Interview Vol.1 田野屋塩二郎 | Enjiro Tanoya

UNION LAUNCH × SoulSoilのコラボレーションについて
UNION LAUNCH & Soulsoil collaboration

肉の味をグンと引き立て、おにぎりに使うとそれだけで立派なごちそうに。この脇役以上のいい仕事をしてくれる塩を求めて、多くの一流料理人が高知県の小さな町を訪れます。その塩を作るのが「田野屋塩二郎」さん。日本には7、8名しかいないと言われる「完全天日塩」を作る“塩職人”です。一般的に海水から作る塩は、煮詰めることで結晶化させますが、塩二郎さんの塩は、全く火を入れず、太陽熱と潮風のみで仕上げたもの。どうやってこの特別な塩が作られるのか、なぜこの塩じゃなきゃいけないのか、塩二郎さんの仕事場を訪ねてみました。
What comes to mind when you think of what brings out the taste of meat, and dramatically changes even “Onigiri” (rice balls) into delicious food?
There's a special salt called “THE SALT,” and it's playing a far bigger role than mere supporting player, grabbing the attention of many top chefs who visit a small town in Kochi. Enjiro Tanoya is the professional maker of this special salt in Kochi. Only seven or eight professionals in Japan are said to be able to produce the salt, called “perfect-solar salt.” Salt is usually formed in crystals by boiling it down from sea water, but he makes his salt with only solar heat and sea breeze without dealing with fire. 
“How does he make this special salt…?”
“What makes him so particular about the salt…?”

作り方は、海水をただただ混ぜるだけ
“ONLY MIXING SEA WATER”

雄大な太平洋に面した高知県・田野町は、四国の地図上で言うと、右下の室戸岬から少し西に上がったところ。海沿いにある“結晶ハウス”と呼ばれる木の枠で作られたビニールハウスが塩二郎さんの仕事場です。中には木の箱がずらりと並んでおり、「0.2、イエロー、苦10」など暗号のような紙が貼られています。「この紙は、味や結晶の大きさ、色のメモ。手の混ぜ方ひとつで、それぞれ違う種類の塩を作っているんです」。
Tano Town, Kochi Prefecture, faces the wide Pacific Ocean and is situated a little higher up to the west of Muroto-misaki Cape. A greenhouse along the sea, called “crystal-house,” is his workshop. There are many wooden boxes with notes written on them, like codes, such as “0.2, yellow, and bitter 10.” “These are the notes indicating the taste, the size of the crystal, and the color. Just the way I mix it by hand can make each different type of salt,” he says. 

 ここで「完全天日塩」の作り方を少し。原料はもちろん海水のみ。田野町の海は奈半利川から運ばれた山の養分が蓄積されるため、ミネラル豊富でいい塩ができる条件が揃っています。海水を汲み上げるのは、潮が激しく動く大潮か満月の日だけ。このパワーを秘めた海水を、採かんタワーの上から布に沿って何度も循環させて水分を蒸発させ、濃縮した海水(かん水)を作ります。これを結晶ハウスで塩に仕上げていきます。
I'd like to talk a little about how to make the “perfect-solar salt” here. 
The only ingredient is sea water, of course. The sea water carried from Nahari River has the proper conditions to produce high-quality salt because it accumulates a high amount of nutrients and is rich in minerals. He only draws it up from the sea during the full moon and the flood tide. The sea water, with amazing natural power, is drawn up to the tower, circulated on a cloth many times there, made to evaporate and turns into the concentrated salt water. After that, he brings it to completion in the crystal-house. 

毎日塩の表情を見ながら、対話しています
“Talk to the Salt Every Day, Observing How Many Different Looks it Has”

かん水を素手で混ぜながら水分を蒸発させ、塩に仕上げていく作業は、1時間か1時間半に1回と頻繁。しかも真夏はハウスの中は60℃を超える暑さ。高温多湿の夏のほうが塩は早くできますが、天候により一気に蒸発してしまったりするので、その分目を離せません。気になるできるまでの期間ですが、通常夏で2~3ヶ月、冬だと半年は掛かるそう。大量生産できないのも納得です。
Mixing the salt water with bare hands, making it evaporate and producing it takes an hour or an hour and a half, and what's more, it's beyond 60 degrees in the crystal-house in midsummer. It’s tough work. Salt can usually be made earlier in hot and humid conditions in summer, but he can’t take his eyes off it, because the salt water sometimes evaporates at once due to the weather. He says that the period of time it takes to complete of the salt is usually two or three months in summer, and a half year in winter. It’s no wonder that it can be only produced in limited quantities! 

