• どうして日本には清潔グッズが多い?

    [From September Issue 2010]

    In Japan many things include the words “koukin (anti-bacterial)” and “jyokin (degerms)” on their labels. Most often, they can be found printed on escalator handrails and cleaning products. Japan also has toilets with built-in bidets for better personal hygiene. And, there are even some hotels and department stores that offer disinfectants in each toilet stall for people to wipe the toilet seats with. So why is Japan so obsessed with hygiene?

    The Takayama Green Hotel located in Gifu Prefecture is one place where guests can enjoy Japanese hot springs. Part of their service is the sterilization of their guests’ slippers. This service is available from 4 pm to 9 pm in front of the daiyokujou (the big communal bathing area). Guests who wear their complimentary slippers to the bathing area can enjoy the hot spring while the hotel staff sterilizes their footwear.

    “We prepare about 5 to 6 dusters (cleaning cloths) to wipe the slippers with. Before using them, we dunk them into a sterilizing solution,” explains KIMURA Hisashi, the person responsible for slipper cleaning. “We place 5 sets of slippers on the work table and then clean them. We spray rubbing alcohol all over them, and then wipe it off. We sometimes wash the slippers in water if they are very dirty. Then we place the slippers in rows ready to be worn. Afterwards, we clean the dusters in washing machines, and then hang them up to dry. The dusters and working tables are used solely for this purpose,” he adds.

    “We have 700 guests staying at our hotel on a busy day, and about 300 on a slow day. During the bathing rush, usually from 5 pm to 6:30 pm, we can get over 200 pairs of slippers,” says Kimura, adding that “many of our guests are pleased with our service, mentioning that this is the first hotel that they ever stayed at that wiped clean their slippers. On our guest survey, we see many comments such as ‘I was very pleased with the slipper-cleaning service,’ or ‘I wore them without any worry.’”

    “Japanese people are accustomed to wearing different footwear indoors and outdoors to prevent dirt from entering the household. Since slippers are often worn on bare feet, it is only natural to want a pair that is clean,” says Kimura.

    P&G Japan, which deals in various sundry products such as detergents and shampoos, sells the “Febreze” product line. Febreze is a spray-on fabric refresher that eliminates odors and degerms soft surfaces that are hard to wash, including sofas, curtains and clothes. Since its launch in 1999, approximately 300 million bottles of Febreze have been sold. Currently, the brand offers 38 different products including solid air fresheners and car fresheners with different scents for different occasions.

    The “Febreze W Jyokin” (double degerming mechanism) product has the same disinfecting power as sunlight. “It was created to ultimately solve the odor problem through sterilization. Not just limited to the deodorizing effect, we developed various products that would also be useful for the Japanese lifestyle, such as hanging laundry indoors,” says Marketing Manager, TAKENAKA Nobu.

    The younger generation has even coined the terms “fabu-suru” and “fabu-ru,” both meaning, “to use Febreze.” Additionally, a survey conducted by P&G found that almost 100% of Japanese housewives “know Febreze,” and that close to 90% “have already used Febreze product(s).” Now, many other companies offer various, similar kinds of degerming products. And because the word “degerming” is so often used on product labels, the Japan Soap and Detergent Association has created a standard for what kind of products can be legitimately labeled as having a “degerming” effect.

    “It is said that Japanese people are very sensitive to smell. One reason may be because Japan’s hygienic environment is in very good order, so people can sense the subtle smells of everyday life,” says Takenaka.

    TOTO Ltd., is the Japanese company that sells the “Washlet,” a warm-water, spray cleaning toilet seat (personal rinsing system similar to a bidet). There are many types of Washlets available today that include basic functions such as a warm toilet seat and a warm water cleaning system. These kinds of toilet seats were originally designed for the physically challenged, but TOTO Ltd., developed the Washlet for the general public and launched them in 1980. Other companies also started manufacturing similar toilet seats, and today approximately 70% of Japanese families now have them installed in their homes.

    Of all of these kinds of toilet seats, the Washlet does more than just spray warm water – it also allows the user to adjust the water jet’s pulsation rate, shape, strength and its angle of spray. These result in a better cleaning than a simple spray of warm water can deliver.

