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Thursday, June 22, 2023

TanboHiro: Ch 1 - Ep 19


Chapter 1

Episode 19: Bamboo cutting



We came to a bamboo grove owned by Shigeru-san to pick up some bamboo.


"Oh, so this is the bamboo grove! There's a lot of bamboo growing here!"


Seram looks overwhelmed when she sees all the bamboo growing as far as the eye can see.


"As expected, it's cooler here since there's so much shade."


I was sweating so badly, but the sun was blocked out when we entered the bamboo grove, and the place became cool.


Looking up, the blue sky peeking through the bamboo grove is so beautiful.


The green and blue contrasts can be seen everywhere in the countryside, but this scene is charming.


The bamboo leaves swayed every time the wind blew and sounded like sea waves.


"Now, let's cut the bamboo right away."


The purpose of this visit is not to sightseeing the bamboo grove but to pick up some bamboo.


It is cool and comfortable, making it tempting to relax, but there is no time to relax.


The more time we spend here, the longer it takes to make Nagashi Soumen.


"Which bamboo should we cut?"


The bamboo should be neither thin nor thick for the soumen to flow.


"Something about this thick would be fine."


"That's right. About that thick."


About 20 centimeters thick. This thickness should be enough to make Nagashi Soumen.


"Then I'll cut over there."


"Okay. Seram and I will cut some bamboo around here."


Bamboo is so long that it is dangerous if people are near it, so we decide to cut bamboo while keeping a safe distance from each other.


"Okay, you've worn rubber gloves and goggles, right?"


"Yes, no problem!"


"First, let me show you how to cut bamboo."


I approach the nearest bamboo.


"First, check the center of gravity to see how the bamboo will fall.

In this case, the center of gravity is in the back, so I insert the saw from the front to cut it. If you cut from the back, the weight of the bamboo will press the saw making it harder to cut."


"I see."


As I explain and move the saw, Seram nods in understanding.


"Also, be careful with the fibers. Bamboo is fragile, and the fibers may fly around. That's why it's important to protect your eyes with goggles."


We wear rubber gloves for the same reason.


"That's all you need to know. Can you do it?"


"No problem! Leave it to me!"


I hand her the saw for cutting down bamboo.


Seram found a piece of bamboo a short distance from me and started cutting it.


She uses the saw carefully, and the bamboo is cut in seconds.


With a cracking sound, the bamboo slowly fell over.


"Like this?"


"Yeah, that's good."


Just like when repairing the roof tiles, she didn't look awkward.


She seems to have been trained as an engineer, so she must be used to this kind of work.


After confirming that the Seram can cut the bamboo without any problems, I also get to work.


A small piece of bamboo can be cut quickly. Still, when it reaches a thickness of about 20 centimeters, the bamboo becomes hard and difficult to cut.


It is difficult to cut because it moves strangely. Maybe because it has a strange bend.


Finally, after 5 minutes, I cut down a piece of bamboo.


"......This is taking longer than I thought. I should have borrowed a chainsaw."


However, it is too late to regret it now.


It would be faster to do it with this saw than to go back and borrow a chainsaw now.


I pulled and retrieved the fallen bamboo, and Seram brought three pieces with her.


To be able to cut down three bamboo in such a short time, her physical ability is as high as ever.


"Hey, Jin-dono. May I make a suggestion?"


"What is it?"


"May I use my sword?"


Seram puts the bamboo on the ground and asks while placing her hand on her waist.


"Do you mean to cut the bamboo with a sword?"


"That's right. It's probably easier and quicker than cutting with a saw."


"In the first place, can you cut bamboo with a sword?"


I have seen a master cut bamboo with a katana on TV, but as an amateur, I don't know if she can do it.


Besides, Seram is wearing a sword, not a katana. I wonder if she can cut the bamboo cleanly.


"Jin-dono, are you doubting my skill?! I am still a knight who served the kingdom! If it is only bamboo, I will cut it like tofu!"


Seram looked a bit offended by my question.


It seems my question offends Seram's pride as a knight.


Maybe it's better if I let her do it if she says that strongly.


This is Shigeru-san's bamboo forest, and only we can enter.


The only person to be concerned about is Kaito, but he is cutting bamboo some distance away and wouldn't be looking over here.


"Fine. Then try it."


"Ummm. Jin-dono, stay away a little further."


I do as she tells me and distances myself from Seram.


Seram slowly draws the sword from its sheath.


A sound like metal rubbing against metal is heard, and the silvery white sword is revealed.


This sword usually looks like a replica sword in its sheath, but the aura is different when I see it pulled out like this.


This is the first time I've seen Seram holding her sword like this.


And the last time she pulled it out, she immediately collapsed in the rice field.


With bated breath, I watched Seram holding her sword in the middle of the bamboo grove. She suddenly moved.


In the blink of an eye, she swung her sword several times..


One, two, three flashes of light, and then... After a delay, three bamboo fell diagonally.


"Amazing! The bamboo was cut in an instant!"


When I checked the cut, I found it was cut far more cleanly than one cut with a saw.


It was proof of her sword skill, not merely a slash with a sharp blade.


"Huff, this much is natural for a knight."


She pretended to be calm, but Seram's expression wavered slightly.


It seems she is happy to be praised for her sword skill. She is so easy to understand.


"Even so, it feels good to swing the sword after a long time."


Seram stares at the sword with a somewhat refreshed face.


"You just wanted to swing your sword by shortening the work time as an excuse, right?"


Her shoulder twitch. Seeing her reaction, I confirmed that my guess was correct.


It was odd for Seram to suggest such a logical thing.


"Well, it can't be helped! I used to swing it every day before I came here. But I can't swing it here because of the Firearms and Swords Law! Please try to understand how I feel!"


It is as if someone practicing Kyudo or Kendo daily is suddenly not allowed to practice anymore.


I don't have the experience of such training, so I can't say I understand the feeling. It may be inevitable that she gets frustrated when she is suddenly forbidden to do something that has become a habit.


If I am suddenly told not to work on the farm, I will also be frustrated.


Maybe I should think of a way to give Seram a break.


"There was a very loud sound, are you guys okay?"


While I was thinking, Kaito approached us with bamboo in his arms.


"Put the sword away."


"Oh, yeah!"


I said to Seram, who was dazed. She hurriedly put her sword back in its sheath.


I wish you would be more cautious.


"It's just that the bamboo fell over at the same time."


"I see. Oh, you cut down a lot of bamboos over there."


"How many did you get over there?"




"If we cut this many, there should be enough to give to Shigeru-san. Maybe it's time to go."




For Nagashi soumen, two bamboo poles are sufficient.


We've also cut parts for Shigeru-san, so this should be enough.


“Then, should I carry this to the car?”


"Ahaha, Seram-san. Bamboo is quite heavy, so don't push yourself. Leave it to us ---. Eeh! ”


Kaito was laughing, but his expression turned serious when Seram carried three bamboo poles at once.


"Although I look like this, I have confidence in my strength. I appreciate your concern, but you don't have to worry about me that much."


Seram doesn't notice Kaito's surprise and walks away with a smile.


Kaito watches in amazement as Seram walks away.


"Seram is strong, so you don't need to worry about her."


"... No, I think she's more than just that?"


Perhaps not convinced by my words, Kaito tried to carry 3 bamboo poles at once.


He tried to lift them up with his face turning red, but the bamboo did not lift up.


" "............" "


Without pushing ourselves, we carried them one by one on our shoulders to the car.




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