呼べるでしょう。
ぜひ、おうち生活でのお食事がさらに楽しくなるアイテムにお使いください!

ご興味のある方はぜひこちらから若狭塗箸を御覧いただけます。どうぞ!
 

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