Saturday, November 17, 2018

Day 2305: Persimmons and a sketchbook.

Joe's prize: junk mail collage

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I thought I might share some eye candy from Japan?

"Peak Persimmon Drying Season Drapes Orange Curtains"

photo by Hirobumi Kakidaira

It’s peak persimmon drying season in Japan right now. 
And for Wakayama prefecture, a major producer of persimmons, that means that roughly 70 farmers throughout the town of Katsuragi transform their farms into what is reminiscent of 
Christo and Jeanne-Claude’s The Gates, a 2005 art installation 
of orange curtains hung through New York’s Central Park.

photo by Hirobumi Kakidaira

photo by Hirobumi Kakidaira

The reason early November is peak persimmon drying season 
is because dried persimmons (hoshigaki) are a traditional food 
that plays a central role in kagamimochi
a New Year’s decoration found in households across Japan.  
Kagamimochi is assembled by placing white mochi at the base. Next, dried skewered persimmons and, on top, a daidai orange. This structure is said to represent the Imperial Regalia of Japan: 
the mirror is the mochi, the jewel is the orange 
and the sword is the skewered persimmons.

a traditional year-end kagamimochi decoration (photo by makie sonoyama)

The dried persimmons is arranged on a skewer in a particular way. 
A total of 10 of them are skewered with 6 in the middle and 
2 on each side. This is important because, as in many cases, the Japanese love wordplay. Two (niko) on each end = smiles (niko niko) on the outside. Six (mutsu) in the middle = harmony (mutsumajiku) on the inside.

Persimmons are a special year-end for a number of  reasons. 
For one thing, they represent a good harvest, 
and allow the opportunity to be thankful for that. 
The persimmon tree is also a very long-living tree, hence symbolizing longevity. And lastly, persimmon (柿) 
can also be written as 嘉来, meaning ‘happiness to come’. 
Yes, more wordplay.

As mentioned here.
I have got a few pages started, 

Nothing that I am thrilled with, 

but it's a start. 

And I can always add, or collage over.

A work in progress. Like life.

A smile for Saturday ...

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