There are intercultural projects that translate into a service for the community a great love for the cultural identity of a civilization, you want to tell the other side of the world. This is the story of the MIDORITALY of Debora Testi and Kazuo Sakamoto, a wonderful couple that is divided between Italy and Japan telling and bringing in our country the tradition of Japanese green tea.
Interview by FM
FM:The project MIDORITALY. What can you tell us about it?
KS: about the name, represents a summary of the project. “Midori” in Japanese means green, and “It” stands for Italy. It is first and foremost a personal story, starting from our life experiences. My hometown is well known for the production of Japanese green tea, there is half of the rising sun. It is historically linked to the origins of cultivation of green tea in Japan, due to a Japanese monk that pointed to the area as the most suitable for growing as a result of imports from China. The return of spring felt that scent and I wanted to pass in Italy that culture and that identity tied to the tradition of this processing, which invokes the authentic product. Without forgetting the history, differences between Chinese and Japanese tea. I appreciate Chinese culture, must be acknowledged Japanese debt towards China. Nevertheless there is an originality that emerges through this tradition. Raise these values without adding any trinket, this is the wish of MIDORITALY. My initial idea, because they are proud to belong to this reality, historically linked to the events of the Tokugawa era. The castle still exists, with the Pavilion dedicated to tea ceremony. Also the supplier to whom we support is in the area.
FM: Debora. From Shanghai to Livorno, in the Bolognese with a project dedicated to Japan. How to start your journey in the rising sun?
DT: my love was born when I was 12-13 years. I haven’t lived in China but to Livorno, in a neighborhood that ironically called Shanghai. Then, when we established in Bologna, remember that my dad came home one day with a Touring Atlas dedicated to China. A wonder, I found myself immediately into faces and colors. From that moment the love for the East has never left me. Later I approached more to Japan, starting to read books on zen. I became a Buddhist and I then lived in Japan 10 months, thanks to a scholarship to the Soka university of Tokyo, related to my studies in science education. And there I met Kazuo. A wonderful experience, many friends from all over the world. I always say that I have sisters from Honk Kong, India, Africa. Other than cultural differences!Midoritaly however was also that I can continue my daily research of the East without sacrificing commitments as a MOM of three very young children. It is a unique project because we do not have a physical store, but we dedicate ourselves exclusively to the sale of Japanese green tea.
FM: The homepage MIDORITALY (only Japanese-Italian portal dedicated to the sale of Oriental tea made according to ancient traditions) opens with a song of Chado “Zen in the art of tea”. A message that evokes nature, travel, and above all a spirit of peace and sharing. It’s your life motto as intercultural couple?
DT: no doubt about it. If we sold for spirit of Fame or money or even just for fashion, everything would collapse immediately. It is a well-defined position. Diana Rosen’s book represents our philosophy fully. The contents of the site are mine, although the overview is that of Kazuo.
FM: On the site there are also recipes and anecdotes on brewing tea, whose ceremony is a veritable art in Japan. What is?
DT: it is naturally tied to tradition and reflects the spirit of conviviality, welcome and hospitality excellence. It’s a ritual that will accompany the guests in the best possible way, in a place for this. An art that is a poem, as you can read on the site. There are two different schools of tea ceremony according to the Associazione italiana, two strands that change in the use of some materials but the matrix remains common. We try to bring the true spirit of this tradition, without allowing ourselves to be swayed by fashion shopping time. A personal anecdote from profane. My mother-in-law has filmed three times the cup of tea to me because I saw the flower, to greet me in the best possible way. A welcome unique and unrepeatable, enjoyed fully. According to the spirit of peace.
FM:There are many artists or experts from various disciplines Japanese who have chosen to reside in Bologna and province. Do you have any joint projects?
DT: for the moment, no, although we have many friends. The project is still in the initial phase after the setback in imports following the tsunami of March 2011. But of course, as soon as possible, develop common projects.
FM: future projects related to Midoritaly? Debora and x, write children’s stories yet?
DT: Il sogno is open one day a true home floor plan from you, where you have only high quality. And hold ceremonies, biological and macrobiotic courses. Step by step, one dream at a time.
VISIT THE WEBSITE: MIDORITALY