Ume Goyomi. Focusing on Ume-chan’s specialty, “manufacturing”, the series “Ume Goyomi” continued for about four years from the May 2017 issue. The trajectory of all 25 themes, all-in-one recording with many unreleased cuts and retrospective comments!
Umehara: 1. This time I will make plum syrup and plum wine. Choose a combination from several types of plums, sugar, and liquor. When I tasted the plum syrup, I was surprised to find that the flavour and aftertaste were completely different depending on the plums used!
2. After much deliberation, I decided to make plum syrup using “Shiro Kaga” and plum wine that combines “Purple Queen” and brandy. Next, carefully remove the stems of the plums one by one. Purple Queen is a small plum, so it takes a little time and effort, but I’m good at steady work, and doing it with concentration as expected.
3. Put the plums that had their stems removed into a bottle, add the syrup and plum wine, and shake the bottle lightly to mix them well, and you’re done! It is said that you have to stir it once a day. How did this plum syrup and plum wine taste like?
After this experience, I mixed it every day for about two weeks, as the store staff told me, and now it’s in the refrigerator. I use plum syrup quite often. It tastes good when mixed with strong carbonation. I drank plum wine at the end of the year, and it felt like an aperitif. But I drank alcohol for the first time in a long time, so the next day was hell (laughs). I wonder how many years it will take to consume such a small amount, but since there is no expiration date, I would like to drink a little bit the next day when I don’t have work (laughs).
The experience made me realize that I didn’t know much about ume, even though my surname has the kanji for ume. It may have been the first time I had actually seen the plums themselves. I like ume-flavoured sweets and such, but I don’t eat umeboshi that much, expect that I sometimes use it for cooking.
This time I went to Kamakura for filming, but it was really the first time in a long time that I went to the central area around the station. When I was still living in Nagoya, I once stayed at my father’s house, who was living in Tokyo at the time, when an office study meeting was held in Tokyo. I also went to the sea, but it was snowing, and it was really cold (laughs). But you can see the sea from the Kamakura Museum of Literature. I remember seeing the sea for the first time in a while. I stayed out in this cold weather. But some people surfed. The feelings of people who are attracted to the south. I feel like my understanding has increased a little.
- Wind chimes (May/June 2017 issue)
Making wind chimes was fun. However, I quickly realized that it was not something I could do well. There are three ways to make the kuchidama, which is the mouthpiece of a wind chime, and another ten ways to make a wind chime, so it was very difficult. As you blow in, you rotate the rod to shape it, but for me, the way the rod is turned is more important than the strength of the blow. Even if I had a good amount of breath, if you can’t turn it well, I would flex and contort and struggle.
I drew “Plum” after my name. I thought that I would not fail if I could draw almost everything in circles. The staff at the shop advised me not to try too difficult patterns, so I aimed for something that I could definitely draw. But I made some mistakes (laughs). I had been told that colouring the rim of the wind chime would make it harder to hear the sound, so I was careful, but I ended up adding some colour. As a result, I coloured 4 places to make it look like a pattern, but when I played the sound, it sounded low to my liking!
A few words:
4 years ago… how nostalgic. In addition to the wind chimes I made; I also received it as a souvenir. And I’ve been drawing plums since this time. It seems that the spirit of “If you are in trouble, just draw plums” had already started here (laughs). This is the first serialization, but I feel that I was able to create something that I had in mind.
- Indigo dyeing and weaving (July/August 2017)
At first, I thought about dyeing a T-shirt, but I thought it would be loungewear, so I chose a dress shirt that I could wear every day. In order to attach a pattern, you put a shirt over the marble and bind it with a rubber band, wrap it with plastic wrap, or crumple it into a ball and tie it lightly. It’s going to be a different pattern, but this time I tried it all over. I don’t usually wear blue shirts, so I’d like to wear this shirt for dubbing and radio recordings.
While weaving, I had a pain in my lower back, and I felt discouraged (laughs). It’s hard to think that the craftsman has been doing this work all the time. I made two coasters this time. Since I was able to do it in the same place as the indigo dying, I chose a thread that looks like an indigo colour. I have a Japanese style coaster made of wood in my house. When someone came, I only use it occasionally, but never used it for myself. So, this coaster I made this time is so cute that I want to use it a lot.
A few words:
I remember that the water was very cold when washed the indigo dye. Also, I felt like my back was going to explode from weaving (laughs). At my grandparent’s house, there was a sewing machine of this type, and the shape of the room was similar to that, and it made me feel a little nostalgic.
- Turkish lamp (September 2017)
It was a theme that I had wanted to try for a long time, but when I started making it, the work involved was much more detailed than I had expected. First, as an exercise, I line up the glasses on white paper and think about what kind of pattern I want to make, but it’s already difficult from here (laughs). The only colours and accessories in the house are dark brown and blue, so I decided to go with blue from the beginning. I had to work while anticipating the finished drawing from the design, and it was more tiring than I had imagined… Even with glass, it’s hard to spread the beads all over the place, and if you do it roughly, the beads will fall apart. The store staff advised me that it would look tighter if I put a darker colour on the outside. In the end, I ended up with a different pattern than the one I had made on paper first. After I made it, I looked at the lamps in the store again and I realized that I should have made them red instead of blue (laughs). The red lamp makes it look cool. It has an Asian feel to it, and I wish I had made it red.
A few words:
This lamp still hangs in my home study. It was difficult for me to figure out how to arrange the parts to create a geometric pattern. When I saw the finished product, there was more blank space than expected, so I think it would have been better to have more colours and more patterns.