Monday, 26 December 2011

Loom to Go.

There are just too many looms in the house. I've collected a dozen or so old Kanagawa Takabata over the years. They were an easy find not so many years ago. Easy to spot in barn lofts and attics. Always missing parts and always slightly different from the others so spare parts had to be made from scratch. This one had to be over a hundred years old and like a three leg dog it got a little more love than some others that ended up as firewood.

Suzuki san is the infamous miser in the village. He had heard that I had bought a loom in the neighboring village and asked if I needed another. His grandmother had woven on it. It was black from the fireplace smoke. It was just pathetically rotten and eaten. As well as missing just about everything. When I loaded it on the truck and then went in for tea I asked him how much he wanted. I expected a "just take it" and I would hand him 10 000 yen and there would be show down to make him accept that. I laughed out load when he said he wanted 30 000 for it. I counted out three bills and told him what a great deal he was giving me. ( So he could grind his teeth all night that he didn't charge me more.) When he was young he was the only guy in the village who could read well. He worked on the board of education and he found out that the government was subsidising the mountain villagers to grow cypress that was needed for the rebuilding after world war two. He then leased all the land off as many willing villagers he could convince for a pittance and collected the subsidy money for himself. What a crook.
I love to hear the old stories from the villagers. Twenty one houses for hundreds of years...the same families and a whole spectrum of characters.

Anyway, I used the loom on and off and figured it was time to retire it to the wood stove. Takeshima san came to the rescue and it is now living in Adachi ku in downtown Tokyo! It practically fell apart as we attempted to dismantle it and lower it out the second floor window. Takeshima san will put it to good use.


  1. Suzuki san sounds a bit of a character!!

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  3. this reminds me of the "barn looms" around the countryside, big, bulky, and quirky, each one different. and most were relegated to the barn in the 20th century.