    In addition to the Washlet function, TOTO’s Neorest Hybrid Series toilets have even better features. They are made of a material on to which marks do not adhere, and that is specially coated for extreme surface smoothness. Moreover, the water flow is designed to rotate and clean the bowl while it is flushed.

    Another popular feature is that it’s easy to clean. The personal water nozzle is self-cleaning both before and after it used. And, the toilet lid is easily removable. These easy-to-clean and hard-to-stain product features are the result of continuous modifications based on users suggestions.

    “The reason why these toilet seats are so popular in Japan is because Japanese people are early adopters,” says YAMASAKI Akiko, TOTO’s PR representative. “Also, it is because we, the manufacturers, have a tendency to follow through with good products,” she adds. Those early adopters who have the passion for cleanliness, along with the efforts of the companies who try to fulfill their requests, is why there is such a clean, hygienic environment throughout Japan.

    Takayama Green Hotel
    P&G Japan
    TOTO Ltd.

    Text: SAZAKI Ryo
















    P & G ジャパン株式会社
    TOTO 株式会社

    文:砂崎 良

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  • 古都・鎌倉で開かれる外国人向け座禅会

    [From September Issue 2010]

    In 1253, when Kamakura (present day Kamakura City) was still Japan’s capital, the Kenchoji Temple of the Rinzai school of Zen was founded. “Zen,” which teaches universal acceptance, arrived from China and spread across Japan. TAKAI Shoushun, Kenchoji’s present Chief Priest, considers that, as one of its functions, the temple must spread the message of Zen to the world. With that goal in mind, he is offering “zazen-kai” (a Zen meditational retreat) in English for non-Japanese.

    Takai says that “Zazen-kai for non-Japanese,” which started last April, is held once every three months. He adds that “Kamakura is a historical city and there are many temples and other things to see. It is also rich in nature with the Bay of Sagami and the surrounding mountains. It is a popular sightseeing spot not only among Japanese, but also among non-Japanese tourists. If you are coming to Kamakura, I strongly suggest that you experience zazen.”

    The zazen practice is lead by three priests from different temples who are all fluent in English. FUJIO Soin, a priest from Dokuonji Temple, Yokosuka City is one of them. With previous experience working as a banker in New York and several other foreign cities, he says that “the explanation is made in English but the message is the same as in Japanese. The guests easily understand it since the desire to look within oneself is universal.”

    Although the basic posture is to sit cross-legged on the floor, seats are available for those who want, or need them. A 15-minute set is repeated three times. The proper breathing and gaze are explained in detail. Then, during the breaks, participants can stand up and walk around to cure the numbness in their legs. After meditating, participants all chant the sutra (hannya shingyo) together, which is written in romaji. Lastly, tea and confectioneries are served while the guests chat with the priest.

    Reservations can be made via fax. Last minute applications made on the same day are also accepted. A reception starts at 1 pm followed by Zazen-kai at 1:30 pm with the entire course finishing around 3:30 pm. The participation fee is 1,000 yen plus 300 yen to enter the temple. While everyone leaves the temple satisfied, Takai has greater aspirations: “We need to do more advertising. If the number of participants grows, we would gladly make it a monthly event.”

    So far, Kenchoji has practiced zazen with people from many foreign organizations. People of all nationalities and occupations, including managers of Western companies, psychology counselors, and research groups from the United Nations University, have all had firsthand Zen experience. Even Fujio has been lecturing at these retreats for ten years. Takai concluded by saying that “Zen Buddhism lies at the heart of Japanese culture. So through this Zen experience, I hope that Japan’s qualities will be better understood by more people from other countries.”










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  • 花と人を結ぶ花結い師

    [From September Issue 2010]

    TAKAYA, Hanayuishi

    Kyoto resident TAKAYA is a “hanayuishi,” one who decorates people’s hair uniquely with fresh flowers. Takaya invented the word himself to describe the concept of somebody who handles flowers like a stylist treats people’s hair. People who see his work are surprised at how many flowers he uses in his designs. His work has been reported on TV and in other media, bringing him much notoriety.

    TAKAYA was initially a licensed cook of French cuisine. When he was 24 years old he opened a cafe and started decorating the interior with flowers. That’s when he had the idea of creating floral hair styles. “I had a hobby taking photographs, and I imagined taking pictures of women whose hair was adorned with flowers, something I had communed with since my childhood,” he recalls.

