Monday, March 21, 2005


So this is the first day of Spring. Perfect day for it. All the vegetation seems to be aware of the fact. I was out working in the garden yesterday when Mr. O., one of my up-mountain neighbors, a Kyoto weaver who is presently handpainting silk scarves, stopped by for a visit before going off to look for tsukushi (field horsetail, uisetum arvense), out of which he makes a delicious traditional candy, and mentioned he was planting indigo (my favorite traditional dye) this year for use in dyeing, he’d gotten some seeds from a friend, and I am interested. Turns out there’s also a professional indigo dyer down in the village, right on the other side of the highway, whom I now plan to visit.

Mr. O. later said he couldn’t find any tsukushi, it was a bit early yet he thought, so this morning on our walk we kept an eye out and found several little hidden groves of tsukushi in various stages of early development. Country folks here also enjoy tsukushi as a wild vegetable, and make a healthy tea of the fully grown plant, a concoction of which is also used to condition the hair. Makes a good natural scrub brush, too.

But an indigo dyer in the village. That’s good news. Very like Spring.

No comments: