Tsuruta’s Blog (Octovber 2023)

Hello everyone. I hope you are all doing well. This summer was indeed hot, wasn’t it? A friend’s son is performing Wagner’s “Ring of the Nibelung” with an instrument in the NHK Symphony Orchestra, so I decided to attend. I went with my wife and daughter. It was a rare opportunity to listen to live orchestral music, and the sound was fantastic. Conductor Yuuzou Toyama passed away, and it’s a loss. He passed away in July 2023 at the age of 93. I occasionally listened to his performances at home, so I feel sad. Despite occasional rain, nearly 90% of the seats were occupied at the event, and there were quite a few elderly people, some of whom were in wheelchairs, leaving a strong impression. Although I rarely attend concerts, I enjoyed experiencing the splendor of live music after a long time.
The other day, I had the pleasure of meeting Masato Mizuno from the Boy Scouts of Japan and Mr. Yamamoto, who used to work at my shop. We had a great time together. Mr. Yamamoto holds an important position in the Boy Scouts and is busy not only with his job but also with network-related work. The four of us are worried about Japan’s declining population, especially the decrease in the number of children. When thinking about the future of Japan, I also anticipate facing serious challenges. It’s important to instill a sense of facing nature in children, allowing them to go through difficult experiences and find them enjoyable. Always be kind, obedient, cheerful, and modest. However, it’s believed that obedience is lacking these days. I believe the experiences of young children who interact with nature, drink fresh spring water, cook rice in a mess tin in the rain, suffer while eating burnt rice, and enjoy such experiences will become delightful memories later.
Gathering around a campfire with fellow Cub Scouts and Girl Scouts and spending time in nature is beneficial. I will always remember being skilled at making curry rice and cherish it even at the age of 83. Climbing the summer mountain with a heavy backpack, I once felt like never going to the mountains again. However, standing at the summit and feeling the gentle, cold wind blowing from the ridge, I was moved, thinking, “Ah, it was worth coming.”
This memory might be attainable by reaching the mountaintop by helicopter or bus. However, the excitement might not convey as much without the challenging experience. I repeat this sentiment, but it’s engraved in my heart as a lifelong memory. Furthermore, difficult memories eventually become enjoyable ones. I hope young folks will join the Boy Scouts and contribute actively.
Studying is important, but interacting with nature, exchanging lively opinions with friends, and taking action together are equally important. I believe in making the most of what may seem like wasted time, savoring the value of living time, which contributes to both studies and life.
Fortunately, Japan is blessed with abundant nature. The members of the imperial family, including His Majesty the Emperor, enjoy mountain climbing. They also participate in Boy Scouts’ gatherings.
Lake Ashi I visited 65 years ago was beautiful. However, now it’s crowded with many people, and the sight of carp swimming in the cold water has become popular. Senjogahara used to be covered in pampas grass, but now that sight is rarely seen. Despite being a national park, it’s in a humble state. Let’s preserve nature and leave it for future generations. This region should be a national park. However, due to politicians and businesses, national parks have been reduced and replaced with hotels, inns, and buildings. This is very regrettable.
Even after some time has passed since the war, the war between Russia and Ukraine does not end. Many lives are lost, and families are torn apart. Putin’s decisions affect many people in a cruel way. Personal desires do not last. Eventually, no matter what desires we have, we cannot escape death. Foolish desires were something many countries experienced in the past. The head of the family who has passed away brings deep sadness to his wife and children. This continues for decades. I hope the war will end soon, and reconstruction will progress. While new weapons, airplanes, battleships, ammunition, tanks, and more continue to develop, the war persists. He is 70 years old. There’s no need to cause suffering to many people. I hope this war comes to an end soon.
