THE JAPANESE RUSTIC LIFE IN 1950S . 7

The nature, culture and living in a small village in Japan just after the last world war, reflected through the boy’s eyes.

Chapter 7 SMELL (1954,55)

Yoshiharu Otsuki (Sendai, Japan) and Yasufumi Otsuki (London)

1. NATTO( continued)
There are usually about 7 general (national, regional and the independent) TV stations – similar to the BBC, ITV etc. in the U.K. – in most areas of Japan. They broadcast various kinds of programmes – news, variety shows, comedy shows, chat shows, political debate programmes, sports, dramas etc. The limit of the diversity of the programmes has forced them to compete intensively with each other for viewers. Most of these programmes are similar or plain imitations of others. It is certainly true that standards fall with increases in quantity, and I think the same is true of universities and their students.
Among the popular programmes that every TV station has been keen to make are food programmes, which are mainly about eating out, not actual cooking. The low production costs are attractive to TV companies and they are able to get high viewing rates easily because viewers are able to enjoy watching them without any special knowledge. In a typical show, TV personalities visit interesting restaurants and make not overly critical comments about the food and atmosphere.
After people watch these programmes, these restaurants suddenly become very popular, of course. Also, there are programmes that specialise in foreign cuisine, and they visit famous restaurants in foreign countries. Typical dishes of these countries are featured, and the guests make comments, both positive and negative. In the case of programmes featuring British cuisine, their response has been mostly negative, while their responses to other cuisines such as French, Spanish, Italian, Vietnamese, Thailand etc. are mostly positive. Unfortunately, the same criticisms are voiced on websites here that post the comments of people’s experiences of eating out in various restaurants around the world. It’s difficult for most Japanese to enjoy typical British dishes such as fish & chips, steak & kidney pie, Yorkshire pudding etc. The taste is often not bad but we are often put off by the strong smells. I think the Japanese have rather delicate palettes!
Some Japanese chefs in the U.K. enjoy cooking English dishes. They prepare them carefully trying to tone down the strong smells and producing a lighter texture. Then they serve them to their English friends, who often praise their efforts, although they find the results quite different to the traditional versions.
Our instinctive impressions of smell and texture are often obstacles to enjoying foreign cuisine. People’s feelings about this are very personal, and so it might be useful to introduce a more scientific approach to the assessment of smells, for example.

There are many dishes/foods from around the world that have a very distinctive character. The most curious foods/dishes in this genre are as follows;
1. Surstromming from Sweden: tinned herring at 8070 Au.
2. Hongeohoe from South Korea; pickled ray at 6320 Au.
3. Epquire cheese from New Zealand: tinned cheese at 1870 Au.
4. Kiviak from Alaska in U.S., Canada and Greenland in Denmark: pickled seabird and seal at 1370 Au.
5. Kusaya from Japan: the dried fish (horse mackerel, flying fish etc. ) at 1267 Au.
(from Takeo Koizumi: ”Fermentation has almighty power「発酵はちからなり」.” NHK Human Lecture (2002))
The unit of Au is used to measure smell in a machine developed by Mr. K. Ebara, Prof. T. Koizumi and Mr. Y. Wakabayashi. Natto’s value of 452Au is low compared to the above examples, though there are some strange examples at similar values.  Chotofu is a bean curd dish from China that is challenging for non-Chinese to eat. It has an Au level of 400, the same as the level recorded for athlete’s dirty socks! I can imagine how challenging it is for non-Japanese to eat natto. Unfortunately I haven’t yet had the chance to eat all of the 5 dishes mentioned above. One of my friends gave me Surstromming as a souvenir many years ago. I opened the tin while holding my nose, and immediately everyone started to run away shouting, “What a stink!” Then my wife was brave enough to try to eat it, and made what must be a typical comment – ” It’s actually delicious if you hold your nose while eating it.” She also made other comments about the taste, but all I remember is the terrible smell!
I ate the 2nd one on the list, Hongeohe, while living in South Korea. It was served as one of several side dishes at a slightly expensive Korean restaurant. One of my Korean friends ordered it especially for me. The other Koreans at our table looked very happy and told me that it was one of their most expensive dishes. It was served as a dish of raw, white sliced fish, like sashimi. There was a strong smell of ammonia when I picked it up and when I brought it to my mouth, it actually brought tears to my eyes. Once I got over the smell, I gradually started to get the feeling that the taste was not bad, although one slice was enough for me.
I am afraid that I haven’t had an opportunity to eat any of the others, though I did have an experience of trying to get away from a bad smell I came across in a market in Taipei, Taiwan. It turned out to be Chitofu.
——————————-
All these are fermented dishes involving the formation of compounds from the amino group during the fermenting processes, and this causes the distinctive smells. Natto’s smell is nowhere near as strong as any of the 5 foods on the list, but it is still strong enough to put off most Europeans and Americans. People generally expect foods that are challenging to the olfactory system to be found mostly in Asian countries, but there are some pretty challenging ones in Europe, too – steak & kidney pie in England and Epoisses de Bourgogne cheese in France to name but two. Unfortunately I can’t find any information for the values of smell for either of these dishes.
Teras Grescoe, the author of “The Devils’ Picnic”, described in his book how hard it was to get good and authentic Epoisses de Bourgogne, as well as his speculation about why it is prohibited to import the cheese to the U.S.
I searched food related websites for comments about the cheese from people who had tried it. Most people who tried it said that once they got over the smell, they found it creamy in the mouth with a delicious fruity taste.
Is it well-known that Napoleon Bonaparte loved Epoisses, though nowadays taking them on public transport is prohibited in the whole of France! For an outsider, it’s interesting to hear the taste described as “the scent of God’s feet” in France, but as “the odour of pig’s feet” in the UK.
Steak and kidney pie is familiar to and loved by the British, but I was not courageous enough to try it, probably like most Japanese people.

2.  TABLE MANNERS
Traditional eating customs are different in every country, and sometimes what is considered right in one country is regarded as bad etiquette in another. For example, picking up bowls or dishes while eating is often considered rude in the West and Korea, while it is traditionally acceptable in Japan. In Western style formal course meals, each dish is served separately, and each one comes after the diners have finished eating the previous one. In Japan, several dishes are served at once and diners eat each of them alternately, similar to the way people eat Tapas dishes in Spain. When it comes to communal eating, maybe there is a similarity between Japanese meals served like this and Latin European/Mediterranean (including Turkey and the Balkans) Tapas/Meze meals.
There are 2 exceptions – the “Kaiseki” style of formal banquet meals, and the “Shojin” style of Buddhist religious meals. There are other differences in eating customs for example, slurping when eating various noodles and drinking green tea. There are several elements that combine to make a harmonious taste in any dish in any cuisine: 1. Over-all taste.  2. Correct temperature.  3. Appealing appearance.  4. The feel of the food when it touches your mouth.
The smell of the soup is much stronger when a noodle soup such as ramen is served hot, but hot soup is hard to drink without slurping it. The mixture of air and soup that is caused by slurping is thought to be less hot to eat due to the insulation layer that is formed between the soup and skin of mouth, and as it evaporates it enhances the smell. This is also the case with green tea.   Japanese cuisine has become much more popular around the world recently, and was also chosen last year to be included in UNESCO’s World Culinary Heritage. It relies on soybean based ingredients, dried seaweed, dried kelp, and dried bonito to produce delicate mixtures of salty, sugary, spicy tastes, and one more – “Umami”, which adds subtle character.
I heard that some chef at a prestigious Michelin–listed restaurant in Paris came to Japan to learn the secret of the Umami character in ramen noodle soup. Umami consists of a lovely smell and a delicate taste. It’s hard to explain in words, but you feel it when you start to slurp, rather like when you sip wine to try its taste before drinking.

3. THE FIRST CONDITION OFUNDERSTANDING ANDFEELING A FOREIGN COUNTY IS TO AMELL IT. (RUDYARD KIPLING)
As I mentioned before, my mother used to smell all food to see whether it was fresh or not. I seem to have inherited her habit because I am also quite sensitive to smells. Smelling food at mealtimes is considered to be rude in Japanese culture. That is why I have never done it openly, but always do so if I’m alone and nobody is watching.
I have always tried to avoid food poisoning, especially with lunch in the summer, by doing like this. The smells of a house often help me to get an idea of what the family is like, and I’m always curious about smells when I visit somebody’s house.
Most of my memories seem to be related to good and bad smells.
In the summer of 1983, on my first trip abroad, I visited Toronto in Canada to attend an international conference on powder metallurgy, and then went on to visit many companies in the U.S. My life was hectic for a few months before this trip, and I was only able to sleep for 3 or 4 hours a night. I caught a bad cold one week after arriving in the U.S. and because of this I became very sensitive to smells in foreign countries.
While walking in streets, visiting offices, walking through the entrances of hotels, staying in the rooms of hotels etc., there were different smells everywhere, though these smells shared a common character. I feel ashamed to admit this now, but I sniffed at the bed just like a dog does, and tried to identify the characters of the smell.
It seemed to be a combination of the smell of meat and milk. During my 2 weeks travelling in the U.S., I gradually became more and more sensitive to it, understanding it to be the characteristic smell there, and finally I couldn’t stand it when I left the U.S.
After that, I visited the US several times a year, and always noticed the smell. However, my sensitivity to it gradually decreased, to the point where I almost didn’t notice it if I was there for less than a week. At that time, we did not have the internet, and one fortunate aspect of this was that we could keep communication with our bosses to a minimum while we were abroad on business. Experiencing the smells of the US somehow gave me a sense of freedom.
The third country I visited was the UK. On the flight, I was quite excited to see what the smells would be like there. I thought the smells would be similar to the US but I was completely wrong. There was a fishy smell in London. I also visited other European countries. In France, I could not identify a characteristic smell for several reasons – it was masked by tobacco in Paris, my sense of smell was overridden by the beautiful scenery in Bordeaux, and I was just too busy in other cities. Rather than France, I felt Germany had a smell similar to the US, maybe due to the similar meat diet there.
As soon as I landed at Taipei airport in Taiwan, I wasn’t surprised to find there was a strong smell of Chinese herbal medicine. That made me wonder what kind of smell my own country had, so I primed my nose and paid special attention on the train form Narita airport to the center of Tokyo. Unfortunately, being completely used to the smell, I could not perceive its essential character. I tried to increase my sensitivity level to maximum but as the train ran along the seashore, I could only register a bad sea smell similar to that of Hong Kong.
As Mr. Kipling said, looking at countries through their smells is not only a good way to better understand their cuisine, it can also teach us many other things about that country.