    When TAKAYA was a cook, he was fond of food arrangement, a skill he acquired through training. However, his flower arranging was completely self-taught. “I don’t sketch designs. Each flower has its own face. Their conditions change by the moment. And, from the start, I considered speed as an important factor. During a bride’s wardrobe change at her wedding reception, I make it a rule to complete her hair design within five minutes so that it will not slow down the event.”

    For one hair style TAKAYA charges 50,000 yen. Many orders come from women who want to make their special occasion the most memorable day of their lives. TAKAYA charges 300,000 yen for two hair styles during a wedding ceremony. “Everyone has childhood memories of making flower rings with white clover. I would be glad if my decorating their hair brings back such memories,” he says.

    Although it seems like doing this type of work came easily, it was not always so. Because it was such a new art form – neither simple hair design, nor mere flower arranging – his work has sometimes been considered exceptional and other times received critiques concerning his techniques.

    “When I came up with the idea of “hanayui,” I had the image of a Paris Collection. Like producing a fashion show, I take into account the volume of the woman’s hair and face that I’m going to decorate with flowers in order to create a form that will wholly harmonize with her kimono or dress. Since I consider myself an artist, I get most satisfied with good results,” he says.

    TAKAYA’s skills, which accentuate a bride’s beauty, are garnering a lot of attention through his participation in designer KATSURA Yumi’s “Bridal Fair.” In spite of that, his intention now is to teach his staff so that they can eventually take over from him. “I’m aiming at an operation of bridal services that will be carried out by my staff independently. I’m now planning to offer classes to pass on my skills to the general public.”

    While his “hanayui” work is growing, TAKAYA is also conquering new challenges. “I’ve been actively engaged in performance art such as including “hanayui” in original, contemporary dance routines. I also have plans to collaborate with solo performers. I would further like to spread my work into magazines and advertisements too,” he adds.

    TAKAYA, Hanayuishi 

    Text: KAWARATANI Tokiko













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  • 家族で創るミニチュア・ドールハウスの世界

    [From September Issue 2010]

    Mini Chuubouan
    KAWAI Yukio and KAWAI Tomoko

    For the last 30 years KAWAI Yukio has been running the small factory that he took over from his father. In addition, he and his wife Tomoko also manage Mini Chuubouan, a small atelier housed in a rebuilt part of the factory. At this atelier, they produce and sell miniature kitchen utensils for dollhouses. Yukio is in charge of producing machined ironware while his wife is responsible for hand-making fake food and other small articles out of clay. Their customers come from all over Japan.

    It was because of Tomoko’s hobby that they turned part of the small factory into an atelier. “I’d been attending a dollhouse-making class, and I always wanted miniature pots made of copper, just like real ones,” recalls Tomoko. “When I asked my husband to make them, he agreed to, saying that we can try by making use of our traditional skills.” “Incorporating all of her requests, I made sample pieces one after another, and it took me a few months to produce exactly what she wanted,” Yukio remembers.

    The finished products were made of real copper or stainless steel, and their designs resembled those of real pots. Those miniatures were so well received by Tomoko’s fellow students, that they were soon flooded with orders. “Due to the recession, the amount of work at the factory had been declining, but we got busy with the dollhouse thing as if it was our main business,” Yukio says with a laugh.

    Most of their pieces are no bigger than a 10 yen coin, and Yukio makes them while wearing special magnifying glasses. He pays attention to every little detail by making patterns, smoothing out the surface and attaching the handles, but the machines he uses are mostly outdated ones that he inherited from his father. Yukio believes that his method adds more warmth to them, compared to the ones created with modern computerized equipment.

    Now even their daughter Asami, a fine art college graduate, is involved in their business. “In the beginning, she was just helping us out, but I guess she found it interesting,” says Yukio. “Now the three of us talk about things together when we are working or attending events.” Just like her mother, Asami also makes food and small articles by hand out of clay, and enjoys joining her parents at various organized events.

    Dollhouse artists and collectors can be found all over the world. This past April, Mini Chuubouan participated for the first time in an event held in Chicago, and came away inspired by dollhouse miniaturists from other countries. “We would like to keep creating items that can be highly praised not only in Japan but in other countries as well,” says Yukio.

