Year-End Cleaning Party 2019
"Thorough Cleaning Workshop at Hokyuann 2019"
On Sunday, the first of December, a thorough cleaning workshop was held as the last event of 2019.
We started cleaning from the top. With a local carpenter's call-out, soot on the beam was dusted off, using three-meter-long thin bamboo trees. A large amount of soot flew in the air then fell on the floor. It's an evidence of making smoke regularly at the irori fireplace, which is crucial to conserve the house. Therefore, genuine volunteers, who have been supporting Hokyuann, were very excited to find the dust on the floor.
High windows, facing the East, were polished with newspapers. We can now clearly see the sun, setting right in front of you, through the windows. Also, ash at the irori fireplace was filtered and it looks very sacred. The floors, furthermore, have gained a shine after being wiped with rice-bran bags. The oil from rice-bran bags performed like wax does.
Shoji paper was peplaced last year so me left it as it is this time. Instead, volunteers thoroughly cleaned other places such as the home shrine, the washing place in the tea-ceremony room, the refrigerator, and the backdoor. Women rearranged fixtures in the kitchen and cupboards, considering future opportunities and frequency in use.
"Simple meal" was prepared again by volunteers but actually it's not simple at all. They put lots of efforts and ideas in it. Dumplings, made from flour, were found in a bowl of soup. Sweet potatoes with leaves, harvested at a volunteer's garden, were also put in the soup．They even added the leaves. They did not throw them away! Home-made Japanese pickles and cheese cake were also served. At last, a cup of coffee after the cleaning was the best.
Sixteen people joined the cleaning workshop this year. We received a lot of positive comments. "I feel dignified." "I really enjoyed." "I had such a precious time to listen to the sound of the water and waves." "I want to take a rice-bran bag home!"
The participants of the workshop did not consider cleaning to be a work or labor. They considered it to be an occasion of communication and appreciation. That is the uniqueness of this place.
We will start off next year with an annual event, "Hatsuka Ebisu," on Sunday, the 19th of January. We are looking forward to meeting you all and appreciate your continuous supports to conserve Hokyuann and leave it to the next generation.