Grandma’s Stories and Recipes
Grandmas are part of Japan's intangible heritage who have wisdom to pass down countless stories and recipes to the next generation. Watch the documentary series of Japanese grandmas making Osechi, dishes eaten on new year's day.
Published January 15th 2018 on the former blog
When I was younger I didn’t listen too closely to my grandfathers stories which I regret deeply. He used to be held prisoner in Russia during the second world war. I only remember pieces of his stories that he would repeat often the older he got but we never thought of recording them. He passed away almost a decade ago. My grandmother on the other hand is still alive and turning 97 this year. She is a lot like the woman in the documentary below which I stumbled upon recently and fell in love with.
There are so many amazing stories those people could tell. They experienced a time of war, a time when parents gave away their kids to relatives because they themselves couldn’t take care of them, a time when getting by was the best there was.
The documentary series below tells the stories of some grandmothers in context of them cooking “osechi” which is a series of dishes cooked for Japanese New Year. Enjoy and if you’d like to see more check out their YouTube channel.
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STORIES BEHIND THE PIECES
Kiyoko Matsuoka, 4th-generation shibori master
Shibori, meaning “to wring, squeeze or press” is the process of shaping cloth before dyeing to create various designs on the textile. Rather than using the cloth as a two dimensional surface, the Shibori textile has a three dimensional element, given that each technique requires years of experience to master.
Hiromichi Nakade, Maker of Oryoki Bowls
Meet Hiromichi Nakade and Kazuya Fujimoto, the makers of the Oryoki and Kodaiwan bowls. A master craftsman sits with his former apprentice to speak about their hope for the declining crafts industry in Japan, as well as the appeal of craftsmanship.