    Tomoko says that the good problem they are now facing is that they are so busy that they don’t have enough time to create new items. She adds that their website receives an average of about 2,000 hits daily, and on weekends, when many people visit their shop or they participate in events, they just get too busy to do anything else. Despite this inconvenience, Yukio says that they don’t intend to hire additional help because they only want to produce pieces that they are completely satisfied with. “As a family, we understand each other and that makes the creative process work. But the most important thing is to make pieces that will please our customers.”

    Mini Chuubouan











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  • コハクチョウが羽を休め、はばたく地―鳥取県

    [From September Issue 2010]

    Tottori Prefecture is located in western Japan, facing the Sea of Japan. Abundant in myths, ruins, and nature, this prefecture is known for its Tottori Sand Dunes. From spring through autumn, the weather is mostly fine, but it does snow during the winter. Many Japanese people admit that they don’t know where Tottori Prefecture is, and as a result, souvenir T-shirts saying “Tottori is located to the right of Shimane!” have been sold.

    Tottori Prefecture has produced two famous manga artists. In Hokuei-cho, where the creator of Detective Conan (Case Closed), AOYAMA Gosho, comes from, you will find the Gosho Aoyama Manga Factory, a testament to his work. His manga is about a high school detective who solves difficult cases, but whose body has been transformed by poison into that of a small boy. Both the manga and anime movie versions are very popular. And, in the museum, you can attempt for yourself the same, locked-room murder trick that is depicted in his Detective Conan manga.

    Sakaiminato City is known as the home to manga GeGeGe-no-Kitaro creator MIZUKI Shigeru, and as the city of youkai (Japanese monsters). His manga features storylines in which the main character, Kitaro, fights against evil alongside his fellow youkai Medama Oyaji (Eyeball Father) and Nezumi Otoko (Rat Man), in pursuit of a world where humans and youkai can live together peacefully. Mizuki Shigeru Road, located just outside JR Sakaiminato Station, is lined with 139 bronze youkai statues depicting characters from his manga.

    Along the same road is the Mizuki Shigeru Museum where his work and activities as a writer are simply explained, making it an enjoyable time for people of all ages. Exhibits such as “The Workplace of Mizuki Shigeru” and “The Youkai Apartment,” where Kitaro lives, invite visitors into the world of youkai. The museum’s most popular attraction, “The Youkai Cave,” is a must-see. It showcases 40 different youkai all with differently-timed lighting and sound effects. There is also an audio guide service available for more detailed exhibit explanations, in Japanese, Korean, Russian, Chinese and English.

    Heading from Mizuki Shigeru Road towards Sakai Port about thirty minutes away, you will come to Sakai Daiba Park. Here, in spring, about 350 cherry trees blossom throughout the park, which are then illuminated nightly by a lighthouse. Next to the park is Sea and Life Museum. It’s an aquarium exhibiting 4,000 stuffed specimens and samples of 700 kinds of fish, crabs and sea shells. The specimens of a huge, 2.8-meter long headfish, and a 4.2-meter long great white shark (carcharodon carcharias) are both very powerful to look at.

    In Yonago City, located just next to Sakaiminato City, you will find the Yonago Waterbird Sanctuary, a protected wetland registered during the 2008 Ramsar Convention. With an area of about 28 hectares, the park is rich in nature, with a maximum of 10,000 wild birds of over 100 species landing there yearly from autumn through winter. From mid-October to mid-March, Bewick’s swans arriving from Russia can also be observed. At the park’s Nature Center, there is an observation hall with a huge, glass picture window, through which visitors can enjoy bird-watching to their heart’s content.

    For its citizens, Mt. Daisen is the symbol of Tottori. Standing 1,709 meters high, the mountain is home to beech trees, mizu-nara (quercus crispula) and hornbeams, and is inhabited by such rare, wild animals as golden eagles, hawk eagles and yamane (Japanese door mice). Near its summit is a cluster of Daisen kyaraboku (Daisen yew trees), which is designated as a Special Natural Treasure of Japan. There are also a number of camp sites and ski resorts in the mountain’s vicinity.