3. FRAGRANCE
Natural fragrances can be refined and reproduced artificially to make perfume, incense and other products. The oldest article on incense in Japan appears in ancient documents. A fisherman from Awaji island near Osaka found an unfamiliar piece of driftwood on the shore. After burning it and finding that it had a good scent, he presented it to the emperor in April 595(AD/CE). Just after that year (around 600AD/CE), Japan started to send diplomatic missions to China and imported Buddhism, with incense being used as a tool of worship. Accordingly, now incense is mainly used in religious rites, and it is a usual part of Buddhist services. The priest and attendants put the fragrant tree powder into a censer located in front of the altar, or burn it in sticks that are placed in the censer while praying. (In the indigenous belief of Shinto, incense is not used.) It is a strong smell and I think that it was used to mask the odor of dead bodies, which can sometimes take a long time to prepare for funerals. The smell of incense is not as strong as it used to be, probably because nowadays it’s easy to get dry ice to prevent the odor.
The use of incense in areas of life outside religious rites appears at around the 8th century at the latest, though there is no detailed information. As it was very rare and expensive and had to be imported from China and Southeastern Asian countries at that time, its use was limited to the emperor‘s family and the aristocracy. Then, the Samurai class gained political power in the 11th century, and by the 15th and 16th centuries, its use had spread to a very limited rich section of the ruling class.
There were mainly two ways of using incense:
Firstly masking body odor and bad smells in rooms, and secondly as a game which involved smelling different kinds of incense. In both cases, the fragrance is produced by putting fragrant tree granules on a mica plate and placing it over burning charcoal. Perfume (liquid or paste fragrance) did not appear in Japan until it was introduced from the West in the 19th century.
At the time that the nobility started to use incense, the average air temperature was not as high as it is now in Japan, but the high humidity must have caused people to sweat more and have stronger body odors than European people. Even members of the nobility did not take a bath, so they used incense to reduce the odour. Just like with perfumes today, different characters and properties were attributed to each incense, and they were often an integral part of love stories. (“The Tale of Genji” – the oldest and best Japanese love story was written in the early 11th century.)
The second use of incense was in the guessing game played among the nobility, called ‘incense matching’ (“Ko-awase” in Japanese), and might also have started at a similar time to its more practical use described above.
Throughout the game’s history in Japan, it has been enjoyed by only a very limited number of rich people as a kind of an elite parlor game. Even now, while almost all Japanese have never heard of it, ‘Incense guessing’ (“Kumikou” in Japanese) is still played. Nowadays, of course, as well as having many native Japanese games, there are also many that have been introduced from the West, and so the incense game has become even less familiar.
Though I cannot explain it exactly, because I’ve only attended a game once, I will try to describe it. The host (or referee) prepares several kinds of incense, maybe about five, and selects one of them to be the thematic link of the game. It might be a particular flower if the game is held in spring, for example. The visitors (players) each smell the selected incense. Then they smell the other incenses one after another and try to guess which is the same as the first. The game is very simple, but there are two reasons why it is quite difficult for most people to give suitable answers. The first one is physical. Our sense of smell is not as acute as our other senses, though there are of course a small number of people who are very sensitive to smell, such as perfumers, cooks, and other workers involved in food making businesses.  The second reason is that while playing the game, you are supposed to make conversation based on historical events described in history books, or scenes from famous stories, which are related to the selected incense. This is the main theme of the game. (To put it in a way that might be easier for British or Western people to understand, you would have to explain your ideas about specific scenes from one of Shakespeare’s plays, and relate them to the scent.) For most people, it’s the lack of learning rather than the physical function of the nose that is the bigger hurdle to taking part in the game.
Besides this game, there is another way to enjoy incense by just smelling it. We actually call it ‘listening to the incense’, not smelling. People get together and enjoy talking about different incenses, their history and other related things.

Incenses are derived from the woodchips of trees of specific species growing naturally in Southeastern Asia.  They are very expensive and are only used very sparingly, and there is even one that has been preserved for more than 1200 years.
Having this long tradition of incense in Japan, one might conclude that the Japanese are particularly sensitive to odours. However, I question that after my experience living in Korea more than ten years ago. Koreans usually take a shower every morning and I never noticed that people smelt of anything in particular when I was living there. On the other hand, when sometimes I used to go back to Japan on business trips, I could not stand the odor of people in tube and bus. And when I returned to Korea, I found the smell of garlic everywhere overwhelming. It’s not fair to think of the smell of garlic as a bad odor, because it’s not considered so by Koreans and indeed, it didn’t bother me when I was living there.
After my wife became sick and was hospitalized in Korea, she complained about the doctors and nurses always reeking of garlic and being served meals containing garlic from morning to night. Even though she actually liked garlic more than me, the traditional Japanese dislike of strong garlic smells appeared when she was sick. Liking and disliking smells may be a very subtle and delicate thing, and may change depending on the situation.
THE END

<<< Showing again the story presented in Youtube >>>
Chapter6 SMELL (1954)
~~~~  FISH  ~~~~~
Japan consists of 4 main islands and more than 6800 remote islands. The biggest one, called “Honshu”, is thin and long and has high mountains in the middle from the north to the southwest. It looks a bit like New Zealand’s south island. The village where the boy lived was located near some of these mountains in northern Japan. It consisted of only 50-60 houses scattered on the top and the bottom of the mountains, and along the tributary of the Abukuma river that runs there. The population of the village was very small, and there was only one general shop. It sold basic items for daily life as well as dried food products, but no fresh meat or fish. The demand for meat was very small in the whole of Japan in the 1950s, and very rare in rural areas, and that meant it was quite usual not being able to buy meat in a shop like this. The village was about 20 miles from the nearest main port, and the rural road system was not good at that time. Accordingly, the shop only sold salted, pickled and dried fish, as the main intake of protein for the Japanese was traditionally fish. People in the village bought various kinds of fresh fish from a fishmonger ( Mr.F ) , who came irregularly by cart from the nearby town. Mr.F usually first visited rich families to sell the expensive kinds of fish and then sold the rest in the open space near the primary school at the village centre.

It was a special day that day. It seemed that there was a celebration party at someone’s house, and Mr. F. came with an apprentice to prepare more dishes than usual. He parked his cart at the corner of the family’s garden and started to set up the table, chopping board etc. Then he took the knives from the wrapping cloths and put them on the table. “Right, let’s start working – Hey, boy, get some water from the well.”, he commanded the apprentice.
In Japan, people engaged in the work of making something, like carpenters, plasterers, smiths, bakers, confectioners etc., as well as chefs and fishmongers, are categorized as craftsmen. They generally tend not to be talkative as they must concentrate on their work. Fishmongers are an exception because they try to talk cheerfully to show the freshness of the fish to the customers. Japan has many rainy days, and its many forests help it to retain the water, hence there are many wells with fresh and delicious water in most areas. It was possible to drink very fresh water in this village as well, and most homes had wells in their gardens. The richer families were equipped with a manual pump to draw the water, while not so rich ones like the family mentioned here had only a wooden bucket with a long bamboo rod attached to it’s side.

Mr.F started the main work while almost all the children from the village gathered around him, and they fought each other to secure the best place to see him. With a yell of “Here goes!”, he took out the fish from the wooden box. It was a big turbot about 1.5 feet long, and its huge size was very different from the small fish that the boy usually caught in the rivers and ponds. He scraped off the scales from it, cut it straight down the abdomen and took out the internal organs, then shouted to the boy, “Pour water on it.”  He cleansed it with clean water and wiped the water off the fish with a cloth, and then cut it into slices of about 2 inches thickness. This was for simmered fish in broth. The fresh smell of the fish spread around them, and it was completely different to the usual smell of the dried fish at the village store.  He placed the slices of the fish into the pan, which would be cooked by him after the cutting work was finished. Shouting, “Finished.” the boy thoroughly washed the chopping board and kitchen knife.
He said, “Next one.” and took an ocean perch from the wooden box.  This fish is also good for “simmered fish in broth”, and suitable for celebrations because of its red-coloured skin. In Japan, it is the custom to use different colours for clothes, bags and everything else, to suit the occasion. For example, red and white for happy occasions and black and white for unhappy ones, though black suits are worn by men in both cases.
He prepared it and then threw slices of it into the next pot while shouting loudly, “That’s it.” He clapped his hands while the apprentice started washing the cooking utensils saying, “Yes Sir”, and their interaction was quite artistic in its own way.
One after another, he took out various kinds of fish, prepared and cooked them, and the apprentice did his work. The last one was a sea bream, which is the supreme fish for celebrations. Of course, it has red skin and is fantastic for sushi. (Unfortunately, the boy had never had the chance to enjoy it until that time, as his family was poor.)  Mr.F removed the scales and inner organs from the fish, washed it, and then cut it into three parts – two pieces of flesh on either side of the bone, which was connected to the head and tail. At that moment, the fresh smell filled the air. Then, with a very sharp knife shaped like a Japanese sword (1.5 feet long and 1 inch wide), he quickly removed the skin and cut it into slices. The sharpness of the knife is very important for preparing this food, because if you cut it with a blunt knife it crushes the cells of the flesh, spoiling the taste. Using a sharp knife avoids crushing the cells and prevents the leakage of liquid from them, and it also helps to bring out the fantastic taste of sashimi(raw fish). Besides, you can feel the freshness of the smooth surface of the flesh with your tongue.
His skills of handling and sharpening the knife were exquisite. He placed the pieces of Sashimi along the bone connected to the head and the tail to make it look as if it were still alive, and then garnished it with grated radish etc. He made the sashimi at the end to minimise the risk of food poisoning by serving it as fresh as possible.
Now here is a question from the perspective of the children who fought each other to get the best positions around Mr.F. Do you think that they came to watch the fishmonger’s exquisite work? No, Mr.F brought the fish in the boxes with ice cubes to keep them fresh. The ice cubes became unnecessary as the preparation progressed. He washed them and gave some of them to the boys, depending on how he felt, and the boys were waiting for those moments. During the preparation, he picked up some of the cubes from the box and gave them to the boys, though not all of the boys received one – hence fighting between them occurred. Those who got some enjoyed a great time together, while the ones who didn’t just glared at the lucky ones. Even eating flavourless ice cubes was a treat for them as their village was far from the seaside and big cities, and their opportunities to eat real ice cream were very rare indeed.

As the work progressed and the amount of the fish and ice cubes became less and less, the boy started to become anxious that he might not be able to get an ice cube. Mr.F eventually favoured him but the boy didn’t want it, or rather his mother wouldn’t allow him to eat it. There had been an older brother before him, but he had died before the boy was born. He was not sure but he thought his older brother and sister had contracted dysentery after eating some kind of food that hadn’t been prepared hygienically. The sister survived but the brother died. Since then, their mother had been very cautious about food poisoning. She sniffed all the food at every meal and washed everything scrupulously. As fish goes off quickly, she worried that the fishmonger’s ice might have lots of germs, so she was strict about not allowing him to have any.
Mr. F was a very friendly man, and looking at the boy asked, “Don’t you want an ice cube?” Of course he wanted to eat it but it would have led to him being told off by his mother. On the other hand, he appreciated Mr.F’s kindness and felt he must respond. Pretending to eat the ice cube didn’t occur to one so young. To eat or not to eat:  That was the question! He was in a real quandary. Without realizing, he put his hand out to accept, but then snatched it back again. He watched other children enjoying the ice cubes. Finally, there were none left. There was nothing he could do but swallow the bitter spit that was rising in his mouth and cry silently. It is strange that he still remembers the fresh aroma of the fish vividly even today.

~~~~ FERMNETED SOYBEANS, OTHERWISE KNOWN AS “NATTO”~~~~
Natto is a fantastic food, though it can be a bit tricky to eat and takes time to get used to. As soybeans contain protein of a higher quality than meat, the Japanese government and media have been strongly encouraging the nation’s people to eat them. The main dishes made from soybeans are tofu/bean curd and natto/fermented soybeans. I think that tofu has already been widely accepted by people in the West. On the other hand, natto hasn’t. This is due to the strong smell and unique tactile quality that it has after the fermentation process. Even in Japan, it is not eaten much in the Kansai region, including Osaka and Kyoto, maybe for these reasons. For the people in the West, these obstacles seem to be more difficult to get over, hence it isn’t familiar to people in the U.K. either.
Recently natto was found to have many medicinal benefits, for example dissolving blood clots, and this greatly enhanced its sales. Well, what is natto exactly? The production process is simple: Washed soybeans are boiled, and then wrapped in rice straw. The beans are fermented by bacteria that are found naturally on the straw. Just by keeping it in a warm place (around 40 degrees C) for a couple of days, it becomes natto – that’s all there is to it. But the fermentation process is not always successful when using straw, and so the use of straw is not suitable for mass production. Hence the modern process, using the “Bacillus subtilis var. natto” instead of the straw, was developed in the 1920s. However, there are many people who still prefer the old method, which brings out a taste and aroma that is subtly different to natto produced by the modern process.
The best way to eat natto:  At first it just looks like ordinary dry beans, as shown below. Stir the beans with chopsticks until sticky fibres start to appear, as shown in second photo. The longer you stir, the better. (According to one well-known gourmet, Mr. Rosanjin Kitaoji, about 200 times is best, showing the appearance in third photo.)  After that, mix with soy sauce, mustard and salad onion etc., and then eat with freshly boiled rice, udon or soba noodles. Recently, some people even eat it with spaghetti. You need an adventurous spirit to eat natto, rather like you do with Marmite if you haven’t encountered it before!

Let’s go back to the previous topic. Various kinds of itinerant vendors, including fishmongers as mentioned before, as well as dancers and other entertainers came to the village irregularly. The boy’s mother did not trust the hygiene standard of the foods sold by these salesmen, and never allowed him to have anything from them.
One evening, after his mother got home unusually early, someone visited them unexpectedly just as they were about to start dinner. Holding their chopsticks and with their mouths agape, they stared at this man at the front door, which was at the end of the sitting room. His mother looked at him suspiciously and said, “Who on earth are you at this time of night?” He was a noticeably poor, old man, wearing worn out clothes, though not dirty. He hesitatingly came forward a few inches and took some food out from the furoshiki wrapping cloth on his shoulder and said, “I’ve got some natto and fishcakes and I was wandering if you would like to buy some.” “Sorry, we are not int….”, she managed to say before the boy shouted, “Mum, please buy some.”
After a few moments of silence she weakened and said reluctantly, “Ok, I’ll take 3 packs of natto.” As the boy enjoyed spending time by himself, he had acquired the habit of talking to himself, so he was surprised at how readily he had been able to shout out the words. He felt some kind of kinship with the man – they both lived in the same poverty, and they were both kind of misfits.
Not realizing that his mother considered the natto safer than fish, he couldn’t understand why she had allowed them to buy something from the man on this occasion, but as a rule refused to buy anything from itinerant food sellers. The next morning they ate the natto, produced in the old way and wrapped in straw. In general, people’s tastes are strongly influenced by family customs, the way they were brought up etc., and it is no wonder that he liked natto so much as he grew up in a region where it is very popular
After taking the natto from the straw and stirring it, it produced a strong smell. However, this is exactly why some people hate it. The amazing taste and consistency of its beans mixed well with boiled rice made a fantastic combination. He usually didn’t eat much, but this simple meal stimulated his appetite so much that he ate more than 3 bowls of rice.
Having liked it so much, he asked his mother to buy natto from the man on many occasions, but she never bought it for him again. She said it was because the old man looked too scruffy, but her real reason was probably because she was originally from an area near Osaka, where most people don’t like natto. This natto became an unforgettable taste for him – one that he wouldn’t enjoy again until he was about 40. He tried to make it by himself, but never came close to making anything as delicious.

Recently, one company developed a less smelly kind of natto, and it became very popular. Then another company made a similar product and started to promote and sell it in Paris, the culinary capital of Europe. They thought selling it aboard was a great idea for increasing its sales in the domestic market, and this new natto has proved to be a hit in Japan as well.
They probably also thought Western people might have a problem with its sticky texture, and developed one that was less sticky. They chose Paris as the first city abroad to sell it as the French are known for being “Foodies”. It’s difficult to imagine natto without its distinctive smell and sticky texture, but it will be interesting to see what the French make of it.
THE END

CONCERTS ON THIS YEAR (2019) & NEXT YEAR (2020)

               CONCERT SCHEDULE         revised 9th July 2019

             Concert Schedule  2019

                         The second half of 2019

July(2019)

25th July: Guildford cathedral in Guildford, Surrey. 11:15 – 12:00. 

          Violin: Fumi Otsuki,   Piano: Gina Kruger

  1. Edvard Grieg: Violin Sonata No.2
  2. Gabriel Faure: Berceuse
  3. James MacMillan: After the Tryst
  4. Ralf Vaughan Williams: Fantasia on Greensleeves
  5. Frank Bridge: Country dance
  6. Vaughan Williams: No.1 and 2 from 6 Studies in English folksong.

 

September(2019)

4th September: St.Matthew’s church in Westminster, London. 13:05 – 13:35.

      Violin: Fumi Otsuki,   Piano: Sarah Kershaw

  1. Edvard Grieg: 1st movement from Violin Sonata No.1
  2. Sarah’s piano solo
  3. Akira Ifukube: 2nd movement from Violin Sonata
  4. Leos Janacek: 2nd movement from Violin Sonata.

 

9th September: Christ church in Woking, Surrey. 12:40 – 13:20.

     Violin: Fumi Otsuki,   Piano: Sarah Kershaw

  1. Edvard Grieg: Violin Sonata No.1 Op.8
  2. Sarah’s piano solo
  3. Akira Miyoshi: 1st movement from Violin Sonata
  4. Elena Kats-Chernin: Eliza’s Aria.

 

11th September: St.Peter’s church in St.Albans,Hertfordshire. 13:00 – 13:45

     Violin: Fumi Otsuki,   Piano: Sarah Kershaw

  1. Edvard Grieg: Violin Sonata No.1 Op.8
  2. Sarah’s piano solo
  3. Akira Miyoshi: 1st movement from Violin Sonata
  4. Elena Kats-Chernin: Eliza’s Aria
  5. Akira Ifukube: 2nd movement from Violin Sonata.

 

30th September: St.Stephen’s church in Bristol. 13:10 – 14:00.

     Violin: Fumi Otsuki,   Piano: Sarah Kershaw

  1. Edvard Grieg: Violin Sonata No.1 Op.8
  2. Sarah’s piano solo
  3. Akira Miyoshi: 1st movement from Violin Sonata
  4. Elena Kats-Chernin: Eliza’s Aria
  5. Akira Ifukube: 2nd movement from Violin Sonata
  6. Leos Janacek: 2nd movement from Violin Sonata.

 

October(2019)

5th October: Lecture theatre at the library in Chesterfield, Derbyshire.11:45 – 12:30.

        Violin: Fumi Otsuki,   Piano: Sarah Kershaw

  1. Edvard Grieg: Violin Sonata No.1 Op.8
  2. Sarah’s piano solo
  3. Akira Miyoshi: 1st movement from Violin Sonata
  4. Elena Kats-Chernin: Eliza’s Aria
  5. Akira Ifukube: 2nd movement from Violin Sonata.

 

18th October: Holy Trinity church in Leamingtom Spa, Warwickshire. 13:15 – 13:55.

         Violin: Fumi Otsuki,   Piano: Sarah Kershaw

  1. Edvard Grieg: Violin Sonata No.1 Op.8
  2. Sarah’s piano solo
  3. Akira Miyoshi: 1st movement from Violin Sonata
  4. Elena Kats-Chernin: Eliza’s Aria

 

28th October: All Saints church in High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire. 13:10 – 13:50. 

         Violin: Fumi Otsuki,   Piano: Sarah Kershaw

  1. Edvard Grieg: Violin Sonata No.1 Op.8
  2. Sarah’s piano solo
  3. Akira Miyoshi: 1st movement from Violin Sonata
  4. Elena Kats-Chernin: Eliza’s Aria

 

November(2019)

16th November: St.Edward’s church in Roath, Cardiff. 11:00 – 11:55.

