Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Sasagawa Yukichi's Picture Postcards




By trade, Mr. Sasagawa Yukichi was a maker of mochi, the glutinous Japanese rice cake eaten at festivals. The Sasagawa shop still exists in downtown Niigata City, as shown in the accompanying photos. My mother-in-law will purchase mochi and related items, such as sasadango, the local mochi delicacy wrapped in bamboo leaves and made with powdered green tea (whence the mochi derives its green hue), from no other vendor. What few probably know, however, is that Mr. Sasagawa was an avid collector of picture postcards. Indeed, before he died in 1998 he donated more than 26,000 postcards, representing a lifetime of collecting, to the Niigata Prefectural Museum, located in Nagaoka. Some of them may be viewed at the following link: www.nbz.or.jp/jp/siryo/sasagawa.html. If you are ever in the Furumachi district of Niigata City, ask for the Sasagawa Mochi Shop. While there, observe the collection of curiosities in the shop window. And don't forget the sasadango.

No comments: