The nominated story is here: http://smalltalk.staradvertiserblogs.com/2012/12/31/honolulu-candy-makers-resurrect-dying-japanese-craft/
A full list of nominees is here: http://www.emmysf.tv/images/emmy13%20nomination%20press%20release.pdf
More information about this chapter is here: http://www.emmysf.tv
I shot this with my video partner Mr. Tracy Arakaki of Tracy Arakaki Productions. I'm so lucky that he wants to partner up annually to create a video story. We do this as an unpaid hobby as we both have day jobs.
Tracy shooting the Tanakas
We do it because we love the creative process of putting a story together, and all the elements that go with it - the discussion over the direction of the piece, the brainstorming over what visuals are important, the opportunity to meet new people in the community in ways that our real jobs would not allow, the comfortable dynamic between reporter/photographer, producer/editor - roles we once shared together at KHNL.
Us at work, with grip Joe Aikala in background
Tracy shooting Kenny Endo Taiko Ensemble for the opening shot
The EMMY® award is presented for outstanding achievement in television by The National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences (NATAS). This is the same award you are probably familiar with from the red carpet shows honoring your favorite television shows. This group covers all television programming, including a division to honor news.
There were 674 entries this year, so I'm honored to even be nominated; the winners will be announced at a ceremony in San Francisco on June 15.
As my six regular readers may know, I like gardening. I don't have a big yard, so a lot of it is in pots, though I've recently done a few things: I've started digging into my once-beautifully designed front "yard" (by "yard" I mean postcard-sized spit of land near the mailbox) which the previous owners had landscaped with low-maintenance, tropical plants; I've started buying big pots to place around the dog's yard in an effort to keep the plants safe from her trampling or pooping on them; and I've started researching what plants work well with the microclimates in order to best maximize my limited yard space.
Fail: I didn't think Inca would dig in the pots. See footprints.
This has led me to succulents to plant under the eaves of the house - that thin strip of land that will, in the summer, get blazing sun and little water, and where previous efforts to plant my favorite things (herbs) has failed. So far, I'm not sure. It's rainy now, so two of those succulents have rotted and died.
I've also looked further into shade-loving plants, which has brought me to culinary ginger. I'm Chinese: I like useful things. I have awapuhi, and have intentions of dividing my dad's honeycomb ginger when I have time, but I'm really excited about culinary ginger. Imagine never having to buy it again!
After research online, I bought a hand from an organic grocery store (Down to Earth) and cut it into seven pieces, each piece with a little eye that should eventually grow a sprout. I read that organic ginger lacks growth-retardant, but for experimentation, I also cut a chunk of chain-grocery store ginger to see what happens. Though, I've forgotten which ginger came from which store. Duh!
I planted a few in pots and a few directly into the ground, on the shady side of the house.
I did this on Halloween. Ginger is very slow, because it took months for it to sprout, and not all have sprouted yet. I think they will, because I see their eyes having green growth buds.
I have actually forgotten where I put three of the rhizomes. I remember the general location but I can't find them anymore. Maybe one day they'll be these beautiful leaves that will call out to me where to find them. (There seems to be a lot of memory-loss in this blog!)
Meanwhile, here's a progress update:
In water: Foodland ginger. On right: organic ginger, cut and drying
Look for eye buds like this.
Dry for a week till the cut scabs over, or rhizome will rot when you plant it.
Slow grow: this is 2 1/2 months later, and a small green shoot.
Roll up your sleeves, Jack and Jill magazine is going DIY. The award-winning U.S. Kids title, written for children ages 7-12, will be regularly featured on PlanItDIY.com in conjunction with the website’s recent relaunch. Maintained by the North American Retail Hardware Association, PlanItDIY.com is a consumer resource for how-to home improvement videos and step-by-step project guides. Jack and Jill will be featuring kid-friendly projects that families can complete together on the website.
PlanItDIY.com provides visitors with a truly unique resource for connecting directly to a community of fellow DIYers. Some of the first Jack and Jill projects to be published on PlanItDIY.com are “World in a Bottle,” a terrarium that teaches children about the fragility and importance of our planet’s ecosystem and a duct tape handbag and wallet. Future projects include a homemade compost bin, homegrown catnip, and a bird feeder.