        Violin: Fumi Otsuki,   Piano: Sarah Kershaw

  1. Edvard Grieg: Violin Sonata No.1 Op.8
  2. Sarah’s piano solo
  3. Akira Miyoshi: 1st movement from Violin Sonata
  4. Elena Kats-Chernin: Eliza’s Aria
  5. Akira Ifukube: 2nd movement from Violin Sonata
  6. Leos Janacek: 2nd movement from Violin Sonata
  7. Gabriel Faure: Berceuse Op.16.

 

19th November: St.John’s church in Northwood, London. 11:30 – 12:00. 

      Violin: Fumi Otsuki,   Piano: Sarah Kershaw

  1. Edvard Grieg: Violin Sonata No.1 Op.8
  2. Akira Miyoshi: 1st movement from Violin Sonata
  3. Ralph Vaughan Williams: No.1 and 2 from 6 Studies in English folksong.

 

27th November: St.Botolph’s church in Aldgate, London. 13:05 – 13:35.

   Violin: Fumi Otsuki,   Piano: Sarah Kershaw

  1. Edvard Grieg: Violin Sonata No.1
  2. Leos Janacek: 2nd movement from Violin Sonata.

 

29th November: St.George’s church in Beckenham, Kent. 12:30 – 13:00.

         Violin: Fumi Otsuki,   Piano: Gina Kruger

  1. Edvard Grieg: Violin Sonata No.1 Op.8
  2. Akira Miyoshi: 1st movement from Violin Sonata
  3. Ralph Vaughan Williams: No.1 and 2 from 6 Studies in English folksong.

 

   Concert Schedule  2020

                                  The first Half of 2020

January(2020)

10th January.: St.Mary’s church in Warwick, Warwickshire. 13:15- 14:00.

         Violin: Fumi Otsuki,   Piano: Sarah Kershaw

  1. Akira Ifukube: Violin Sonata
  2. Sarah’s piano solo
  3. Edvard Grieg: 2nd movement from Violin Sonata No.1 Op.8
  4. Claude Debussy: En Bateau
  5. Eugene Bozza: Aria.

 

22nd January: St.Dustan-in-the-west church, London. 13:15 – 14:00.

      Violin: Fumi Otsuki,   Piano: Gina Kruger

  1. Akira Ifukube: Violin Sonata
  2. Ralph Vaughan Williams: Romance and Pastorale
  3. An Irish folksong (transcribed by Fritz Kreisler): Londonderry Air
  4. Eugene Bozza: Aria
  5. Claude Debussy: En Bateau
  6. Ralph Vaughan Williams: No.1 and 2 from 6 Studies in English folksong.

 

25th January: Gina’s house in London. 19:30 – 20:30.

         Violin: Fumi Otsuki,   Piano: Gina Kruger

  1. Akira Ifukube: Violin Sonata
  2. Ralph Vaughan Williams: Romance and Pastorale
  3.                                          The Lark Ascending
  4. An Irish folksong (transcribed by Fritz Kreiselr): Londonderry Air
  5. Ralph Vaughan Williams: No.1 and 2 from 6 Studies in English folksong.

 

February(2020)

1st February: St.Martin’s church in Dorking, Surrey. 12:00 – 12:40.

        Violin: Fumi Otsuki,   Piano: Sarah Kershaw

  1. Akira Ifukube: Violin Sonata
  2. Sarah’s piano solo
  3. Edvard Grieg: 2nd movement from Violin Sonata No.1 Op.8
  4. Claude Debussy: En Bateau.

 

19th February: Holy Trinity church in Stratford-upon-Avon, Warwickshire. 13:00 – 13:30.

         Violin: Fumi Otsuki,   Piano: Sarah Kershaw

  1. Claude Debussy: En Bateau
  2. Eugene Bozza: Aria
  3. Edvard Grieg: 2nd movement from Violin Sonata No.1
  4. Sarah’s piano solo
  5. Akira Miyoshi: 1st movement from Violin Sonata.

 

29th February: Waltham Abbey church in Walthem Abbey, Essex. 12:30 – 13:00.

     Violin: Fumi Otsuki,   Piano: Sarah Kershaw

  1. Claude Debussy: En Bateau
  2. Eugene Bozza: Aria
  3. Edvard Grieg: 2nd movement from Violin Sonata No.1
  4. Sarah’s piano solo
  5. Akira Miyoshi: 1st movement from Violin Sonata.

 

March(2020)

8th March: Fitzwilliam museum in Cambridge, Cambridgeshire. 13:15 – 14:00.

     Violin: Fumi Otsuki,   Piano: Sarah Kershaw

  1. Akira Ifukube: Violin Sonata
  2. Sarah’s piano solo
  3. Edvard Grieg: 2nd movement from Violin Sonata No.1 Op.8
  4. Claude Debussy: En Bateau
  5. Eugene Bozza: Aria.

 

11th March: Emmanuel church in Cambridge, Cambridgeshire. 13:00 – 13:50.

     Violin: Fumi Otsuki,   Piano: Sarah Kershaw

  1. Akira Ifukube: Violin Sonata
  2. Sarah’s piano solo
  3. Edvard Grieg: 2nd movement from Violin Sonata No.1 Op.8
  4. Claude Debussy: En Bateau
  5. Eugene Bozza: Aria
  6. Akira Miyoshi: 1st movement from Violin Sonata.

 

25th March: St.Luke’s church in Sevenoaks, Kent. 12:30 – 13:10.

     Violin: Fumi Otsuki,   Piano: Sarah Kershaw

  1. Akira Ifukube: Violin Sonata
  2. Sarah’s piano solo
  3. Edvard Grieg: 2nd movement from Violin Sonata No.1 Op.8
  4. Claude Debussy: En Bateau.

 

28th March: St.John the Baptist church in Barnet, Hertfordshire.11:00 – 11:45.

     Violin: Fumi Otsuki,   Piano: Sarah Kershaw

  1. Akira Ifukube: Violin Sonata
  2. Sarah’s piano solo
  3. Edvard Grieg: 2nd movement from Violin Sonata No.1 Op.8
  4. Claude Debussy: En Bateau
  5. Eugene Bozza: Aria.

 

May(2020)

13th May: St.John’s church in Chester, Cheshire. 13:00 – 13:40.

            Violin: Fumi Otsuki,   Piano: Sarah Kershaw

  1. Akira Ifukube: Violin Sonata
  2. Sarah’s piano solo
  3. Edvard Grieg: 2nd movement from Violin Sonata No.1 Op.8
  4. Claude Debussy: En Bateau.

 

June(2020)

1st June: Leicester Cathedral in Leicester, Leicestershire. 13:00 – 13:30.

      Violin: Fumi Otsuki,   Piano: Sarah Kershaw

  1. Claude Debussy: En Bateau
  2. Eugene Bozza: Aria
  3. Edvard Grieg: 2nd movement from Violin Sonata No.1
  4. Sarah’s piano solo
  5. Akira Miyoshi: 1st movement from Violin Sonata.

 

5th June: St.Chad’s church in Shrewsbury, Shropshire. 12:40 – 13:20.

    Violin: Fumi Otsuki,   Piano: Sarah Kershaw

  1. Claude Debussy: En Bateau
  2. Eugene Bozza: Aria
  3. Edvard Grieg: 2nd movement from Violin Sonata No.1
  4. Sarah’s piano solo
  5. Akira Miyoshi: 1st movement from Violin Sonata
  6. Edvard Grieg: 3rd movement from Violin Sonata No.2 Op.13.

 

18th June: St.James’ church in Paddington, London. 13:00 – 14:00.

    Violin: Fumi Otsuki,   Piano: Gina Kruger

  1. Akira Ifukube: Violin Sonata
  2. Edvard Grieg: 1st movement from Violin Sonata No.1 Op.8
  3.                         2nd movement from Violin Sonata No.2 Op.13
  4. Gabriel Faure: Berceuse Op.16
  5. Eugene Bozza: Aria
  6. Claude Debussy: En Bateau
  7. An Irish folksong (transcribed by Fritz Kreisler): Londonderry Air
  8.                        2nd movement from Violin Sonata No.2.

 

24th June: St.Nicholas church in Brighton, East Sussex. 12:30 – 13:15.

        Violin: Fumi Otsuki,   Piano: Sarah Kershaw

  1. Akira Ifukube: Violin Sonata
  2. Sarah’s piano solo
  3. Edvard Grieg: 2nd movement from Violin Sonata No.1 Op.8
  4. Claude Debussy: En Bateau
  5. Eugene Bozza: Aria.

 

July(2020)

16th July: St.Mary’s church in Portchester, Hampshire. 13:00 – 13:40.

        Violin: Fumi Otsuki,   Piano: Sarah Kershaw

  1. Akira Ifukube: Violin Sonata
  2. Sarah’s piano solo
  3. Edvard Grieg: 2nd movement from Violin Sonata No.1 Op.8
  4. Claude Debussy: En Bateau.

 

The Second Half of 2020

September(2020)

17th September: Portsmouth Cathedral in Portsmouth, Hampshire. 13:10 – 13:50

        Violin: Fumi Otsuki,   Piano: Sarah Kershaw

  1. Aaron Copland: Violin Sonata
  2. Sarah’s piano solo
  3. Charles Ives: 1st movemt from Violin Sonata No.4
  4. Michio Miyagi: The sea in spring
  5. Elena Kats-Chernin: Eliza’s Aria.

 

October(2020)

16th October: Unitarian church in Brighton, East Sussex. 12:30 – 13:15.

       Violin: Fumi Otsuki,   Piano: Sarah Kershaw

  1. Aaron Copland: Violin Sonata
  2. Sarah’s piano solo
  3. Charles Ives: 1st movemt from Violin Sonata No.4
  4. Michio Miyagi: The sea in spring
  5. Elena Kats-Chernin: Eliza’s Aria
  6. Aaron Copland: Nocturne.

 

                                Concert Schedule  2021

                                  The first Half of 2021

February(2021)

2nd February: St.Mary’s church in Potters Bar, Hertfordshire. 12:30 – 13:10.

         Violin: Fumi Otsuki,   Piano: Sarah Kershaw

  1. Ernest Bloch: Nigun
  2. Charles Ives: Violin Sonata No.4
  3. Sarah’s piano solo
  4. Michio Miyagi: The sea in spring
  5. Herbert Howells: Pastorale and Chosen tune.