    The Shoji Ueda Museum of Photography, which commands a clear view of Mt. Daisen, exhibits works by world famous photographer SHOJI Ueda. In France, the birthplace of photography, the photographs he created are introduced as Udeda-cho (Ueda style), as they originally were in Japanese. The Picture Exhibit Room is the main attraction, where you can experience the feeling of actually being inside a camera. The museum also has one of the world’s largest camera lenses focused directly on Daisen National Park.

    One of Totottri Prefecture’s signature products is the Nijisseiki Pear. At the Nashikkokan (Tottori Nijisseiki Pear Museum) in Kurayoshi City, 11 exhibits, including pear trees with trunks 3 meters in diameter, explain the Nijisseiki Pear. At the Pear Kitchen Gallery, you can try pear samples and pear-flavored teas.

    Just next to Kurayoshi City is Yurihama-cho, you’ll find the Encho-en Chinese garden, Japan’s largest, and famous as the host venue for the Chinese Cosplay Convention, and other grand events. This Chinese garden was designed and built in Hebei province, China, then reconstructed here under the direction of Chinese engineers. With a total area of 10,000 square meters, this vast garden was used as a location for the TV drama “Saiyuki,” which was broadcast in 2006. Chinese acrobatics and martial arts, including juujutsu, are performed in this garden on a daily basis.

    The highlights of this tour are the Tottori Sand Dunes in Tottori City. As one of Japan’s three great sand dunes, they stretch 16 kilometers from east to west and 2 kilometers from north to south, with a difference in height of up to 90 meters from their highest to lowest points. The dunes were created by seasonal winds blowing sand from the Chugoku Mountains. They were magnificently formed over a long period of time and are now a major tourist attraction, one designated in 1955 as a national natural treasure. Located along the Sea of Japan, the sand dunes also overlook the ocean.

    On the Tottori Sand Dunes, you can see camels leisurely walking about and horses pulling carriages. On the dune slopes, also called “the horse’s back,” you can further enjoy sandboarding, a sport similar to snowboarding and surfing, where you slide down (the sand-covered hills) on a flat board. You can also fly over the dunes with a paraglider.

    OKANO Teiichi, who wrote “Furusato” (hometown), a song that most Japanese would have sung as a child, is from Tottori City. And because many other artists who have greatly contributed to Japanese music are also from this city, the Warabekan was established in 1995. Within the building’s retro-styling, you can listen to nostalgic Japanese songs and look at many toys.

    From Haneda Airport (Tokyo), it takes about one hour and 10 minutes to fly to Tottori Airport, and 1 hour and 15 minutes to Yonago Kitaro Airport. From Tokyo Station, it takes about 5 hours and 20 minutes to get to Tottori Station using Nozomi Shinkansen and Super Hakuto, and about 5 hours and 20 minutes to Yonago Station using Nozomi Shinkansen and Super Yakumo.

    Culture and Tourism Bureau, Tottori Prefectural Government

    Text: KAKUTANI Risa


















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  • 日本には英語のメニューがあるレストランは少ない

    [From September Issue 2010]

    Something that non-Japanese must find inconvenient is restaurant menus. Called “oshinagaki” in Japanese, the term “menu” is now also casually used. Nevertheless, most restaurants still only provide ones written in Japanese.

    What many restaurants in Japan do provide are menus with photos so that customers can see what food is available, however, it is still difficult to know what ingredients make up each dish.

    On most menus you will often see the following kanji: “肉” (niku) or meat, “魚” (sakana) or fish and “野菜” (yasai) or vegetable. Meat dishes usually include these kanji: “牛” (gyuu) or beef, “豚” (ton / buta) or pork and “鶏” (tori) or chicken. Most Japanese know these English words, so you can use them when ordering from the waiter/waitress, just in case you forgot the kanji.

    However, most Japanese do not know the English names of specific fish or vegetables, for instance, maguro (tuna), katsuo (bonito), negi (leek) and nasu (eggplant).

    Other important kanji to know are “ご飯” (gohan) or rice and “麺” (men) or noodles, as they are Japan’s staple foods. Also cooking terms such as “~焼” (yaki) or grilled/baked, “~炒め” (itame) or fried, “~揚げ” (age) or deep fried and “~煮” (ni / niru) or boiled are also essential. “甘” (ama / amai / kan) or sweet, “辛” (kara / karai / sin) or hot and “酢” (su / suppai) or sour are also often used.

