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“Let’s go to Tambo!!” Part 3 Experience Note-#2

081023080_low - To be stoic and to master the art -

“Grab the rice like this!”

Said the men of the village.  We, the volunteers, asked them many things and started reaping the rice by imitating them.  I brought down a grain sickle with all my strength.   


I could not cut the rice with one swing like the villagers and needed to use the grain sickle like a saw, cutting the rice multiple of times. 

Then I was told, "Not like that, do it like this,” the village man advised me with a gesture.

Soon, I managed to reap efficiently, and I continued cutting the rice with at a good pace.  After 1 hour, my back and legss weres completely exhausted as if they were screaming. 

On the other hand, the village men, whom are 75 years old in average, were reaping the rice easily, rapidly and efficiently without saying anything.

“The village men are extremely skillful!”, I thought.

The harvested rice was bundled in 6 roots each by straws.  First, 3 roots out of the 6 were put and slanted to the left.  And then, the rest of the 3 were put on it and slanted to right. Finally, we put straws at a cross point. We repeated the flow.   

It looks like a simple task to bundle the harvested rice, but it is an efficient skill, which has been taken over from a long time ago, such as 1) way of bundling the rice, 2) direction of putting the straw and 3) way of tying.  Their skills and actions are sophisticated and perfect, as if they consisted of the knowledge which are inherited from their forerunners. They have been improved, and finally solidified into a process

In my case, the method of tying was difficult and complicated, therefore although they told me many times how to do it, I could not tie them like they do.

To be continued: 

By Tomoko Yatabe (Cordination volunteer)

October 16, 2008 in Niigata |