Japan Update IV


One of my very favorite Japanese pastry “UBESHI”.  I’m not sure if it’s available all over Japan or just in my region.  It’s made from MOCHI GOME.  These ones here (pictured) are bit different from what I used to have, since these are made by my sister-in-law’s step mom; they are wrapped in seaweed.  The ones my mother make have no seaweed around them.  They are both super.  Mmm, Yummo.


I’m loving farm fashion.  I think it’s very styling.


A colorful tea leaf harvesting machine.  I single-handedly decided to call it “Teaari Ake”, a cousin of “Optimus Prime”.


Teaari Ake, and its operators.


Teaari Ake at work.


Professional eyes inspect the first run.


I’m being good by staying out of their ways. (check it out more in VIDEOLOG)


Tea factory waits for new crop to arrive.


A very good friend of mine asked me what the story behind that trunk was.

I went back to the factory with my sister-in-law at later time and asked the owner of the house (the owner of the factory as well) about it.  I was pretty sure there was some kind of interesting story to it because…look at it.  It looks so cool and artsy, and that was why I took this picture to begin with.  He scratched his head and turned around and asked his wife in the kitchen, “hey, did we cut that tree because…why was that?”.  She yelled, “Bugs ate it and rotted away”.   I was like “Nooooo!”, but still hoping for some artistic reasons behind it, so I asked him again, “…and why did you cut it like that?   Leaving 4 feet of it above the ground?  It looks so cool and looks like a sculpture in front of your house and…”  Before I could finish my art-critic-like comment the wife came of the kitchen and said, “The root was too big to dig it all up, and cutting short-short was too dangerous.  We left it like that so you wouldn’t run into it”.   No art, but very practical.  I couldn’t help myself feeling some kind of disappointment.  My sister-in-law apologized, “sorry, there was no exciting story behind it”, and she chuckled.  Make matter worse, the wife asked me why I took a picture of it.  So I explained what I saw in it, I was like art this, art that, cool this, cool that…, and she replied “a-so”, and went back to the kitchen.  It’s sorta like “uh-huh”.  There was no romance in it, Annalee…

Your art is totally based on fantasy in your head, is that right?  I realized it in a very honest & humble way.



Two handed Akemi (my sister-in-law) and two of her hilarious friends.


Dinner time with my parents, aunt and cousins.




2 responses to “Japan Update IV

  1. Kenji,

    As always, your photos are amazing. You bring out the best in all your subjects. I love the picts of the parents…only you can break the ice and bring out that smile.

    Love the photos of the family – hopefully, we can make a trip to Japan and check out your family farm. I have no intentions to see the “city”…country is where you find the warmest people.



  2. Thank you Keith,
    I feel the same way about the country side “Inaka”. I think that’s where I’d like to raise my kids….


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