So first of all where am I? I’m in a town called Hotani, which is slightly North West of Osaka, the nearest city being Kyotanabe. I think I mentioned that I don’t really agree with the concept of perfection, it’s never something I feel I have strived towards or taken that much notice of, in fact my imperfections are things I have learned to embrace and actually be proud of.
Japan has a reputation for making things look as aesthetically pleasing as possible, and it’s odd to be thrown into this culture when I am not part of it. I am having to try and train my hands to do very meticulous things which they are really not that very good at, but then I have always had issues with this. Today for instance I had scraped the eyes (or roots) from potatoes in great details. Using a craft knife to take them off and ensure there is nothing that may put the customer off, I am doing this with individual potatoes. Another example is that while bagging long beans you try and get beans of the same size together and ensure all the stalks are pointing toward the bottom of the bag. All this feels totally unnecessary to me like the Japanese are pandering to their own precision just for the sake of keeping up this standard. I have to adhere to it though, I am not here to question their ways as it is the Japanese way and there is something very therapeutic about spending your time making each potato look as good as it can. I am sure though that the Japanese people who also believe highly in efficiency are being inefficient in their pursuit of perfection. I know I can’t really do much about this. Of course the Japanese believe this is expected of them and because of the whole supply and demand thing it continues. I have not seen much of Japan so far but being on the farm is showing me a lot about the people and nature of things which I am loving. It is beautiful around here and the people are both a mystery and fantastic all at the same time which makes the whole journey just that much more interesting. Oh and my Japanese is slowly coming back to me which is great.
Anyway below is a photo of the surrounding area of Hotani. This is a view that we pass almost every day to the farm. Beautiful isn’t it?