Dear newsletter readers,
Hello, this is Mitsue. How are you doing?
March has already half passed and the season is turning to spring. I always feel depressed in the beginning of spring because of a hay fever. My eyes are itchy and my nose is running with sneezing. However, I find many kinds flower in spring, and it is exciting for me!
There was an 'Ume' (plum blossom) tray exhibition last month in Yamato-Koriyama ruined castle, Nara prefecture. Some buds were not open yet, but I enjoyed the display with hanging scroll. The pale hue of Ume were so charming that I felt relaxed. After enjoying the display, I watched Saru-mawashi(monkey show) in the garden. The monkey is a 6 months girl, and she played so cute jumping, rope-walking, walking on stilts and bowing. She seemed to be pleased with getting rewards such as apples.
Saru-mawashi is a street performance handling 'Saru'(monkeys). It is held on special day such as New Year's day, festivals and happy events. 'Saru' also can be read as 'go away' in Japanese, so monkeys are said to be auspicious animal as 'bad things go away and get good ones'. The origin is in India, and conveyed to Japan in early Kamakura era (12c) through silk road.
So Saru-mawashi was held to go away the disaster and sickness from people and horses. Horses were very important for war and supplies transportation, and Saru-mawashi was established as a job in Edo era(1603-1867). Now, it is held as performance for peoples's entertainment also at a theater and on TV.
It is said training monkeys needs so much patience, because they use to live in a group and fight for a boss instinctively. So they sometimes become rebellious against human beings and become wild. So monkeys can play good performances by building up the relationship of mutual trust with trainers.
On the way back to a station, I found an unique aquarium of gold fish in front of 'Konya'. It is an Ai dyeing craft continuing from Edo era, and it is now regenerated to a space which we can buy Ai items and experience Ai dyeing. Yamato-Koriyama is also famous for goldfish aquaculture, and some events of goldfish scooping are held there. As for 'Konya', please refer to the HP below.http://www.hakomoto.com/english/english.htm
Today, I introduce you some pieces with cute goldfish design.