One night during Session 2, Daimon-san brought us all to a nearby restaurant for a very nice dinner. It was actually our second visit there, and this time we sat down in the tatami room in the back. From where I was sitting, I could look up and see the framed calligraphy in the photograph below. The last character on the left especially caught my eye.
I’m pretty sure those kanji are read Wajyouryoushu. But, what does that mean? Probably something important for all of us who join the kurabito for our short stay on the MISBP. If I had to really hack the translation kanji by kanji, it might go something like this:
和 [wa] Harmony
醸 [jyou] Brewing
良 [ryou] Good
酒 [shu] Sake
There must be a much more elegant way to phrase this, but how about “Good sake from happy brewers”? I think it goes well beyond just happy though. Beau and others have already commented on the flow in the kura. And translating wa as “happiness” just isn’t right. “Contented” feels good but reminds me of a certain California dairy campaign that just isn’t dignified. “Peaceful” belies the amount of hard work involved.
If the MISBP motto is “The Best Way To Learn Sake Is To Make Sake” then maybe we can turn it around to also say that “The best way to make good sake is to know good sake”? “Love good sake”? I’m grasping at straws here, so I’ll leave it to the next crew to ask Daimon-san how he can best explain those kanji for you. Have fun, happy brewing, and wish I was back!
Since we seem to be in a list mode here on the blog lately, I guess I’ll try to tie together a few thoughts for future Interns. I’m sure I have forgotten something, so I might come back with a reflexive comment to myself. Please, add your own thoughts and pretty soon we’ll have a regular FAQ list for next year’s group.
Things I was very glad I brought with me
Things I didn’t really need after all
Things I wish I had brought
What did you forget? What did I forget? What should the next session bring along? I know there is something. Fire away with your comments.
Even as I went to dinner this evening with Daimon-san, Peter, Mei Ling, Vinod, Rick, and Margaux, the Yabuta had been filled and the fresh, new sake was flowing. If I walked through the back of the kura this evening, I could sit and listen to the brew burbling through the lines. You, Intarweb readers at home will have to make do with this snippet of video.
Blogging takes time, and energy.
For those who already finished Session 1, you know that the energy goes into the sake, and our time here is so short, that I want to spend it doing, watching, and experiencing. So, in between blog posts, I’ve been sending short notes and pictures to Twitter. It only takes a minute and I can do it right from the action.
All of my messages, or “tweets” can be seen at http://twitter.com/saketechan. Just visit there to see everything. If you like it, sign up for an account and you can follow me to get my updates easily anytime you go online or even on your iPhone. It is fun and easy, so please give it a try
The twitpic link will take you to a photo of just what was happening. It is almost live action, so check it out.
Yesterday, I met up with Rick smith of Sakaya NYC in Tokyo Station, we hopped on the Shinkansen, and chatted and Twittered our way to Osaka. After a short walk and a nice detour around around the neighborhood, we found Mukune-tei. A change of shoes, some hand washing and sanitizing, and then we got our hands in the koji. Read the rest of this entry »