DISCOVER ANOTHER JAPAN SAN'IN Vol.2
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和菓子Professional PointsSince Fumai spread tea culture in Matsue, many wagashi called meihin (refined sweets) were created and still exist to this day. Especially Jounamagashi, made with sophisticated techniques and aesthetic sense by the masters. These are “art pieces” that are a feast for your eyes and tongue.Wagashi master Tsugio Itami, Contemporary Master Craftsman, continues to pass on the ancient techniques. He is fond of calligraphy and the art of flower arrangement and sensitive to the latest trends in color or food. This is reflected in his wagashi creations. His motto is “to stay young and refine my taste”. You can observe his skill up close when he makes wagashi masterpieces at Matsue History Museum.How to EnjoyHandmade wagashi created by the masters showcase different tastes and appearances with varied shapes and colors. No two are the same. There are some standard wagashi made throughout the year, however, many seasonal namagashi (wet confectionary) are also made.If you take your time to enjoy tea while tasting sweet, healthy and refined wagashi, your heart and soul will really feel Japan. There are two Kougeigashi (decorat-ed handcrafted sweets) exhibited at Matsue History Museum that Itami spent two years to finish. Kougei-gashi are called “sweet sculptures” that represent flow-ers, animals or sceneries three-dimensionally, just by using wagashi ingredients.Tea CultureFumai is known as a Japanese tea ceremony master and he successfully reformed the domain’s gover-nance while also fostering Fumai-ryu, his own unique style of tea ceremony.Fumai being an active tea master lead tea culture to take root in Matsue. The big difference between Matsue and other tea culture hot spots is that people enjoy tea more casually. There isn’t such a focus on complicated procedures or respecting certain man-ners and people drink Usucha (slightly weaker than usual macha) daily, as if it were normal tea. There are still many locations where you can experience Fumai-ryu tea culture in Matsue city. Enmusubi, matchmaking associated with the Izumo shrine’s god of that purposeWinter Camellia represent-ed with wagashi paste Nerikiri (made by knead-ing beans, yams and sugar) EnmusubiKantsubakiKiharuYou can enjoy Jounamagashi made by Tsugio Itami with tea. There is also coffee, macha parfait and other various choices on the menu at Tea Shop Kiharu in Matsue History Museum. Feel free to take a break here, whether you order something at the teashop or not. You can sit in a lounge the size of about 30 tatami mattresses!Take pleasure in viewing the seasonally expressive Japanese garden from the lounge. 279 Tonomachi, Matsue, Shimane (In Matsue History Museum) Matsudaira Harusato was the seventh feudal lord of Matsue domain, Izumo.He was known as Fumai, one of the representative tea masters in the Edo period. His style of tea ceremony has been passed down as Fumai-ryu. 11

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