 

7th February: Holy Trinity church in Gosport, Hampshire. 15:30 – 1630.

      Violin: Fumi Otsuki,   Piano: Sarah Kershaw

 

 

 

CONCERTS ON 2016 & 2017

         Concerts in 2016:

Fumi Otsuki(violin) and Petra Hajduchova(piano)-A.

Fumi Otsuki(violin) and Alessandro Viale(piano)-B.

Fumi Otsuki(violin) and Gemma Kateb(piano)-C.

  1. 9th January-From 12:00. St.Mary’s church in Slough,Berkshire. B.
  2. 15th February-From 13:15. All Saints church in Kingston-upon-Thames,Surrey. B.
  3. 25th February-From 12:45. St.Mary’s church in Aylesbury,Buckinghamshire. A.
  4. 26th February-From 12:30. St.George’s church in Beckenham,Kent. A.
  5. 11th March-From 12:30. Unitarian church in Brighton.East Sussex. A.
  6. 14th March-From 12:30. Christ church in Woking,Surrey. C.
  7. 16th March-From 13:00. Lion Walk church in Colchester,Essex. A.
  8. 18th March-From 13:15. St.Bride’s church in Fleet Street,London. A.
  9. 16th May-From 13:15. Clare College,Cambridge University,Cambridge,Cambridgeshire. B.
  10. 18th May-From 13:05. St.Botolph’s church in London. C.
  11. 23rd May-From 13:10. All Saints church in High Wycombe,Buckinghamshire. C.
  12. 1st June-From 12:30. St.Luke’s church in Sevenoaks,Kent. B.
  13. 2nd June-From 13:00. United Reformed church in Beaconsfield,Buckinghamshire. B.
  14. 11th June-From 13:00. St.Leonard’s church in Seaford,East Sussex. Fumi Otsuki(violin) and Howard Beach(piano).
  15. 24th June-From 13:05. St.Mary-at-the-hill church in London. A.
  16. 1st September-From 13:00. St.Mary’s church in Portchester,Hampshire. B.
  17. 14th September-From 13:00. Holy Trinity church in Stratford-upon-Avon,Warwickshire. B.
  18. 25th September-From 13:10. All Saints church in Marlow,Buckinghamshire. A.
  19. 8th October-From 12:30. Waltham Abbery church in Walthem Abbey,Essex. B.
  20. 21st October-From 12:30. St.George’s church in Beckenham,,Kent.A.
  21. 26th October-From 13:00. St,Peter’s church in St.Albans,Hertfordshire. A.
  22. 10th November-From 13:00. United Reformed church in Maldon,Essex. A.
  23. 19th November-From 11:30. Bromley Parish church in Bromley,Kent. A.
  24. 24th November-From 12:30. St.John’s church in Harrow,North London. B.
  25. 30th November-From 13:30. Chapel at the Royal Marsden hospiatl in South Kensington,London. A.
  26. 1st December-From 13:00. St.Matthew’s church in Redhill,Surrey. A.
  27. 7th December-From 13:15. St.Peter’s church in Bournemouth,Dorset.  A.

   

               2017

          The first half of 2017

   Violin: Fumi Otsuki,   Piano: Alessandro Viale

January:

 11th Jan.- St.Nicholas church in Brighton, East Sussex. Fr 12:30.

<Program>

  1.  J. S. Bach: “Gigue” from Violin Partita No.2 BWV 1004.
  2.  A. Dvorak: Sonatina G major Op.100 .
  3.  F.Drdla: Souvenir. 
  4. J. MacMillan: After the Tryst.
  5.  E. Elgar: Chanson de Nuit Op.15 No.1.
  6.  Fumi Otsuki: Theme and 3 variaitons.    

February:

<program>   February to July, 2017 except 18th May and 30th June

  1. J. S. Bach: “Gigue” from Solo Partita No.2 BWV 1004.
  2. P. Hindemith: 4th movement from Sonata for violin solo Op.31 No.1.
  3. F. Otsuki: Theme and 3 variations.
  4. A. Dvorak: Sonatina Op.10.
  5. J. MacMillan: After the Tryst.
  6. G. Finzi: Elegy.    

 13th Feb.– All Saints church in High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire. Fr 13:10.

 17th Feb.– St.Peter’s church in Hove, East Sussex. Fr 13:10.

March:

 13th March– Christ church in Woking, Surrey. Fr 12:40.

 18th March– Chesterfield library in Chesterfield, Derbyshire. Fr 11:45.

April:

May:

 3rd MayChrist church in Southport, Merseyside. Fr 13:00.

  1. J.S.Bach: “Gigue” from Solo Partita No.2 BWV 1004,
  2. P.Hindemith: 4th Movement from Sonata for Violin Solo Op.31 No.1,
  3. F.Otsuki: Theme& 3 variations,
  4. A.Dvorak: Sonatina for violin&piano Op.100,
  5. J.MacMillan: After the Tryst,
  6. G.Finzi: Elegy.

18th MayAxminster Parish church in Axminster in Devon on.12 :30.

  1. J.S. Bach: “Gigue” from Solo Partita No.2 BWV 1004,
  2. P.Hindemith: 4th movemtn from Sonata for Violin Solo Op.31 No.1,
  3. F.Otsuki: Theme& 3 variaitons,
  4. J.MacMillan: After the Tryst,
  5. Finzi, Elegy,
  6. Kreisler: “Rodino on a theme of Beethoven”,
  7. Elgar: Chanson de Nuit.

June:

 7th JuneSt.Luke’s church in Sevenaks, Kent. Fr 12:30.

   Due to traffic program problem, this concert was postponed to   28 Feb. 2018.

  1. J.S.Bach: “Gigue” from Solo Partita No.2 BWV 1004,
  2. P.Hindemith: 4th Movement from Sonata for Violin Solo Op.31 No.1,
  3. F.Otsuki: Theme& 3 variations,
  4. A.Dvorak: Sonatina for violin&piano Op.100,
  5. J.MacMillan: After the Tryst,
  6. G.Finzi: Elegy.

 30th June Unitarian church in Brighton, East Sussex. Fr 12:30.

  1. J.S.Bach: “Gigue” from Solo Partita No.2 BWV 1004,
  2. A.Dvorak: Sonatina for violin&piano Op.100,
  3. F.Drdla: Souvenir,
  4. G.Faure; Berceuse、
  5. E.Elgar: Salut d’Amour Op.12,
  6. Chanson de Nuit Op.15 No.1 . 

 

July:  

20th JulySt.Mary’s church in Portchester, Hampshire. Fr 13:00.

  1. J.S.Bach: “Gigue” from Solo Partita No.2 BWV 1004,
  2. P.Hindemith: 4th Movement from Sonata for Violin Solo Op.31 No.1,
  3. F.Otsuki: Theme& 3 variations,
  4. A.Dvorak: Sonatina for violin&piano Op.100,
  5. J.MacMillan: After the Tryst,
  6. G.Finzi: Elegy.

 

           The second half of 2017

Violin: Fumi Otsuki,   Piano: Alessandro Viale 

<Theme> “Fascinating worlds of Finzi and Holst”   

September:

 14th Sept.Guildford Cathedral in Guildford, Surrey. Fr 11:15.

  1. O.Respighi: Aria from 6 pieces for violin and piano P 31,
  2. P.Hinemith: 3rd movement from Sonata for Violin Solo Op.31 No.1,
  3. O.Respighi: Valse caressante from 6 pieces for violin and piano P 31,
  4. G.Holst: A Song of the Night Op.19 No.1,
  5. G.Finzi: Elegy Op.22,
  6. F.Kreisler: Rondino on a theme of Beethoven,
  7. E.Elgar: Salut d’Amour Op.12
  8. E.Elgar: Chanson de Nuit Op.15 No.1.

 

18th Sept.- Christ Church in Woking, Surrey: 12:40. 

  1. Ottorino Respighi: “Aria” from 6 pieces for violin and piano P 31,
  2. Jules Massenet: “Meditation” from Thais,
  3. Jean Sibelius; “Waltz” from 5 pieces for violin and piano Op.81,
  4. Gustav Holst: A Song of the Night Op.19 No.1,
  5. Gerald Finzi: Elegy Op.22,
  6. Fritz Kreisler: Rondino on a theme of Beethoven,
  7. Edward Elgar; Chanson de Nuit Op.15 No.1.

 

   27th Sept.Emmanuel church in Cambridge, Cambridgeshire. Fr 13:00.

  1. Ottorino Respighi: “Aria” from 6 pieces for violin and piano P 31,
  2. Jules Massenet: “Meditation” from Thais,
  3. Jean Sibelius; “Waltz” from 5 pieces for violin and piano Op.81,
  4. Gustav Holst: A Song of the Night Op.19 No.1,
  5. Gerald Finzi: Elegy Op.22,
  6. Fritz Kreisler: Rondino on a theme of Beethoven,
  7. Edward Elgar; Chanson de Nuit Op.15 No.1.

 

    29th Sept. St.George’s church in Beckenham in Kent,Fr 12:30.

  1. Jules Massenet: “Meditation” from Thais,
  2. Jean Sibelius; “Waltz” form 6 pieces for violin and piano Op.81,
  3. Gustav Holst: A Song of the Night Op.19 No.1,
  4. Gerald Finzi: Elegy Op.22,
  5. Edward Elgar: Chanson de Nuit Op.15 No.1

 

October:

 4th Oct. Christ church in Harrogate, North Yorkshire. Fr 12:15.

  1. Jules Massenet: “Meditation” from Thais,
  2. Jean Sibelius; “Waltz” form 6 pieces for violin and piano Op.81,
  3. Gustav Holst: A Song of the Night Op.19 No.1,
  4. Gerald Finzi: Elegy Op.22,
  5. Edward Elgar: Chanson de Nuit Op.15 No.1

 

27th Oct.Holy Trinity church in Leamington Spa, Warwickshire. Fr 13:15.

