Tuesday, 2 November 2010
Haven't Woven in Sixty Years...
Ogata san is 92 years old. She lives nearby and has come regularly to my Tuesday class for years now. She does indigo dying but it is getting colder and I am worried about her outside getting a chill with her hands in the indigo in the winter. She makes lunch for us all from whatever is in her garden. She still tills the ground by shovel herself and grows just about everything. It is not like, 'Granny is still pretty sharp.' No, this Granny is actually sharp. She is my bud and we drive around like old friends flirting with each other. I can't help but make cracks about her age. I was telling her how I will fix up my clay storehouse next to my house. "It is in good condition for 150 years old. Well, actually Ogata san it could be your older sister... " This kind of thing. She was already an adult at the end of WWII. Her grandparents lived in Edo period . They wore kimono and lived in a culture we can't really imagine. Now here she is coming to my place and studying traditional Japanese textiles from a Canadian. Nuts.
Something sad about it actually. I can't put my finger on it. Perhaps it is the depressing reality of my role in Empire.
We all love her. I've had this monstrous Finnish loom that I have no real idea how to use taking up half a room for several years. Today it started to function again. Ogata san wove kimono for many years when she was young for herself and her family. She hasn't woven in sixty years and a few of us were almost teary watching her give it another shot all these years later. I set it for a tweed and she quickly took it on a joyride and showed us what it could do. She later confessed that she actually couldn't remember the pedal sequence.