2011/04/08

"Kesen-cha" to face the future

Kesen town in Rikuzen-takata city (Iwate prefecture) is the northernmost area for growing Japanese tea called Kesen-cha. The city is one of the most devastated areas, and most of which have been washed away by tsunami. However, a tea field of 1,000 square meters on a hill in the area is miraculously found to be safe.

The history of Kesen-cha dates back to the18th century. Since then, scores of tea-pickers, mostly women, have preserved the tea tradition carefully.

The residents of the town are still separated by the disaster, but the good news links them together.

These are what the survivors say;

“We would pick tea in hopes of  producing delicious tea. We really had a great time.“

“The tea field is watching over us so that we can carry on living. If we can work as tea-pickers again, we would be as happy as happy can be. We don’t want more than that.

“We cannot see our future yet. But, all we can do now is to unite against the difficulties. The tea-picking season here is usually June. So, we’d love to pick tea this coming June and produce Kesen-cha even small amount. It can be the first step towards the reconstruction of the area.

Tea buds are surely put forth again and again even after being picked. People of the district will surely show remarkable resilience. I haven’t tried Kesen-cha before, but I'm sure tea made by people of the area must taste vigorous and gentle.


"Survivor" Tea field