  1. Ottorino Respighi: “Aria” from 6 pieces for violin and piano P 31,
  2. Jules Massenet: “Meditation” from Thais,
  3. Jean Sibelius; “Waltz” from 5 pieces for violin and piano Op.81,
  4. Gerald Finzi;Introit Op.6,
  5. Gerald Finzi: Elegy Op.22,
  6. Fritz Kreisler: Rondino on a theme of Beethoven,
  7. Edward Elgar; Chanson de Nuit Op.15 No.1.

 

 28th Oct.Waltham Abbey church in Waltham Abbey. Fr 12:30.

  1. Jules Massenet: “Meditation” from Thais,
  2. Jean Sibelius; “Waltz” form 6 pieces for violin and piano Op.81,
  3. Gerald Finzi;Introit Op.6,
  4. Gerald Finzi: Elegy Op.22,
  5. Edward Elgar: Chanson de Nuit Op.15 No.1

 

 31st Oct.Holy Trinity church in Fareham, Hampshire. Fr 12:30.

  1. Ottorino Respighi: “Aria” from 6 pieces for violin and piano P 31,
  2. Jules Massenet: “Meditation” from Thais,
  3. Jean Sibelius; “Waltz” from 5 pieces for violin and piano Op.81,
  4. Gerald Finzi;Introit Op.6,
  5. Gerald Finzi: Elegy Op.22,
  6. Fritz Kreisler: Rondino on a theme of Beethoven,
  7. Edward Elgar; Chanson de Nuit Op.15 No.1.

 

November:

 8th Nov.Brentwood cathedral in Brentwood, Essex. Fr 13:00.

  1. Ottorino Respighi: “Aria” from 6 pieces for violin and piano P 31,
  2. Jules Massenet: “Meditation” from Thais,
  3. Jean Sibelius; “Waltz” from 5 pieces for violin and piano Op.81,
  4. Gerald Finzi;Introit Op.6,
  5. Gerald Finzi: Elegy Op.22,
  6. Fritz Kreisler: Rondino on a theme of Beethoven,
  7. Edward Elgar; Chanson de Nuit Op.15 No.1.

 

    16th Nov. St.John’s church in Harrow in Northwest London. Fr12:30.

  1. Ottorino Respighi: “Aria” from 6 pieces for violin and piano P 31,
  2. Jules Massenet: “Meditation” from Thais,
  3. Jean Sibelius; “Waltz” from 5 pieces for violin and piano Op.81,
  4. Gerald Finzi;Introit Op.6,
  5. Gerald Finzi: Elegy Op.22,
  6. James MacMillan: After the Tryst、
  7. Edward Elgar; Chanson de Nuit Op.15 No.1.
  8. F.Otsuki: Theme& 3 variations.

 

 18th Nov.St.Mary’s church in Slough, Berkshire. Fr 12:00. Cancelled

  1. Ottorino Respighi: “Aria” from 6 pieces for violin and piano P 31,
  2. Jules Massenet: “Meditation” from Thais,
  3. Jean Sibelius; “Waltz” from 5 pieces for violin and piano Op.81,
  4. Gerald Finzi;Introit Op.6,
  5. Gerald Finzi: Elegy Op.22,
  6. Fritz Kreisler: Rondino on a theme of Beethoven,
  7. Edward Elgar; Chanson de Nuit Op.15 No.1.

 

 30th Nov.Portsmouth cathedral in Portsmouth, Hampshire.  Fr 13:15.

  1. Ottorino Respighi: “Aria” from 6 pieces for violin and piano P 31,
  2. Jules Massenet: “Meditation” from Thais,
  3. Jean Sibelius; “Waltz” from 5 pieces for violin and piano Op.81,
  4. Gerald Finzi;Introit Op.6,
  5. Gerald Finzi: Elegy Op.22,
  6. Fritz Kreisler: Rondino on a theme of Beethoven,
  7. Edward Elgar; Chanson de Nuit Op.15 No.1.

 

December

    6th Dec. St.Alphege’ church in Solihull, West Midlands. Fr 13:10.

  1. Ottorino Respighi: “Aria” from 6 pieces for violin and piano P 31,
  2. Jules Massenet: “Meditation” from Thais,
  3. Jean Sibelius; “Waltz” from 5 pieces for violin and piano Op.81,
  4. Gerald Finzi;Introit Op.6,
  5. Gerald Finzi: Elegy Op.22,
  6. Fritz Kreisler: Rondino on a theme of Beethoven,
  7. Edward Elgar; Chanson de Nuit Op.15 No.1.

THE JAPANESE RUSTIC LIFE IN 1950S . 6

The nature, culture and living in a small village in Japan just after the last world war, reflected through the boy’s eyes.

Chapter 6 A CATTLE SHED (1954)

Written by Y. Otsuki (Sendai, Japan) and Y.Otsuki (London)

1. ANNE FRANK HOUSE
After the boy had grown up, he visited ANNE FRANK HOUSE on the way to attending an international conference held at Amsterdam, the Netherland.  While walking around each room, he spontaneously shed tears and felt depressed.  How Anne must have been seized with fear, how uneasy she must have felt living in hiding without knowing what the future held for her, how fearful she must have been in the car going to the concentration camp.  She might have even thought she would survive if she could hide for just another year.  Such sad scenes came to his mind one after another, moving him immensely.  After his tears had dried up, he left with what he considered was probably the standard feeling of sympathy that most people had after visiting the house.
On the way back to his hotel, he was looking at the leaning houses of Amsterdam and ruminating on how he felt.  He then realized that his tears had not been caused by such typical feelings of sympathy, but for altogether more personal reasons.
At that time, he had changed his job to seek an opportunity to develop what he decided would be his life work – a new solar battery.  His new company consigned him to the development of electronic parts, and in exchange he would also be able to work on his solar battery project.  His developments for the company were successful, though his own work did not progress as expected.  In comparison to other projects promoted by big institutions with ample investment, many researchers and advanced apparatus, he was struggling with a paucity of resources.  On occasions, he was even forced to improvise with kitchen utensils he had brought from home.  He always felt that he seemed to be walking along a country road pulling a cart, while other researchers rushed past him in fast cars on the highway or flying in planes.  While looking around the rooms in Anne’s house, he was reminded of his own predicament and how he felt trapped, and felt a similarity to Anne’s situation.  This was the real reason behind his tears, he concluded while walking along the streets of Amsterdam.

“No, No, that can’t be the reason I cried”, he had been telling himself throughout his stay in Amsterdam.  He was still turning it over in his mind when he was walking in Schiphol airport.  The reason why he was so troubled is that he had been brought up to believe that it was shameful for men to cry in public. (Recently, it seems to be different.)  And he felt his tears had stirred some vague memory, but he couldn’t put his finger on what it was.
‘Yes, that’s it!’ He muttered to himself while walking toward the immigration gate.  He had a sense of relief on the way home after finishing his work there, which resembled the feeling of freedom he had when he left his village with his mother pulling a cart loaded with their belongings to town when he was a boy.  That scene naturally reminded him of that village and the suffering he suffered at the hands of bullies there.  Leaving there held the prospect of escape from the bullying.  In the town he fortunately never went through anything as bad again, but the trauma he experienced in the village would have an effect on everything he did in the future. His student life was also affected but he was able to get by in daily life because he was able to hide behind other people to some extent.  However, such passivity was a considerable obstacle to surviving in a tough society, especially in the business field, so he tried to overcome it as much as possible. Imagining how tough Anne’s life must have been brought back memories of the trauma, which caused the tears.  Yes, that was definitely the reason.  He felt ashamed for the tininess of his capacity to overcome his negative experiences and also felt small because of the selfish nature of his reaction.
Still dwelling on it and feeling quite pathetic, he again shed tears at the immigration gate, causing the officer to look at him suspiciously.  He felt ashamed again.

2. LARGE FAMILY SYSTEM
By removing the wooden and paper doors which divided the house into rooms, the farmer’s house became a big open hall of tatami mats. There was a stage about a foot high at one end, from which tables were set up in several long lines. Food was placed for each person on the tables under strong lighting that made the room as bright as daylight. In the garden, people not personally invited to the wedding party, who were mainly children, were waiting to see the bride. The guests were wandering around the tables trying to find their seats by checking the nameplate by the food.  Before long, almost all the guests were seated in their allocated positions and waiting for the appearance of the leading characters – the bride and groom and the matchmaker(s). (usually a couple).  All of a sudden, a man started shouted angrily.
“This is the wrong seat. It can’t be mine.“ The atmosphere in the hall became  extremely strained.  The host of the party ran over tohim in a panic.  Everybody knew that something like that couldeasily spoil the party. He shouted louder and louder with increasing rage. Somebody whispered, “He always behaves like that. He really should try to act his age.” Although the people around him tried to calm him down, he would have none of it and the atmosphere worsened. Then somebody got up and went over and started to talk to him. The bright lights made everybody feel uncomfortable as theywatched to see what would happen.  After a while, he gradually began to lower his voice and the atmosphere settled down. The party then returned to its planned course. For the author, the place where one sits at such events is not completely without meaning, but some people pay undue attention to it, because they feel it signifies the position a person holds within the family clan.  And the person who persuaded the man to quieten down was the head of this kindred clan.
Just after the last world war, the USA adopted various policies to weaken Japan in order to hinder it from becoming a military power again. This started with constitutional reform. The main point of the constitution is its pacifist stance, which completely renounces war. (The author would like to assert that this constitution, longing for peace in the world, is something we can be proud of.)  In addition, they made policies to restrict the economic recovery of Japan by such things as dismantling the big financial combines, inhibiting the munitions and aircraft industries etc. The USA paid special attention to the agricultural industries.

