あおあお 2号 特集「味はつづく」
aoao vol.2

“かきまぜ”のある食卓

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「上勝の人にとって “かきまぜ”はカレーみたいなもんなんよ。留守にする時や忙しい時に、ウチにあるものでササッと作っておけるからね」
阿波弁まじりの標準語でそう話すのは、千葉県から上勝に嫁いで13年になる柿田恵美さん。
“かきまぜ”とは五目ちらし寿司のことで、この地域ならではの呼び方。
たくさんの具材を切ったり、炊いたり、調味料を合わせたりと、いかにも手間ひまかかるように思えるものを「カレーみたいなもん」とサラっと言えてしまえる柿田さんちの食卓をちょっと見てみたい。
そんな好奇心から、休日にお邪魔させていただくことに。

ENGLISH
‘Kakimaze (a type of sushi made of a variety of ingredients)’ on the table

“For us, people in Kamikatsu, ‘kakimaze’ is a very familiar menu, just like ‘curry and rice’ for Japanese people because when we are busy or go out, we can make kakimaze quickly, using any ingredients we have,” said Ms. Emi Kakita, who came in Kamikatsu town from Chiba Prefecture thirteen years ago when she got married with her husband, using standard Japanese language tinted with Awa (Tokushima) dialect accent.
‘Kakimaze’ is a name for ‘Gomoku-chirashi-zushi (a type of sushi made of a variety of ingredients)’ in this local area.
Actually, to me, it seems complicating and taking time to make kakimaze, cutting a variety of ingredients, cooking and seasoning them in different ways before mixing all of them together.
But, she said, “It’s just like making curry.”
I was tempted to see dining scenes of the Kakita family.
So, my curiosity made me visit her house on a holiday.

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なんでも自分の手でつくる
「田舎暮らしってどんなものかなぁくらいの気持ちで上勝に来て、夫と出会ってこの家に嫁いできたんだけどね。はじめは“田んぼもある!畑もある!果樹もある!憧れていた暮らしそのものだ!”なぁんて思ってたんだけど、いざ暮らしはじめると、とにかく田んぼの畔や山の草刈りが大変で…」と苦笑い。けれども、そうして苦労して育てた野菜は味が濃くおいしくて「都会で食べていたものと全く違うと感じるんよ」。息子の尚平くんも野菜が大好き。

「こうやって野菜やお米を育てることはもちろん、こんにゃくやお豆腐、切り干し大根やお漬け物そしてお茶だって、上勝の人はなんでも自分の手でつくっていることにはじめはすごく驚いたなぁ。お店で買うのがあたりまえだと思っていたものを自分で作ることができるんだ!って」

「ここら辺は神田茶っていう晩茶の産地なんだけどね。ほら、これがお茶の木」と恵美さんが指差した先には、わさわさと無造作に生い茂った植物が。夏には家族や親戚も総出でつくるという晩茶は、手で摘んだ茶葉を大きな釜で茹で、木桶に漬けて発酵させ、天日干しで乾燥させる、日本では珍しい後発酵茶。そして真夏の炎天下に山の斜面でおこなわれる作業はとても重労働なのだとか。

柿田さんちはお義母さんも恵美さんも外にお勤めに出ている。それでも春には棚田に水を張って苗を植え、夏には神田茶を作り、秋には稲を刈り、冬には柚子やゆこうを収穫して絞って“生酢”をつくり、四季を通して自分たちが口にするものを自分たちの手でつくっている。「田舎暮らしって、結構忙しいんよ」と、恵美さん。

ENGLISH
People make everything themselves here
“Before I came to Kamikatsu, I just wondered what a life in a rural town would be. Then I met my husband and got married with him. At first, I was excited to see paddy fields, farming lands and orchards. I thought a life here would be exactly what I had dreamed of. But once I started living in Kamikatsu, I knew how tough turning a furrow, mowing and weeding,” she said with a little embarrassed smile. But the vegetables that she had struggled to grow were actually very delicious with richer flavors. She added, “I feel that foods here are completely different from what I ate before when living in an urban area.” Her son, Kouhei, loved vegetables a lot, too.

“At first, I was so surprised to see people in Kamikatsu town making everything themselves, including konnyaku (devil’s tongue), tofu, kiriboshi-daikon (cut and dried Japanese radish), pickles and tea, in addition to vegetables and rice. Formerly, I believed that foods were something we were supposed to buy at stores, but that was totally wrong!” she said.

“Here is a place to produce powdered tea named Jidencha. Look at these. They are tea trees,” Emi showed me the luxuriantly and freely growing trees. In summer, all family members and relatives cooperate to make Jidencha powdered tea, by picking tea leaves by hand, boiling them in a big cauldron, fermenting them in a wooden tub and drying them under the sun. This after-fermentation method is rarely used in other places in Japan. Working on the mountain slope under the scorching sun in summer is very tough, according to her.

In the Kakita family, Emi and her mother in-law go to work in addition to doing housework. But, they lead water into terraced paddy fields to bed young rice plants in spring, make Jidencha in summer, cut rice plants in autumn and harvest Yuzu and Yuko fruits and squeeze them to make fresh juice (vinegar) in winter. They make what they eat themselves through four seasons. “Life in a rural area is quite busy,” said Emi.

