Inaka Hospitality

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The weekend in Matsudai was primarily spent taking photos - I shot 530 in two days - and two of the photo sessions were with local obaachan & ojiichan (grandmas & grandpas). They dressed up in old-timey clothes and let us come take pictures in their gardens and alleys. And then they invited us in.

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Sekiya-san and Kadoeya-san spread an elegant table of cool glass dishes and colorful fruits.

Kadoeya-san's house is beautiful. It's full of traditional Japanese colors and textures, seasonal decorations, multi-generational calligraphy. She is an elegant woman and her home reflects that. She also loves to sing and dance. While we nibbled fruit, she and Sekiya-san danced for us. I don't think anyone has ever performed a dance for my entertainment before. I was truly touched by their grace and generosity.

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The Six Beauties of Chitose served up a meal of home cooked vegetable dishes from their gardens

Kodoeya-san's son drove us to the next village, Chitose, for our other shoot. Six women were waiting for us - I hadn't expected such a crowd - and invited us inside the old farmhouse while they finished getting ready. What an amazing building. Built 76 years ago, the rooms are two stories high with timbered ceilings. Thatch peeked through in places, though the roof had been tinned over years ago. And the walls crumbled in patches. Old, well-used and beautiful.

After the shoot, they surprised us with a feast of their specialties. I'll write more about those soon. In the meantime, you can have a look at home photos I've added to my Matsudai Flickr set.

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Are you working on a book?

This is a book in the making--first a magazine article?? Fabulous material!

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