Painting Misodaru/Misooke with Kakishibu

Painting Misodaru/Misooke with Kakishibu

Happy Holidays!

It has been about three years since I started using this Miso Oke.

The Oke, made of high-grade Yoshino cedar and Nara bamboo, smells great in the room for a few months to a year after purchase, and buyers are happy to enjoy the aroma as well.

However, Japan is a humid country except in winter. Depending on where it is stored, mold can grow, especially on the bamboo hoop (Taga). Although mold is natural and harmless depending on the type, it takes a lot of time and effort to wash and dry oke regularly.

So the other day I decided to apply Kakishibu.

Kakishibu is an extract obtained by crushing and pressing the unripe fruit of astringent persimmons and then fermenting and ripening it, and it has insect repellent, antiseptic, and waterproofing effects. It has been used for a variety of purposes, including undercoating for lacquer, preserving fish nets and fishing lines, and as a base coat for painting woodwork and wood construction. When dried on paper, it becomes hard and sturdy and has waterproofing properties, so it was once used to make fans, umbrellas, and paper garments. Although its use as a paint has decreased in recent years, it is being reevaluated as a paint that does not cause sick building syndrome. It is also used for dyeing fabrics, and the resulting brown hue is favored as kakishibu dyeing.

This time, I applied Kakishibu to Oke with a brush and allowed to dry three times.

Another characteristic of Kakishibu is its distinctive smell. It may be liked or disliked by different people, but there is no denying that it is a very strong smell. At first I was a little worried about the smell, but after about a month, the smell has almost disappeared.

Video of Kakishibu application (Instagram)

An unexpected bonus after applying Kakishibu was the change in texture of the Oke. The bamboo hoop is now shiny and the overall color has become beautiful. The clean white wood of the Yoshinosugi when I purchased it was fresh and beautiful, but I really like this subdued, austere color.

Of course, no mold has appeared at all.

I plan to make our next batch of miso in the spring of 2024, and am looking forward to seeing what kind of miso we can make.

Misodaru/Misooke 10kg

*The difference between Oke and Taru
Oke is usually considered to be made of Masame wood (quarter-sawn) without a lid, while Taru is made of Itame wood (itame) with a lid. However, even the Japanese are ambiguous about the difference between the two. Fujii's Oke has a lid and is made of Masame wood, but is still called Oke. For this reason, HAMON JAPAN uses the term Misodaru (Miso-taru)/Misooke in the same name.

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