    Regarding drinks, sake is usually written in kanji as “酒.” Sake traditionally means Japanese rice wine, but it can also refer to any alcohol, including beer, wine, whisky, shochuu, and so on.

    “O.cha” is generally translated as “tea” in Japanese. Usually in Japan, restaurants serve free drinks such as water “水” (mizu) and Japanese tea “お茶” (o.cha). But if you ask a waiter/waitress for “tea,” he/she will probably bring you red tea, for which you have to pay, just like coffee. So if you want free Japanese tea, please ask for “o.cha” or “green tea.”

    Most restaurant signboards written in Japanese read like “日本料理” (Japanese cuisine), “居酒屋” (izakaya) or pub and “寿司” (sushi). Inside some izakaya that many non-Japanese enjoy, there are more menu items written in Japanese on the walls. So, in order to truly enjoy Japanese food, it is necessary to learn a minimum amount of kanji.

    While katakana is generally used for the names of animals and plants, so can both kanji and hiragana.











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  • 炊き込みごはん

    [From September Issue 2010]

    Ingredients [Serves 2] 

    • 1 cup rice (use a rice measuring cup)
    • 200ml dashi (cooking stock)
    • 1 1/2 cup water
    • 3g shaved bonito
      (A) 1/2 tbsp soy sauce
      1/2 tbsp rice wine
    • a pinch of salt
    • 1/4 sheet abura-age (deep-fried tofu)
    • 20g burdock root
    • 10g carrots
    • 1 shiitake mushroom
    • 2 split peas
    • 30g chicken leg meat
    • 1/4 tsp soy sauce
    • 1/2 tsp rice wine

    When using a rice cooker:
    Follow all instructions up to (8) then use the rice cooker. Mix the rice when the cooking is done and the warmer is turned on.

    Tips on cooking a delicious takikomi-gohan:
    Add seasoning right before cooking, but beware of using sodium (salt) as it stops the rice from absorbing enough water. The cooked rice will not turn out soft this way.

    1. Make the cooking stock by boiling a predetermined amount of water, reduce heat then add shaved bonito. Bring to a boil once again then heat on low for 2 minutes, strain and set aside to cool.

    2. Wash rice. Pour rice into a bowl and quickly add water. Rinse briefly by hand then immediately drain the milky-colored water. Swish rice around by hand about ten times then rinse with water another 2 or 3 times or until the water is no longer milky. Drain with a colander then place it in pot with the stock. Set aside to soak for about 30 minutes.

    3. Pour boiling water over the abura-age to rinse off excess oil. Then slice it into 3 cm long, 3~4 mm wide strips.

    4. Shave the burdock roots into 1.5 to 2 cm strips. Soak in water to remove dirt. Then, drain with a colander.

    5. Peel the carrots then cut them into 2 cm julienne slices. Separate the cap and stem of the shiitake mushroom. Thinly slice the cap into 3 mm wide slices, and finely chop the stem length-wise.

    6. Remove the string from the split peas. Briefly boil (about one minute) then cut them diagonally.

    7. Dice the chicken leg into 1 cm pieces, then season with soy sauce and rice wine.

    8. Put (A) (soy sauce, rice wine, and salt), the meat and vegetables into the pan with the rice, and then mix just before steaming.

    9. Let sit to steam, then remix to loosen.

    10. Fill bowl 70~80% full, leaving space to sprinkle split peas before serving.



    • 米 米用カップ1
    • だし カップ1
    • 水 カップ1+1/2
    • けずりかつお 3g
    • (A) しょうゆ 大さじ1/2
      酒 大さじ1/2
      塩 ひとつまみ
    • 油揚げ 1/4枚
    • ごぼう 20g
    • にんじん 10g
    • しいたけ 1個
    • さやえんどう 2個
    • とりもも肉 30g
    • しょうゆ 小さじ1/4
    • 酒 小さじ1/2