The Japanese economy had been based on agricultural industries (mainly the rice crop), and the class system.  The feudal class system was nominally abolished in mid-18th century, but effectively, the economic and blood relationship of lord and vassal was maintained in farming society.  There were three classes of farmers: big landowners, who consigned tenant farmers to work their land; small landowners farming for themselves; tenant farmers. Among these classes, the big landowners and tenant farmers were the majority.  As big landowners were generally the heads of the clan hierarchy, they reigned over the tenant farmers both economically and from the point of view of clan relationship. They were able to grow crops efficiently with a very low labor cost, in the same manner that countries governed by the colonial policies of European countries had been able to. The Japanese economy was supported by this mass production farming. The USA effectively saved the majority of tenant farmers from poverty by making the landowners sell the land to them cheaply, thereby democratizing farming society. This was actually aimed at weakening the economic power of farming by reducing its scale, and it met with great success. Even now, the international competitiveness of Japanese agriculture remains thoroughly weakened, and the rate of self-sufficiency in food production is the lowest by far among developed countries.
In regard to the clan, as is probably the case in all countries, the first in the bloodline   became the head, and the hierarchy was settled with the development of the clan. With the passage of time and changes brought on by war, starvation, economic collapse etc., its order has disintegrated and become unclear. One way that clan heads have tried to maintain the system is by identifying the order of the family with the seating positions on ceremonial occasions like weddings, funerals, the formal exchange of new year greetings, and other religious and community meetings.
With the onset of industrialization, other than the eldest son, a farmer’s children tended to leave the village to get jobs in factories, and then their offspring stayed in the cities.  Now annually, in the long holidays like New Year, the beginning of May, and mid-August, many people who originally left rural areas simultaneously return to their birth places to see their parents. This ”racial” migration results in long traffic jams. ( Similar phenomena are seen in Korea, China and among people working in the EU, like Turks.)  They usually tend to go back to the home of the parents on the fathers’ side, and increasingly less often pay a visit to the home of the clan head while they are there.   This indicates that the extended family system has very much declined, bringing about the abolition of feudalism and the establishment of individual equality. On the other hand, this weakening of family solidarity has lead to other social problems with things like children’s education and care for the aged, and a general decline in social communication.

3.SILK
Silk is a long protein filament made of silkworm cocoon. Its production is said to have started in China between 3000-6000BC. Successive Chinese dynasties made sericultural know-how secret and exported only silk fabrics to foreign countries, along a route that became known as the Silk Road. Around the 4th century AD, the manufacturing method of sericulture circulated around India and Japan, and reached western countries in the 6th century. There is a story that a king of Turkestan took a Chinese bride in order to gain the secret of silk’s production. He is said to have asked his wife to hide silk worm eggs in her hair, and so sericulture came to the Western world.

In regard to Japan, hemp was the only material for clothing before silk was imported.  And then, as domestic products of silk were lower in quality than imported material, it was very expensive and was used mainly by the noble class, including the emperor and his family, until the 17th century. At this time, the quality of domestic silk was improved and its use spread amongst high class Samurai and the rich merchant class. In the Edo era(1600-1867), the shogun(head of the Samurai) governed the country, and the nationwide economy came to be practically controlled by the merchant class. From that time, the merchant class clearly became richer than the Samurai class. Whenever the government faced economic failure due to starvation or overspending, it ordered the people not to wear silk as an example of financial restraint. The merchants then wore clothing with an outer layer of plain cotton and a lining of gorgeous silk, which became the vogue.
So what did commoners wear? Although paper had been used for clothing before the 10th century, they basically used to endure the cold weather wearing unwarm hemp clothing, until the mass production of cotton spread in the 16th century.

The new government, started in1867, found that the former government had almost entirely exhausted the national treasury. The policy of abolishing national isolation and opening the door to foreign countries was decided by the former government just before the revolution, and this lead to the nation facing the threat of aggression by western powers, as China had at that time. Therefore, obtaining armaments became the most urgent task for the new government, so they started to develop sericulture to finance the army. At that time, farmers nationwide were engaged in its production. Incidentally, the farmers in the boy’s district had already been raising silkworms from the 17th century.

The silkworm metamorphoses 4 times in the steps of egg  larva  pupa  moth, and the larva sheds 4 times to accommodate the growth of the body. Then, after the final shedding, the larva vomits a very thin thread from its mouth to make a spherical oval shelter (cocoon) around it and becomes a pupa. In a state of near-sleep, the pupa transforms into a moth, which bites and tears the cocoon to come out.  The silk worm is a domesticated creature and unable to fly or escape from predators, so there is no chance that it could survive in the wild. The moth lays about five hundred eggs after mating and dies after about ten days.

There are four production periods – spring silk (April – June), summer silk (July), autumnal silk (August), late autumnal silk (September and October). In the approximately one month it takes for the production of the silk cocoon, farmers raise larvae into pupas to make cocoons and kill them by drying, and then ship the cocoons to the silk mills. These production processes – feeding the worms 5-8 times a day till the cocoon forms, removing excreta, cleaning the beds, treating the cocoons, cultivating the mulberry, collecting the leaves and shipping the cocoons – involve a lot of hard work.
In the 19th century, when silk production was at its peak, about 25% of farmers in Japan were occupied in the business and silk mills were built all over the country. One of them was the Tomioka silk mill, which functioned as the main factory for developing production techniques and transferring them to other factories. It was registered as a UNESCO World Heritage site in 2014, from the viewpoint of its cultural importance in the industrial modernization of Japan.
Now, sericulture in Japan has declined to the point where the number of silk farmers is only about five hundred. This was partly due to losing out to Chinese silk in cost competition, but mainly because all the major applications of silk have been replaced by chemical fibers. The farmer described at the head of the Youtube version(the boy’s father’s father) had already given up silkworm farming a long time before and tried many other kinds of agriculture like forestry, tobacco and konjac (a kind of root)cultivation, dairy farming etc. Affected by the abnormality of the policies of the ministry of agriculture and its affiliated organizations, his case has been common among farmers in Japan. In other words, the US policy mentioned earlier was so influential that the Japanese government has not been able to rebuild a competitive agricultural sector. Of course, many farmers have made prosperous businesses through their own endeavors, but their number is still too few to allow Japanese agriculture to survive among world competition. At present, the government is pushing work forward to conclude the free trade agreement(TPP) with many countries around the Pacific rim.  This would be advantageous to some industries, but there is a concern that it would deliver a fatal blow to agricultural businesses.
The End

<<< Showing again the story presented in Youtube >>>

A CATTLE SHED (1954)
The terrain was hilly, three hundreds feet above sea level and covered by tall dark green trees.  The pathway ran along a deep ravine meandering through the bottom of the forest.  The small terraced fields of rice and other crops located here and there spread from the ravine to the top of the hill. There was a village of several farming houses in an open area and other individual houses dotted around the village at a distance of about three hundreds feet from each other.

Under the clear autumnal sky, the boy, his mother and sister were walking up a narrow slope between the fields up to a farming house.  As they had been walking since visiting a graveyard about one mile far from there, they were sweating even in the cold wind.
At the end of the slope, five stone steps lead to the yard of the farming house.  The boy glanced up to the yard while following his family up the steps and shouted, “ What’s that?”  A big greenish snake of about five feet in length was crawling slowly in the center of the yard.  He cried, “It’s a Japanese rat snake.” (Elaphe climacophora) He was usually not afraid of snakes because he’d been used to the sight of them since he was a baby, but it was so big and bulging with the chicken eggs in it that he felt he might be swallowed up by it and unintentionally clung to his mother’s hand.  His mother and sister, however, did not seem to mind at all and sat at the edge of the veranda talking to the farmer’s family. Even the dog did not bark at it.
One member of the farmer’s family told him, “ That snake is the guardian god of this house.  It never does any harm to our family – and it’s a better mouser than this cat, though it sometimes swallows eggs, like today.  It is one of a pair of Japanese rat snakes that live in the attic of the warehouse.  On warm days you can sometimes see them hanging down the wall of the house from their nest basking in the sun.  Of course, they sometimes make a trip over to the attic of the main house to catch rats.”  Though the boy understood what he said, he could not easily get rid of his fear of the big snake.  Farming coexisted harmoniously with animals and plants like that.

As one of the rites in Japanese Buddhism, almost all families visit their family grave in the week around the equinox.  By faithfully observing this rite, they believe that they will be able
to go to join deceased relatives in heaven after death.

The boy’s family had also regularly visited his father’s parents’ grave, before calling on their family.  They walked into the house from the bright open air and became unable to see well for a while because the lighting was poor in the room.  They stood on the soil floor for a few minutes and then their eyes gradually became accustomed to the dark inside .The living room was about 40 square yards, 70% of which was wooden flooring and the remainder soil.  The floor at the center of the room was cut to make a rectangular fireplace about six feet from east to west and four feet from north to south. The wooden panels and pillars in the room gleamed black from the smoke of the fireplace and daily wiping.

The charcoal fire in the ash floor of the fireplace warmed the chilly autumnal air and heated food in the cooking pot suspended from the ceiling.  The seats around the fire were specified for each member of the family – the western seat for the master, both northern and southern places for other families, while the eastern part was for the youngest housewife, where she took care of the fire and cooking.  When they had guests, the southern part was allocated to them, and the family was seated in the northern position.
The boy’s family sat there and bowed to each member of the farmer’s family. Other children were not present.
After making small talk for a while, the women brought in small trays full of special dishes from the kitchen.  On the autumnal equinox day, it is a custom to serve rice cakes topped with various sweet pastes and powders.  In this region the toppings are usually cooked soybeans, azuki-beans, sesame, walnut, parched soy beans powder, etc.  Actually, not only sweet dishes but also salty dishes such as rice cakes covered in natto and dipped in a soup of vegetables and soy source.  But then the main dishes were sweet, because sweet dishes were considered a luxury due to the high price of sugar (imported at that time), and were only served on special occasions. Additional dishes were served again and again until the guests couldn’t eat any more.  The boy had a silly thought that the snake must feel similar when it swallowed prey.

The structure of farmers’ houses was generally similar in that village.  The two-story house was about 70 yards from east to west and about 20 yards from north to south.  The walls were made of clay, with the northern side being covered by wooden doors, and paper and wooden doors covering the southern side at night.  The first floor was used for living, and the second for farm work such as sericulture, dried persimmon making, and drying tobacco leaves.  The first floor was divided into rooms of 10-40 square yards by paper or wooden doors and except for the living room and kitchen, all the floors were covered by tatami mats.  When they had some gathering like a wedding or funeral ceremony, the doors were removed to make a big hall. Of all the rooms, the one at the west end was considered to be the holiest.  Buddhist and Shinto altars were installed in this room, and were prayed to by the head of the house or his wife every morning.  The head of the house usually slept in this room or the next room, and his first son in an adjourning room. The rooms in the north side were shared by the women, and whether they could have a private one or not depended on the wealth of the family.  The second and following sons had to endure more miserable conditions. It has already been described that the farmhouse was usually a two-story building, but this house had a small room between the ground floor and the first floor. (The author is not sure if this room was a special or common feature of houses in the village.)  The small room, which was utilized as a work room for farm-related tasks, was where the second and following sons had to live.