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山のみんなが先生
「お寿司は上勝に来るまで自分でつくったことなんて一度もなかったんよ。はじめて作ったのはこっちに来てすぐのまだ独身の頃」。上勝はお祭りなど地域の行事が多く、人の繋がりがとても強い。そんな時に山のおばあちゃん達と一緒に料理を作って、かきまぜや柚子やゆこうなどの“生酢”を使った料理の作り方を覚えていったそう。

「都会で一人暮らしをしていた時は、地域の人達と一緒に料理を作るなんて考えられなかった。ここはIターンが多い地域柄もあるんだろうけど、いろんな暮らしの知恵を山のおじいちゃんやおばあちゃんに教えてもらうことが多いんよ」。田舎暮しへの好奇心だけを抱いて単身上勝へ来た恵美さんも、そうして土地の人々から多くのことを学び、縁あってこの地に嫁ぎ、子供を産んだ。そして家族のため台所に立つように。

ENGLISH
All the people living in this mountain area are my teachers
“I had never made sushi before I came to Kamikatsu town. It was right after I came here when I first made sushi. At that time, I was single,” said Emi. There are a lot of festivals and events held in Kamikatsu and the people’s relationships are very close. In such a circumstance, she has learned how to make kakimaze or other dishes using fresh juice of Yuzu and Yuko citron fruits as vinegar when cooking dishes with elderly people there.

“When I lived alone in an urban area, I never imagined cooking dishes with people in a local community. There are many people who once lived in an urban area, and then found an employment here and became a resident here. So, such people have learned a variety of wisdom traditions in living from the elderly here,” said Emi. Emi also came to Kamikatsu alone, only having an interest in living in a rural area and learned a lot of things from people living in Kamikatsu, and then got married, guided by fate, and had a child. She cooks for her family everyday here now.

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「いただきます!」
かきまぜ、酢の物、そば米汁、採れたてブロッコリーの塩ゆで。手際よく2人の手で作られた料理が、食卓に勢揃い。「お義母さんの時間のあるときに一緒に作りながら教えてもらったり、何十年もお義母さんの味を食べてきたお義父さんや主人の厳しい舌に鍛えられたりして、この家の味を覚えていった感じかな。でもまだまだお義母さんには全然かなわない」。恵美さんの話を聞きながら隣で照れくさそうに笑う和代さん。

「上勝の人はかきまぜも好きだけど、酢の物をよく食べるんよ。ゆこうや柚子がたくさん採れるからね」。コンテナいっぱいに庭で収穫された果実は、専用の絞り機で絞って保存。土間の冷蔵庫には果実酢が入った一升瓶がずらっと並ぶ。「たまに千葉の実家で親戚が集まった時にお寿司でも作ろうかなと思っても、生酢がないと私はお寿司がつくれんのよね。でも生酢なんてどこにも売ってない。そんな時に“ああ、上勝の味が自分の味になってきたんだな”って、しみじみ思うんよね」。

畑から採ってきたもので作った料理は、派手さや豪華さはないけど、健やかで美しい。「それってかけがえのないもんなんだよってことを、息子に伝えていきたいなって思うんです」。恵美さんが住む地区にもかつては小学校があってたくさんの家族が暮らし、田畑を耕していた。けれどもいつしか小学校は統合され、荒れた田畑も年々増えてきた。「今の時代、畑で採れたての野菜を使って料理を食べられることがどんなに贅沢なことか。大きくなってから自分の育った環境がいかに恵まれていたか、そしてそれがいかにして守られていたかということに思いを馳せて欲しいなぁって」。隣で無邪気にいたずらをして遊ぶ尚平くんを「コラッ!」とたしなめて、「まぁ難しいこと話しても伝わることじゃないから、日々のごはん作ることぐらいしかできんけどね」と、はにかんで笑った。

ENGLISH
“Let’s eat!”
Kakimaze, a pickled dish, a buckwheat soup and salted broiled broccoli were on the table. The dishes were quickly and finely made by Emi and Kazuyo. “I have learned how to cook these dishes nicely from my mother in-law, Kazuyo, by cooking them with her and getting comments on the taste of dishes I made from my husband and father in-law, who has been familiar with my mother in-law’s dishes for decades and has a discriminating palate. But, I can’t yet perfectly reproduce the taste of the dishes my mother in-law makes and she is still a much better cook than me,” said Emi. Kazuyo next to Emi was shyly smiling while listening to Emi’s words.

“We, people in Kamikatsu, often eat not only kakimaze but also pickled dishes because we can get a lot of Yuzu and Yuko citron fruits here,” said Emi. The containers were full of Yuzu and Yuko fruits that had been harvested from the garden and would be squeezed with a special machine to make juice to store. The refrigerator on the earthen floor stored lines of 1.8 L bottles containing such juice. “I sometimes go back to my parents’ house in Chiba where my relatives gather in some occasions. So, when I tried to make sushi then, I realized that there was no fresh juice there. I can’t make sushi without the fresh juice but it is not available there. At that time, I keenly felt that I became so accustomed to the taste of sushi in Kamikatsu like the taste of my home cooking.”

Dishes made of ingredients just picked from a farm are healthy and beautiful although they are simple and not gorgeous. Emi said, “I want to pass down this invaluable culture to my son.” There once was an elementary school and were many families living and farming in the area where Emi lives now. But the school was merged with another school and paddy fields and farming lands have been abandoned year by year. “How luxury it is to eat dishes made of fresh vegetables just picked from a garden in this day and age. I want my son to think how the environment in which he was raised has been preserved,” she said, chiding Kouhei who was innocently acting up next to her, “It may be too difficult for him to understand it now. So, what I can do for him now is just preparing meals for him every day,” showing a shy smile.

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