5/21/2008

Okamoto Toy Store

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Okamoto Sweets and Toy Store

岡本一銭屋 "One Cent Store"




The present owner, a friendly old lady, lost her home in Kobe during the great earthquake of 1995, only to come here and experience the earthquake of 2001!

Her house is an old wooden structure in the stle of a Kyoto merchant home (Kyoto Machiya), with an open three-story part in the middle to give sunlight to the inner parts of the house.
The walls were all newly painted, since during the earthquake all the white stuck had fallen down and almost killed her daughter under the rubble.


She was sitting in her store-cum-living-room, talking to some students of the nearby Yonago University. The front store sells cheap sweets, dagashi (see LINK below), but it seems she only runs the store for the fun of having the students come in and talk to them. Others came in while we were there and she seemed to be like a good mother or rather grandmother to them all.

She is also often visited by the small children of the neighbourhood after school, where she is lovingly known as "Grandma", and tries to teach the little ones good manners, which is rather seldom these days.


She took a fancy to me and showed my the whole house.

Her husband was quite fond of antiques, so the walls are covered with this and that and we keep talking ...

Here is the shop sign of the store outside, quite remarkable in size

49 Okamoto Ichizen-Ya Kamban
Click for enlargement

It reads

Ichi Zeni Ya 一銭屋


She talked more about the antiques collecting hobby of her husband.
More than 40 years ago, a shrine nearby burned down, because a huge tree was struck by lightning, split into many parts and started a fire ...

To pay for the rebuilding, the priest thought of selling parts of the "holy tree" for fundraising. So her husband bought a large chunk of it, which now sits there as a partition to the back part of the home. Her husband gave a small fortune to get this piece ... but she was really angry at that time, because she had to care for two small children and the purse of the family was rather tight in these days.

Now this special piece sits there as a fond rememberance of her husband, who passed away a few years ago, and she laughs when she tells the story of her anger!


This is a different one ...

This is a different one (tsuitate 衝立) but you get the impression of her treasure.




sourrounded by the past
she laughts with the children ...
Grandma Okamoto




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Start the PHOTO walk from HERE
. . . . . Yonago Temple Town



More about the cheap sweets, dagashi

AME, DAGASHI Sweets and Daruma


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. Town House Architecture .



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Yonago and the Road to Izumo


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3 comments:

terrytip said...

grandma Okamoto
so good to meet you
from so far away

terrytip


(Slidell, Louisiana USA)

Gabi Greve said...

Thanks for your greetings, Terry !
I hope to meet her again and tell her about it.

GABI

anonymous said...

Gabi san

Thank you for the photo-walk. The walk through the town brought some
memories. Although, I find the Japan's countryside fascinating, there seems a repeated formula for town design. Is this because of the Shintoism-Buddhaism influences?
It is true in many cities in different countries, too. There is a saying (if I have it correct)
about German towns that the first structure to go up is sometimes a competition between the brewery and the church... for almost every town and hamelet in Germany there is the town brewery, or so my German friend tells me. The olde-lore beliefs have deeper historical
roots in brewing spirits from product of the earth, I think!

Japan, much to my delight, has married in quite a wonderful way, both, with Shintoism absorbing Buddhaism, I feel. What do you think?
This, I also feel, can not help but influence strongly the
KIGO of HAIKU, too.

CHIBI