Feel the seas of Noto through rock painting

I picked up the brush and turned to the rock.
It came from a beach in Noto. As I paint it, I can almost hear the surf and the lapping waves.
I can almost feel the oceans of Noto...
The studio used to be a garage, until it was rebuilt and turned into an art classroom. Inside, I was surrounded by the works of many people, young and old. I picked one stone out of the various kinds available.
“Now, what to do with this one…” I mused to myself.
I came here to do media coverage on a January day and, now that I think about it, didn’t someone say eggplants are a sign of good luck at the start of a new year?
Yes, that’s what I’ll do. For the stem and leaves, I’ll use a yellowish-green tone.
The proprietress picked two hues. One was greenish and the other bluish, then she squeezed out some paint from both.
After mixing the paints, I take my brush to the rock.
I finish the stem and leaves first, then add the purple for the eggplant.
These are fast-drying acrylic paints -- if I make a mistake, I can paint over it.
Lastly, I pick a few ornaments to decorate my rock.
Since I wanted to make a girly eggplant, I added a ribbon.
Then I drew in eyes, a nose and a mouth with a felt-tip pen.
The owner finished it for me with a little colored pencil pink blush.

The proprietress of clothing store “Dips” spent her early years in Osaka. After graduating from a college of the arts, she worked as a graphic designer at a Tokyo design firm, until she married a shopkeeper in Nanao. She didn’t know anything about bridal curtains until then.

The hanayome noren custom only exists in regions that used to belong to the former feudal domain of Kaga. When I learned that, I figured there’d be people in Ishikawa who had noren, and others who did not.
As the chairman of the Ipponsugi Street Promotion Committee in those days, Dips’ other owner strongly wanted to leverage the hanayome noren to revitalize the neighborhood. To that end, he put together a caravan to promote the custom all over the country, sometimes together with his wife. It put their historic revitalization efforts on the map, with the hanayome noren at the center of the spotlight, and resulted in television drama contracts and a victory at the 6th Tiffany and Co. Awards. The Hanayome Noren Museum opened its doors, and a Hanayome Noren Railway soon followed. The caravan’s efforts paid off in spades.

Dips’ proprietress taught me that in the past there would only be one noren for one bride.
But nowadays people aren’t so fussy about that, and some families borrow or loan out their noren.
Even non-Buddhists use them to celebrate childbirth, or hang them over their tokonoma alcoves.
The proprietress of Dips said the first time she’d seen the unique way young people use hanayome noren was during her son’s wedding. His wife came from Nomi, another city like Nanao that has a tradition of hanayome noren.
But the custom had already fallen out of style in Nomi, so she experienced quite a shock when she came to Ipponsugi Street.
They decorated their wedding ceremony with his new mother-in-law’s hanayome noren.
Then, his wife went to the Hanayome Noren Museum and dressed in regalia for their noren-crossing experience.
And her mother stood by her daughter, now a newlywed woman, gazing at the noren and thinking:
“Aren’t noren curtains beautiful?”

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