“Jack and Jill is focused on helping children be creative and artistic with a strong emphasis on self-sufficiency and responsibility for household chores,” said Corey Michael Dalton, U.S. Kids Editor. “These projects on PlanItDIY.com will engage kids and show them that they can have fun while doing something educational and even useful around the house.”
Just in time for the winter season, when I know Olivia will be indoors more due to the inclement weather!
Say the word sushi, and most people think of rice and raw fish. Refer to taiko, and many understand that to be Japanese drum performances. But would you know what amezaiku is?
Courtesy: Candy Art Hawaii
It’s candy art: melted sugar, shaped into edible sculptures. Even in Japan, where its been practiced for centuries, it’s not at all common. Honolulu residents Chika and Nathan Tanaka hope to change that - starting right here in Hawaii. They are candy artists, and their business is called Candy Art Hawaii.
Nathan and Chika Tanaka at a childrens' party
Chika, a native of Japan, admits it’s a rare art in Japan. "There are not so many artists in Japan; I had never seen it myself in my hometown," she says. Until she met Nathan.
Ironically, it is an American who wants to perpetuate this special Japanese tradition. Nathan is a Japanese-American who grew up in Hawaii. After college, he moved to Japan for six years.
"I went to a festival, saw someone making this and was completely amazed," recalls Nathan. He sought out a teacher, which in itself was a difficult task. Ultimately, most of his skills were self-taught through trial and error.
Courtesy: Candy Art Hawaii
When he returned to Hawaii, he decided to continue the craft as a part-time business, bringing joy to parties on the weekends.
He talks to me while shaping a lollipop before my eyes. "I’m working with hot sugar and shaping it into animals, and we have three to four minutes until it hardens as it cools down," he summarizes. But it's much easier said than done.
Courtesy: Candy Art Hawaii
The sugar is heated to 190 degrees Fahrenheit - "like freshly cooked rice," Nathan describes. Ouch!
Add some color, work it into the taffy. Then roll, snip, and pinch it into form. A paintbrush brings it to life. Hang it to cool for a few minutes, before handing over a small piece of happiness.
Nathan reflects on the best part of his job: "It’s really fun, and just seeing the reaction of the children as they get the candy."
It's delightful for kids, and kids at heart. An 83-year-old customer watches with as much delight as the littlest children in line.
Kids enjoying amezaiku lollipops by Candy Art Hawaii
Their hands tell the story of how difficult this really is. To perfect their craft, it took hundreds of hours of practice and pain. "When we started we had blister and first degree burns," he recalls. Today, they have more than 30 shapes to offer.
The Tanakas are part of a shrinking group of candy artists. They believe there are only three amezaiku makers in the United States, and only 20 - 30 in the world!
Party guest Akihiro Okada, who was born and raised in Japan, comments, "It’s a nostalgic feeling to see amezaiku. You don’t get to see it that often, even for Japanese locals. This is completely special.”
It’s hard work, with long hours, so fewer people seem to be taking the time to learn the craft. The Tanakas savor the idea of keeping a dying tradition alive. And, it’s just as sweet to introduce a new generation to the delights of amezaiku.
We have an extra room in the house. It's been used by various housemates, houseguests, and live-in babysitters over the years. It's come in handy.
The latest resident of the room, our babysitter, moved out in August. It took us nearly three months to even begin the cleaning process. We intended to deep clean it and then repaint the walls from white to light yellow.
In the interim, we used it as Olivia's time-out room. It is hard to send her for a time out in her own room because she has toys and books in there, so it's not really all that much of a punishment.
As a punishment room, the nanny's old room worked well, because there was absolutely nothing in it, and it wasn't all that welcoming. Unfortunately, we've lost the time-out room now.
After several weekends of labor, we finished. It's a cheerful, bright yellow, with a comfortable king sized bed and cable TV. It's also the coolest room due to the way the windows are situated. Because of the color, we are calling it The Limoncello Room.
We did such a nice job on the refurbishment that Olivia wants to go in there and watch TV, with or without us.
We are in the process of realizing this. Yesterday, Claus threatened Olivia that if she continued some unauthorized behavior, she would be sent to a time out.
"But I like The Limoncello Room now," she countered. (Sidebar: she has no idea what limoncello is.)