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Memorable Day with Mom: Handcrafted Pearls & Quality Time

This is another article unrelated to pearls.

My mother and I went on a day trip to a somewhat famous Baumkuchen (a type of German layer cake) shop. My mother, who is turning 73, has a driver’s license but has become increasingly fearful of driving lately. So, for her, going on a solo trip is becoming more difficult with each passing year.

Moreover, my mother’s spouse is like a stubborn, traditional, and endangered species. My father, or rather, my father, hardly communicates with the family, as if he believes it’s a loss to talk to them. The only one he talks to is our pet, Lulu. He talks to Lulu, the only family member who doesn’t use words, while we all struggle to converse. Living with my father, who is like this, makes my mother often feel suffocated and she frequently vents her frustrations.

I’m busy with my pearl evangelism activities every day, but I want to take good care of the mother who raised me. I’ve imposed a lot of hardships on her throughout my life.

Last Saturday, I spent the morning making pearl bracelets with an abundance of pearls. In the afternoon, I attended my first-ever metalworking class. The class lasted about four hours and was a very rewarding time. When the class ended in the evening, my wholesale customer was waiting for me outside the class, and we drove for an hour to Osaka. He had recently found a certain pearl shop and had arranged a meeting with customers to do business on that day. I was invited to join him.

He was still in the middle of learning about pearls, so he intended to use my expertise. We started the negotiations immediately, but it turned out that our pearls were too expensive for the customers to purchase. Currently, the Akoya pearl market in Japan is rapidly escalating in price. Price mismatches occur frequently. I gave up on the business and instead just talked about what I think about Akoya pearls every day. Then, suddenly, I felt like I had seen the customer somewhere before. When I mentioned it, the customer also said, “Oh, I remember where I saw you! I recalled that two weeks ago, I saw you having a meal with a friend I hadn’t met in a long time at a Chinese restaurant, right?”

From there, the conversation picked up, and it turned out that the customer was connected to a mutual acquaintance. He purchased some pearl products from us.

It made me realize how small the world is, and it was a relief that the business was able to move forward, even if only a bit. My wholesale customer was also pleased. The business negotiations ended around 8:00 PM, and we returned from Osaka to Kobe.

In the backyard of my parents’ house, there is a temple. Every day, the elegant sound of the bells resonates through the village in the morning and evening.

The weather was bad, with heavy rain. In the pouring rain, I headed to my mother’s waiting at her parents’ home. I arrived at my parents’ house around 11:30 PM. My mother had been anxiously waiting for me, and Lulu also welcomed me.

I found a spider at my parents’ home before leaving.

The next morning, at 9:00 AM, we left for the Baumkuchen shop. Sorry for the lengthy preamble.

By the way, neither my mother nor I had much interest in this Baumkuchen shop. We were simply looking for somewhere reasonably far to go to fulfill my mother’s wish. The Baumkuchen shop happened to be at a suitable distance.

My mother and I generally get along well, so we chatted about trivial things and shared many smiles on the way to the Baumkuchen shop in the family car. The Baumkuchen shop is called “La Collina” and is located in Omihachiman City, Shiga Prefecture. (https://taneya.jp/la_collina/)

They display beautiful pastries in a way that resembles a museum. The vast grounds give it a Ghibli-like feel and a Wonderland from Alice in Wonderland vibe.

This company has a strong philosophy. They believe that the path of a confectionery shop isn’t just about buying and selling. To make it work, you need a community, a source of raw materials, clean water, and a strong connection among all these elements. They emphasize that, to live in this area, you must cooperate with the local people in areas beyond the core confectionery business. They acknowledge that they’re allowed to do business in this region thanks to the people here and even attribute it to the blessings of the gods.

To make sweets, you need the raw materials. Without ingredients like red beans, rice, and clean water, you can’t make confections. Therefore, confectionery businesses need to coexist with nature. They also need to connect with the people who nurture these ingredients. They emphasize this.

I don’t have much to say about this, but I wholeheartedly agree and find it very convincing.

As a member of a company that operates an Akoya pearl cultivation farm, I find this to be highly educational.

In any case, my mother and I wandered around this shop. The shop interior was filled with beautiful and delicious items, and the outdoor scenery was picturesque as well.

