I met Amy Katoh at the opening of her newly re-opened landmark store, "Blue and White" in Tokyo a few weeks back. I had wanted to meet her for 25 years.
I shyly, slightly red-faced walked up to her.
"My name is Bryan, nice to meet you."
"Bryan the indigo-silk farmer...I've wanted to meet you for years.", she replied.
The first time I saw and went into a Japanese farmhouse it was love. It hurt even. Like a broken heart. It hurt.
It took a few years to get one and it would be hard to leave.
Amy wrote eloquently in her book, 'Japan. Country Living, Spirit, Tradition, Style':
..... I almost feel them before I see them, and when I look up, I see a friend. Even if no one is living in them, those straw and earth walls are alive. They are unspeakably beautiful and uncannily human, being of the same organic material we are. What will be the legacy of the plastic replacements that now plague the land? What will a child think of his or her heritage, never having seen the eloquent predecessors.
I read her books when I left Tokyo to go set up a life in the countryside. She had walked the same path that I was eager to walk almost 30 years ago.
A wonderful group of women just left the house today. I tried my best to show them some of that countryside Japanese spirit that Amy wrote about.
Ten days of hard work at the indigo vats, stitching and stitching, laughs and good food and good will. Thank you, Laura, Jessica, Ronnie, Kim, Anna, Thurid and Midori.
Momo went for a walkabout for a few days... perhaps looking for Geiger. We worried and worried but she arrived back at the house as if nothing had happened.
Back in her chair.