His father was just a second son and had grown up in this room, which he visited out of natural curiosity about his father’s history while his mother was chatting in the sitting room.  This was his first visit and he was shocked.  The walls, stained by water leakage and traces of insect bodies etc., were randomly covered by calendars, posters of movies, movie stars, and singers, and a small naked bulb was dangling drearily from the low ceiling.  The reek of men’s sweat rose from the futons piled up on the tattered straw mats.  He thought that the inhabitants of this room must fall asleep without caring about the smell because of the hard work they did in the daytime.  In the 1950’s, the farming in this area produced mainly rice, but also silk cocoons, dried persimmon, tobacco leaves, timber etc. This must have entailed a lot of hard labor because all the work was carried out by men, cattle, and horses.  Basically, their room was just like a cattle shed. (The production of silk cocoons will be described later.)

Japanese society and culture have been sustained by farming. In many countries, the main crop is the staple food, which is dictated by the circumstances of each country.   Comparing rice and wheat will simplify this explanation:  With wheat, the yield per unit area of cultivation is lower than rice and reduced by consecutive cultivation every year, so it is necessary to have an extensive area of land.  On the other hand, rice can be produced with a high per unit yield even with annual cultivation, providing there is sufficient labor.  So in Japan, with a narrow area of land taken up mainly by mountains, there is no choice except rice. (The mean yields of main crops per unit area in Japan are as follows; 500-600kg/a(rice), 300kg/a(wheat), 250kg/10a(corn).  ‘a =100m2 ‘.)
This labor-intensive industry in a small area of cultivation brought about a serious contradiction.  That is, every farmer could secure adequate resources just by producing children, but if upon his death the field were to be divided among the children, the resulting area would be too small to sustain a family.  Consequently, the field was given to one person, usually the first son, and other children had no rights to it. Women worked in their girlhood and left their family as brides or workwomen after they became adults.  Men had rather miserable existences, working their whole lives like domestic animals. (Of course, in the modern age men had the option of going to work in factories, but the resultant shortage of farm labor has created other problems.)
The father of the boy was the second son in his family, so he joined the navy to escape the sad life that he was destined for. As soon as the boy stepped into that room, he had an overwhelming sense of despair, remembering his school life and how he had suffered at the hands of bullies.  He just stood there in a stupor.
He had no idea how long he stood there like that.  He became aware of a sound like rain falling hard on a tin roof.   This sound must have been clearly audible when he first entered, but the intense impression of the room prevented him from noticing it.  He recalled that the farmer was breeding silk worms on the upper floor, and that they made a sound while eating the mulberry leaves.  He went up to the second floor and into a large open area of about 600 square yards.  On shelves around the room, there were many shallow round baskets made of woven bamboo, of about 3 feet in diameter and one inch depth.   In the baskets, a huge amount of white silk worms of about 3/8 inches diameter and 5 inches length were feeding.   The sound of an individual worm feeding was barely noticeable but collectively they made a considerable noise.   The unusual scene – the sound, the huge number of bugs and the intense reek -overcame him.  While watching a silk worm eating the mulberry leaves, he started to feel that its brown mouth was suddenly closing on him as if to bite.  Then it seemed to swell abruptly and it somehow became himself.
He lost consciousness.
THE END

MOVIES ON 9TH JUNE,2015.

Lunchtime concert at the Wesley’s chapel in London on 9th June,2015.

Fumi Otsuki(violin) and Maria Milanova(piano).

These youtube videos were taken at my concert at the Wesley’s chapel on 9th June,2015. I hope that you will enjoy to watch them.

1st mov only in the youtube video for the piece by Smetana.

The performance contents of the day

>>Violin & Piano
Henryk Wieniawski: Legende, Op.17
Bedrich Smetana: From the homeland(1st mov.:Moderato,2nd mov.:Anadantino,Moderato), JB 1:118, T.128.
Gabriel Faure: Berceuse, Op.16.
Fritz Kreisler: Marche miniature viennoise.
Edwad Elgar: Salut d’amour, Op.12.

>>Violin
Johann Sebastian Bach: Sonata No. 1 in G minor for solo violin, BWV 1001.

>>Piano
Fumi Otsuki: Allegor giocoso(about the landscape around the Tokyo skytree tower for piano solo).

 

CONCERTS ON 2015

Concerts on 2015:

  • 6th March-St.Bride’s church in Fleet street in London.
  • 25th March-St.Luke’s church in Sevenoaks in Kent.
  • 7th April-Southwark cathedral in central London.  Fumi Otsuki(violin) and Yu-Fen Lin(piano).
  • 15th May-All Saints’ church in Marlow(as part of the Wycombe arts festival.) in Buckinghamshire.
  • 9th June: From 13:05.-Wesley’s chapel in central London.  Fumi Otsuki(violin) and Maria Milanova(piano).
  • 23rd June:From 13:30.-Chapel at the Royal Marsden hospital in South Kensington in London.
  • 27th June:from 12:00.-St.Mary’s church in Slough in Berkshire.
  • 27th July:from 13:05.-St.Martin-within-Ludgate church in London.
  • 30th July:from 13:00.-Emmanuel church in Cambridge.  Fumi Otsuki(violin) and Yu-Fen Lin(piano)
  • 2015- 8th September-From 15:15. Southwark cathedral in London.  Fumi Otsuki(violin) and Gemma Kateb(piano).
  • 22nd October-From 13:05. St.Mary-le-Bow church in London.Fumi Otsuki(violin) and Petra Hajduchova(piano)
  • 11th November:From 13:00-All Saints’ church in Herford in Hertfodshire.  Fumi Otsuki(violin) and Gemma Kateb(piano).
  • 18th November-From 13:30.  Chapel at the Royal Marsden hospital in London.  Fumi Otsuki(violin) and Petra Hajduchova(piano)

CONCERTS ON 2016

Concerts on 2016:

  • 9th January-From 12:00. St.Mary’s church in Slough in Berkshire. Fumi Otsuki(violin) and Alessandro Viale(piano).
  • 25th February-From 12:45. St .Mary’s church in Aylesbury in Buckinghamshire.
  • 26th February-From 12:30. St.George’s church in Beckenham in Kent.
  • 11th March-From 12:30. Unitarian church in Brighton in east Sussex.
  • 14th March-From 12:40. Christ church in Woking in Surrey.
  • 16th March-From 13:00. Lion Walk United Reformed church in Colchester in Essex. Fumi Otsuki(violin) and Petra Hajduchova(piano).
  • 18th March-From 13:15. St.Bride’s church in London.  Fumi Otsuki(violin) and Petra Hajduchova(piano).
  • 7th April:From 13:00-Emmanuel church in Cambridge.  Fumi Otsuki(violin) and Gemma Kateb(piano)
  • 18th May,2016-From 13:05. St.Botolph without Aldgate church in London.  Fumi Otsuki(violin) and Gemma Kateb(piano).
  • 26th May,2016-From 13:00. United Reformed church in Beaconsfield in Buckinghamshire.  Fumi Otsuki(violin) and Petra Hajduchova(piano).
  • 1st June-From 12:30. St.Luke’s church in Sevenoaks in Kent. Fumi Otsuki(violin) and Alessandro Viale(piano)
  • 3rd June-From 13:00. St.John’s church in Waterloo in London. Fumi Otsuki(violin) and Alessandro Viale(piano)
  • 11th June-From 13:00.  St.Leonard’s church in Seaford in Kent. Fumi Otsuki(violin) and Petra Hajduchova(piano)
  • 12th July-From 13:00.  St.Mary’s church in Watford in Hertfordshire.   Fumi Otsuki(violin) and Maria Milanova(piano).
  • 21st July,2016-From 13:00. St.George’s church in Borough in London.Fumi Otsuki(violin) and Petra Hajduchova(piano)
  • 28th July,2016-From 12:45. Wesley Memorial church in Oxford.  Fumi Otsuki(violin) and Petra Hajduchova(piano).
  • 10th November,2016-From 13:00.   United Reformed church in Maldon in Essex.   Fumi Otsuki(violin) and Petra Hajduchova(piano).
  • 24th November,2016-From 12:30. St.John’s church in Harrow in north London.   Fumi Otsuki(violin) and Alessandro Viale(piano).

CONCERTS ON 2013-2014

A concert on 2013:
1st May-St.George’s hospital in Tooting in London. Fumi Otsuki(violin)

Concerts on 2014:
25th March-Heath street church in Hampstead in London.
1st April-Chapel at the Royal Marsden hospital in South Kensington in London. Fumi Otsuki(violin) and Ieva Caune(piano).
7th October-Uniter Reformed church in Farnham in Surrey.
14th October-Chapel at the Royal Marsden hospital in South Kensington in London. Fumi Otsuki(violin) and Neus Guiu Ritort(piano).
16th October-Mamuska Polish restaurant in Elephant and castle. Fumi Otsuki(violin).

CONCERTS BETWEEN 2009 AND 2012

Concerts between 2009 and 2012:
once every 6 months at the chapel at the Royal Marsden hospital in south Kensington,and once each the following venues in London;Space arts centre near Canary Wharf,St.Peter’s church in Notting hill and Free church in Hampstead Garden Suburb. Most concerts at the Royal Marsden,once each at the Space and the St.Peter’s:Fumi Otsuki(violin) and Suzy Ruffles(piano),and once each at the Royal Marsden and the Free church:Fumi Otsuki(violin) and Alan Brown(piano). I also gave concerts at the nusring homes for old people in London,Surrey,Berkshire,Buckinghamshire,Hertfordshire,Kent,East Sussex,West Sussex,Hampshire and Oxfordshire to make classical music more approachable for the people,who can’t go to concerts easily. Besides giving the concerts as above,I worked for the following charity events for the reconstruction after the great east Japan earthquake and tsunami,which happned in 2011;Greenwich market,St.Hilda’s church,Livingstone house(Deputy mayor of the London borough of Bromley attended this event.),Cambridge university,AmeCon,Japanese cultural afternoon,Mela festival,Lumen church,Japan festival at Trafalgar square and Richmond old town hall.(both violin performance and the presentations of the Japanese culture)