Both my mother and I were able to spend a very leisurely time here.

Around noon, I took my mother to a restaurant in an old folk house that was previously used by a supplier of Akoya pearl nuclei, the core used in pearl cultivation. (https://www.kurogama.com/) It’s said to be a 100-year-old folk house. Here, we enjoyed dishes primarily featuring Omi beef.

A few years ago, when I was taken there by the supplier, the staff were all beautiful and their service was as elegant as a luxury hotel. I was so proud to stay at the restaurant. However, this time, the staff were noticeably different. Some didn’t react when I entered, and one of them stumbled on the same step twice, causing the dishes to topple twice in a row. It’s okay to stumble, but he didn’t offer any apologies and served the disheveled food without any acknowledgment. He just managed an embarrassed smile at his stumbles. He also accidentally bumped into nearby glasses and plates a few times while serving, but there were no apologies.

Fortunately, my mother and I are not the type to get angry over such things, and we simply found them amusing. However, both my mother and I had the same impression: “We’re not coming here again.” Still, the food was delicious. The main course, Omi beef, was overcooked and burnt, so it wasn’t very tasty. My mother commented, “The coffee is really delicious. The best thing in this restaurant is the coffee,” in a tone that I couldn’t tell whether it was sarcasm or sincerity. The dessert cake was also delicious. Despite a few accidents, we had a relaxing and enjoyable time at this restaurant.

In Shiga Prefecture, there is a very large lake called Lake Biwa. Of course, it doesn’t even come close to the size of the Great Lakes.

We left the restaurant at around 2:30 PM. My parents’ house is about a two-and-a-half-hour drive away. Since I had work the next day, I needed to return to my home, which is a two-hour drive from my parents’ house. My mother was worried about this, so she agreed to finish our outing early. During the car ride, I talked about all sorts of nonsensical things, and my mother, although baffled, laughed along.

“I visited the highway service area in Takarazuka. It truly felt like the city of the Takarazuka Revue.”

No matter how much people speak with reason, try to persuade others, shout for peace, or even proclaim that thick pearls are justice, it won’t change the values of others. Winning an argument may satisfy the victor, but the defeated won’t change their values or beliefs, even if they lose the debate. What remains are the lingering effects of being defeated. That’s why I’m not good at engaging in discussions that might influence someone’s values. I try to avoid countering what others say, even in trivial arguments. If a discussion can change based on someone’s words, it should ideally lead to a more constructive and meaningful conversation. Pushing one’s beliefs onto others carries risks for both sides, but when one side concedes and accepts the other’s perspective, it can foster trust. They might think, “This person accepts me.” As a result, they may become more open to listening to the other person’s opinions and thoughts in the future. I highly value this kind of interaction. It’s possible that my rudimentary English might not fully express these ideas, but these concepts are quite universal, so there may not be much to worry about.

In any case, against this backdrop, I believe I had an enjoyable time sharing moments with my mother. We engaged in light-hearted conversations, and I think my mother enjoyed them too. If it were my older or younger siblings, it might not have gone as smoothly. My siblings dislike idle chatter. It’s all about compatibility. I might have good compatibility with my mother.

Around 5 PM, I returned to my parents’ house and played with our dog, Lulu. My mother gave me curry, around 20 croquettes, and a tissue case made from kimono fabric. I use these tissue cases as gifts for customers who purchase my pearl products. Some customers have actually preferred the tissue case over the pearls, which was quite amusing. My mother, who lives in a rural part of Japan and hasn’t traveled much, couldn’t even ride a train alone. She is pleased that these tissue cases will journey to various countries. She said, “This case is going to places like America and Europe, where I can’t go.”

When we returned near my parents’ home, a beautiful sunset welcomed us.

At 6 PM, I left my parents’ house and returned home around 8 PM. My life is usually immersed in pearls, but thanks to my mother, I felt refreshed. Despite the tiredness from driving cars and riding motorcycles, my heart was undeniably content.

This has become quite a realistic diary, but this is the person responsible for creating Akoya pearl products. Until next time.



I am part of a Japanese company with an Akoya pearl farm. Apart from the company, I personally run an Akoya pearl shop. I would appreciate it if I could share smiles with various people through pearls.

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