Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Ikebana exhibition at Daimaru November 2011 生け花

Back in November my friend and garden expert, Mark Hovane, invited me to an Ikebana exhibition at Daimaru Department store.  It was wonderful to join the locals checking out the works, listening to the cooing and appreciative chatter.   Offerings from various Ikebana schools being displayed all in the one room provided the perfect environment for comparing the subtle, and sometimes not so subtle, style nuances between them. There were some incredibly beautiful traditional and modern works  - elegant, breathtaking, bold and thought provoking alongside some OTT,  "what were they thinking?" numbers... regardless they were all fabulous in their own special way.  

Before the event we stopped by a shop in Nishiki Market for lunch. They specialise in Kyo-Yasai (highly regarded Kyoto vegetables) and have a restaurant upstairs where they demonstrate how delicious their wares indeed are. 
Matsutake rice, potato in sweet soy glaze, dried daikon and carrot, Fried tofu stuffed with miso, vegetable ohitashi, soup and pickles
soymilk pudding at front, chestnut yokan in centre with fig on top, steamed matcha and kinako cake at rear

 the Ikebana...

Friday, December 16, 2011

Red moon and quince

If you have been subscribing to my blog or even reading the occasional post, chances are you know I have a new book coming out next year which I am pretty excited about but also still need to keep a bit hush hush with in regards to content. Its a publicist's and publisher's nightmare to peak too soon! Needless to say it has something to do with Japan....   I'm clearly not giving away too much there..

I am just starting to play with recipe ideas for the following book .... and last Saturday night I shared some potential dishes with a few of my friends here in Kyoto.  It was a great night with encouraging thumbs up  all round and the whole evening was made so much more auspicious by glowing red of the full lunar eclipse (and the Karin/Quince).  Here's a sneak peak....

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

BUTOH - Bridget Scott & Christopher Fryman Performance Alti Hall November 2011  ぶとう

I recall once boldly informing my friend, and Butoh performer, Bridget Scott that my impression of Butoh - for the most part  - was that it was a little self indulgent... That was based on a few performances by some less experienced types that perhaps went on for a tad too long... combined with my lack of any real understanding. 

Having now been fortunate enough to have witnessed Bridget performing on several occasions and also having attended one of her fabulous Butoh workshops to learn the basics and explore my own inner Butoh style - I can tell you that it is a mesmerising privilege to witness someone reach deep inside and reveal their soul in front of an audience. 

These images are from a recent event at Kyoto's Alti Hall as part of national Culture week - Bridget and her co-performer, renowned local musician Christopher Fryman, were hand-selected by a panel from the many who auditioned - quite a coup for a foreign duo - the only non Japanese to be included in the programme as far as I know. 

Bridget's next Butoh workshop is this Sunday 18th of December from 10am -1pm. It may already be booked out but if you are interested it is worth attempting to get a spot anyway - for reservations and directions contact Bridget directly on bridgetscottnow@me.com.  Do it now!!

I have only been to one workshop so far and it was one of the most grounding experiences I have had in some time. So not what I had expected to be honest. I really enjoyed it and it did push me out of my comfort zone in the most gentle way  - I highly recommend it. 

Bridget has been performing Butoh for over 20 years and is also a highly accomplished Nihon Buyoh dancer - that is the traditional Japanese dance that you might most likely have seen being performed by a Geiko (Geisha) or Maiko (trainee Geisha). A very talented lady indeed - and let's not forget what a fabulous Shiatsu therapist she is - more on that here

Anyway - here's a little taste of the Culture Week performance:

And below - some of the adoring fans including some of my favourite people in Kyoto...

Meet some of the gang - Kathy, Michiko, Christopher Fryman, Paul, Bridget, Mark,Tad, Elsbeth, Gary and Liz

oh and I snuck myself into a couple of pics too -didn't want to miss out on the group shot!
Congrats Burijitto san! xx