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Friday, June 25

Combing Hayama Beach

By far one of my favorite goofing off activities in Japan has come to be beach combing on Hayama Beach.  This is a pretty recent pastime too.  It all started a few months ago when I finally got a chance to see some jewelry art that a friend here creates.  She had told me years ago that she worked with sea pottery and I think I did a general head nodding as if I had a clue as to what she was referring.  I didn't.  Not until I saw her beautiful display.  For someone that is fascinated with blue and white Japanese pottery (I have quite the collection) as well as by those perfectly rounded and buffed pieces of blue and green sea glass you are occasionally lucky enough to find on any foreign shore, the discovery of a sea pottery in the same earthy, rubbed state is enough of a combination to make my head perpetually swoon. 

Add this love of mine with my child's love to constantly be out of doors and you have a natural winner of a day.

It's not that I taught him to pick out these pottery pieces in the midst of thousands of bits of shells and rocks, but he, in all his toddler eagerness to help, is all too happy to sort through the jumble under our feet.  He uncannily knows what I am looking for.  While he may not get me the prized blue and white pottery pieces that I look for, he does pick out quite a handful of gorgeous all-white pieces for me to sort through.  I'm not saying my kid is a genius, but for someone that goes into a hourly state of near ecstasy when he finds a good rock, I'd say this is an impressive eye for sorting good shards from the rest of the litter for a wee one.

The legend of this pottery, found everywhere and everyday on Hayama Beach and parts of Kamakura beaches, is that sea vessels long ago ship wrecked in the area found their pottery sunken with them. The pieces have taken hundred of years rolling along the depths until they have washed up, perfectly weather, on today's sandy shores.  It's a good story, but I'm not sure I am a believer.  I'm thinking maybe the housewives who accidentally break a piece of china here or there, take it down to the cliffs and toss it over just so they don't have to do yet another sorted bag in that week's recyclables.  I kid.  Kind of.  Whatever the reason for its appearance, I'm just so very glad it does.  And so is Peanut.


Heather Meadows said...

Too cute! I'd like to see some photos of sea pottery :)

Kimono Karen said...

It's in a box on a boat somewhere on the Pacific right now. Will have to get to that in the future.