    1. だしをとります。鍋に分量の水をいれて火にかけ、ふっとうしたらけずりかつおをいれます。再びふっとうしたら火を弱め、約2分煮出して火を止め、こして冷まします。

    2. 米をとぎます。ボールに米とたっぷりの水を一気に入れ、さっとかき混ぜ白くにごった水を手早く捨てます。手のひらを使いシャッシャッと10回程度とぎ、再び水を入れ、水のにごりがなくなるまで2~3回すすぎます。ざるにあげ水気をきり、米を鍋に移し、分量のだしに30分以上つけます。

    3. 油揚げは、熱湯をかけ油抜きします。3cm長さ、3~4mm巾程度の細切りにします。

    4. ごぼうは1.5~2cm長さに削ります。水に放し、あく抜きする。ざるにとり、水気をきります。

    5. にんじんは皮をむき、2cm長さの太めのせん切りにする。しいたけは石づきをとり、かさと軸を離します。かさは3mm巾の薄切りにする。軸は縦に細かく切ります。

    6. さやえんどうは、筋をとり、1分ほどさっとゆでます。斜めに切ります。

    7. とりもも肉は1cm角に切り、しょうゆ、酒で下味をつけます。

    8. 鍋の米に(A)(しょうゆ、酒、塩)と具を混ぜて炊きます。

    9. ごはんを蒸らし終わったら全体を大きく混ぜてほぐします。

    10. 茶碗の7~8分目まで盛り、さやえんどうを散らしてできあがりです。

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  • 村の診療所の医師がついたあるうそ

    [From September Issue 2010]

    Dear Doctor (Directed by NISHIKAWA Miwa)

    This motion picture was released in June 2009. It is the third feature-length film by director NISHIKAWA Miwa. She also wrote the script which won the Japan Academy Prize for Best Screenplay. SHOFUKUTEI Tsurubei who is a rakugo-ka (comic storyteller) and a popular TV personality, played the doctor, his first-ever leading role in a movie.

    The story is set in a mountain village where over half of the population is elderly. It begins when Dr. INO Osamu (played by Tsurubei), the only resident doctor at the only village clinic, suddenly disappears, and the villagers start to panic. As two detectives start investigating, some of Ino’s past is gradually revealed.

    Three and a half years ago, after a chance meeting with the village mayor, Ino was asked to become their resident doctor. He was very diligent in giving the villagers medical care, and along with OHTAKE, the veteran nurse, they even made house calls to conduct medical check ups. The villagers learned to respect him more than “God and Buddha.” Soon after, SOMA, an intern fresh out of a Tokyo medical school, arrived at the village. Soma also learned to appreciate the diligence and kindness Dr. Ino puts into his work and that all the villagers enjoy.

    One day, the widower TORIKAI Kazuko collapses. Dr. Ino and his staff rush to her aid after receiving the emergency call, but she insists that there is nothing wrong with her. Concerned, Dr. Ino revisits her again that night. Kazuko pleads with him, “Doctor, please lie with me,” as she wishes to avoid burdening her daughters, who have their own lives to lead. She even insists that her condition be kept secret from one of her daughters, herself a Tokyo-based doctor.

    Dr. Ino concedes to Kazuko saying “very well, as you wish,” but in return he makes her promise to take a gastroscopy test. Although he told her that she suffers from a stomach ulcer, he is concerned that she might have cancer, and so requests without telling her, a closer examination at a specialized institution. Her results reveal that she has terminal cancer. However, the doctor, not wanting to depress her, keeps the truth to himself. Then he calls upon his regular pharmaceutical salesman to take the same test, and switches the results.

    Kazuko’s three daughters then visit her for the first time in quite a while. Ritsuko, the doctor, realizes that her mother is taking pills and decides to visit the clinic. Ritsuko bombards Dr. Ino with questions as they look at her mother’s swapped gastric photos, and finally accepts the situation. After Ritsuko tells Dr. Ino that she’ll visit her mother again in one year, he suddenly jumps on his motorcycle and disappears.

    Despite their intense investigation, the police fail to locate Dr. Ino’s whereabouts. They soon find out that Dr. Ino had no medical license, after which the villagers’ concern quickly turns to accusation. Later, Kazuko is admitted into the hospital where Ritsuko works. There, a man wearing a white cap and a mask and serving tea to patients comes to her hospital room. Ino’s familiar and friendly smiling eyes make Kazuko’s face light up, as the movie comes to a close.


    ディア· ドクター(西川美和監督)








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