mill-3

大阪にある父方の実家は、祖父の時代からメリヤス工場を営んでいる。
安い中国製品の導入により、メリヤス工場の需要は現在ではすっかり縮小されてしまったが、私が幼少の頃は、それなりに大きな工場が近所にもたくさんあった。
大きな裁断機やたくさんのミシンが置かれた工場は、まるで体育館のように広かったし、2階には工員さん達の下宿する小さな部屋がたくさん。
迷路のように長く続く廊下は、子供達にとっては格好の遊び場であった。

自由奔放で我が儘したい放題の祖父が会社を興したが、朝から晩まで灯火のもとでミシンを踏み続けた祖母の支えがなければ、今の私も生まれてはいないだろう。
明治生まれの祖母は、辛いことがあっても決して人前では泣かない、箪笥の陰でこっそりと泣く「明治の女」だった。
お正月は大阪で過ごすのがかつての我が家の慣習であったが、祖父が他界した後、私達家族は東京で新年を迎えることが多くなった。
いつも姉弟や従兄弟達と共に行動していた私にとって、祖母と二人きりで過ごした思い出は数少ない。

ある夏、工場で働く祖母を陰からのぞいていると、彼女が手招きをした。
「おばあちゃんはな、小さい頃からずーっとミシンを踏んでいたんや。だから、孫達に伝えられることなんて何もない。でもハサミの使い方だけは教えてあげられる。」
「ハサミがよう切れんかったら、あかん。仕事はちっとも進まへんよ。裁縫も料理もおんなじや。刃物だけは、ええものを使いや。」
「おばあちゃんはな、仕事で贅沢は言わへんけれど、ハサミだけは、ちょっとだけ贅沢してええ物を買うてるんよ。美香ちゃん、ひとつあげるわ。内緒やで。」

祖母は3年前に他界、97歳の大往生だった。
箪笥の陰でこっそり泣く一方、頑固で強靭な芯を持っているのも明治女の気質だったのかもしれない。
良い物は時代を超える、祖母が教えてくれた。
明治生まれの祖母が愛用した糸切りバサミは海を渡り、時を超えて、30年以上も私の傍で働いてくれている。

我が家の小さな家宝の物語。

DSC03530

DSC03531

Paternal family home in Osaka, runs a knitting mill from the age of my
grandfather.
With the introduction of cheap Chinese products, the factory had been
completely reduced.
But there were a lot of big mills in the neighborhood when I was childhood.
The factory with the big cutting machine and a lot of sewing machine was
as wide as the gymnasium, and there were some extra rooms for the
workers on the second floor.
Long corridor was like the maze, and it was as if the playground for children.

My grandfather, selfish free-wheeling man, established his company
before, but if there was not grandmother's continued support stepping on
the sewing machine under the lamplight from morning till night, I was not
here.
My grandmother was born in the Meiji Era, and did not cry in front of people
if she was even in painful.
She was a "woman of the Meiji Era," secretly cry in the shade of a chest of
drawers.
We had a convention of former home to spend the New Year in Osaka.
But after our grandfather died, our family got a lot to welcome the New
Year in Tokyo.
I was always acting for my sister, brother and cousin together, so my
memories spent alone with my grandmother were very few.

One summer, when I was watching my grandmother working in the mill
from the shadow, she was beckoning me.
"Come on here, Mika. I had stepped on a sewing machine from childhood.
So, I have nothing to teach you, my grandchildren." she said.
"But only I can tell you how to use the scissor."

"If you use a bad scissors, everything won't go well.
Both cooking and sewing are same.
Just use the good cutting tool."
"I do not say to a luxury in my work.
But for only scissors, I have to buy the best one.
I'll give you one little luxury in secret."

My grandmother passed away three years ago, 97-year-old was a large
death.
Meiji women secretly dropped the tears behind the chest of drawers, but
other hand, they might have mind of a stubborn and tough core.
She taught me that Good thing live more than the age.
The thread trimming scissors, which was loved by my grandmother, born in
Meiji Era, crossed the sea beyond the time.
It's still working by my side more than 30 years.

This is the story of a small treasure of my family.