I recently visited the hospital. Overwhelmingly, there were many elderly people. In the past, there were quite a few younger individuals, but now, almost everyone is elderly. I am a diabetic patient and visit once a month to get many medicines. But being able to share my symptoms is also a relief, and it helps distract my mind. I get the injection each time and wait for about two hours for the results. During that time, I go to have a meal. It can be considered a stress reliever to forget about stress and enjoy pancakes topped with plenty of butter. While we’re at it, let’s have some non-alcoholic beer. This time, the injection didn’t hurt, and I’m grateful for the nurse’s skill.
Now, regarding a client who contacted me the other day to see a rusty Kinugawa Mamoru Takataka sword. Upon inspection, it was undoubtedly an authentic piece. I conveyed to the client that it is indeed genuine. The unfortunate part is the presence of rust and flaws, and furthermore, the fact that there’s no appraisal certificate from the Sword Museum, which makes it disappointing when trying to sell the piece. I explained that this sword is authentic, but other clients do not trust my judgment. In the future, obtaining an appraisal certificate for a specially preserved sword costs almost 65,000 yen and takes more than three months to get approved. If there is rust on the blade, the polishing of the sword costs around 120,000 to 200,000 yen. If there are flaws, they can hardly be repaired. Additionally, for a white sheath, it will cost around 40,000 to 60,000 yen. Therefore, for a rusty sword, it can be considered that it will cost almost 250,000 yen for expenses. It’s difficult to make a substantial profit with a flawed piece. I discussed these points and recommended storing it personally. If my opinion is correct, I am considering issuing an appraisal certificate from Aoi Art.
If my opinion is correct, I am considering issuing an appraisal certificate from Aoi Art. We received a response regarding considering issuing an appraisal certificate from Aoi Art if my opinion was correct. I explained that this sword is from the Muromachi period, with the tip of the tang being genuine Kinugawa Mamoru Takataka. Since it is an authentic piece with a straight edge, I suggested that if they continue to keep it, they can likely maintain it from the late Muromachi period. Among the attendees, even though the Sword Museum’s appraisal mainly featured specially preserved swords and top-ranked specially preserved swords, there were significant issues with a nonsensical appraisal. This became a problem, and following the Ministry of Education’s notification, specially preserved swords and top-ranked specially preserved swords were prohibited. Preserved swords and special preservation were newly introduced and have been in place since then. Local appraisals have also disappeared, and due to this, the Sword Museum will undoubtedly conduct strict appraisals in the future, eliminating intentional mistakes and undoubtedly being protected by superior appraisal standards. However, criticisms remain regarding the high appraisal fees.
A question I often receive is, “Mr. Tsuruta, you must have a lot of masterpieces, right?” However, I only have one. It has flaws, but it’s a beautiful reflection sword from Sue Seki. I’m thinking of placing this piece on my stomach when I die and go to the afterlife. It’s a piece of memory that cannot be determined by money. No matter how many masterpieces you collect, humans eventually have to embark on the journey of death. Even if you collect hundreds of millions or tens of billions of yen, you must leave this world. While collecting masterpieces may be wonderful, each person has different things they want to possess. However, the desire to possess something is there. But there are only a few years left.
Everyone, take care. Grandpas, grandmas, please get along. Take care of your husbands and wives. It’s autumn. How about making chestnut rice? It seems that saury is in abundance this year. For chestnuts, it’s good to cut a part with a knife (just poking holes). Boil them, and when they become quite soft, cool them with water. After that, peel the chestnuts, and once you’ve peeled them all, put a little soy sauce on them and mix them with the rice. Delicious chestnut rice can be made by cooking them together with the rice. It seems a brazier is good for grilling saury. I’d like to eat saury grilled dark like the saury in Meguro. Oh yes, please prepare grated daikon radish too. Your reputation will go up. Let’s raise a simple and cheerful child. Let them interact with nature as much as possible. If they’ve experienced dipping their feet in a cold river or looking at autumn leaves, you can’t imagine how impressed children will be. If they are studying too much, frustration will build up, so release the pressure at that time. Japan’s Political Improvement Society, Don Quixote, Chairman, Kazunari Tsuruta.

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