9 Kaminoyama: Learning to walk

Finished tying paper bags around grape bunches. A simple job which I overcomplicate by fussing over technical matters. 

“Tom, your tying is sloppy!”.  “You`re putting the bag on wrong!”. “Those are not even grapes!”.

The enormous size of the grapes still shocks me.  Giant green jewels drugged-up with sprays of the plant hormone gibberellin. Unnaturally big, too stretched and too surgical; too interfered with. Would make nice earrings though.

Afternon off: Relaxed in living room with farmer, supping wheat tea.  Treated to a cut of benibana yokan (saffron-flavoured sweet beanjelly). 

Handed one of his business cards revealing another of his faces. He`s a Green Knight of Zao, a guardian of the forests.

Told me about Noh, an obscure kind of religious theatre. He is a member of the local society.  Opened a glass case to show his collection of 70-odd Noh scripts, all written in hentaigana.  Taught me the art of walking, sliding our feet across the wooden floor.  It was easier than hooking horse shit.

Evening: Rain continues. Farmer and his wife drove to distant Sendai for regional meeting of the spiritual group they recently joined.  

Daughter drove me down to the valley for a bath.  Onsens either closed or packed full.  Water-pipes still not fixed in many areas. Took a shower alone in the stable. Creepy in the dark.  Just me and my 6 four-legged employers.

I wished them yoroshiku (good favour) for tomorrow morning.

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