「混ぜるのは、ミネラル群が塩と分離しないようにするため。苦み、酸味、甘さ、塩辛さなど味を構成するミネラルのバランスが、水温と感触で分かります。全てが手作業なので、塩のできあがりを決めるのも自分。娘を育てるような感じですね。手が掛かる目が離せない子もいれば、やたら素直な子も。やっぱり混ぜている時が一番楽しいです」。
“The reason why I mix the salt water is to avoid separating mineral groups from the salt. I recognize the mineral balances that compose the taste of bitter, sour, sweet and salty properties from the water temperature and by touch. I make it all by hand and I decide on the quality by myself. It’s a very delicate process, just like raising my daughters. Some are a handful, and others are so biddable. I really enjoy the moment of mixing it, anyway.” 

海に一生関わる仕事がしたくて、高知へ
“I Came to Kochi to Work at Sea for My Life”

田野屋塩二郎こと、佐藤京二郎さんは実は東京出身。小さいころから負けず嫌い。高校、大学はラグビー選手として活躍(花園に出場経験も!)、大学時代にサーフィンに出合い、卒業してからはサーフィン漬けの毎日に。やがて都内でサーフショップを営んでいたものの、今から10年前、35歳の時に「海が近くにあって、一生できる仕事で日本一を目指したい」と、一念発起。いろいろ調べて「コレだ!」と思えたのが、天日塩作りでした。そして師匠である高知・黒潮町の吉田猛さんの下で約2年間修行し、海水の質も良く、施設の建設も承諾してくれた田野町で2009年に独立しました。
Kyojiro Sato, commonly called Enjiro Tanoya, is from Tokyo. He has hated losing since he was a child. He had a big impact on any game he played as a rugby player in high school and college. (He participated in a tournament at Hanazono Rugby Stadium, a “sacred ground for rugby” in Japan.) He encountered surfing when he was in college and immersed himself in it every day after graduation. Then, he ran a surf shop in Tokyo, but at 35, he began to think that he would like to live near the sea and wanted to aim to become the best in Japan in his work for his life. He tried to find the best way for him for some time, and finally, he found exactly what he had been searching for! It was to become a professional of “perfect-solar salt.” He visited Takeshi Yoshida in Kuroshio Town, Kochi Prefecture, and became a disciple of his. He learned knowledge and skills under his instructions for about two years. He started his own business in Tano Town in 2009, because the sea water quality there is excellent and the town agreed with his offer to build a facility for making salt. 

「高知にサーフィンの道具は持って行きませんでした。一人前になってから、やりたくなったらまたやればいいので」。このブレない潔さが、塩の質にも表れているのかもしれません。
“I didn’t bring my surf boards with me from Tokyo. I can enjoy that anytime after I’ve become a full-fledged professional,” he says. Such a pure principle he has may show in the quality of the salt. 

海のパワーを秘めた特別な大粒の完全天日塩「THE SALT」
“THE SALT”- the Perfect Solar Salt of Special and Large Grain Size Contained Energy!

「もう塩作りに関してできることは全てやり尽くした」という塩二郎さん。お弟子さんも1人いて、今もいろんな塩のカスタムオーダーが来るものの、年間生産量も限られているため、必然的にかなり厳選せざるを得ない状況です。
“I’ve done everything I can do when it comes to making the salt,” he says. He takes an apprentice of his own now. He gets a rush of custom-made orders, but he can only produce limited quantities, and it’s inevitable that he needs to select the orders carefully out of necessity. 

今回コラボレーションする『UNION LAUNCH』は「共同体として服をつくる。」をキーワードに、日本の職人とともに真摯に向き合って作り上げる服のブランド。服のみならず、全国の農家やNPO団体とタッグを組み、未来に繋げていきたい“もの”や“こと”を提案する協業企画も。その1つがSoulSoilsの「THE SALT」です。塩二郎さんにはこのコンセプトに共感していただき、特別に『UNION LAUNCH』でしか買えない塩を作ってもらいました。
UNION LAUNCH is a fashion brand that has the concept of “Making clothes in a community.” This brand is producing clothes with many professionals sincerely, and moreover, trying to forge collaborative networks with farmers and NPO organizations in Japan to link “things of value” to the future. One of their efforts is “THE SALT” by SoulSoils. [‐a natural brand making your life comfortable and cheering you on as you realize your own strength through the products.] Enjiro has sympathized with the concept of UNION LAUNCH and he specially produced “THE SALT” for it, which can only be sold there. 

海水を機械を一切使わず、職人の手によって形にした大粒の美しい完全天日塩「THE SALT」は、結晶ハウスに蓄積された良い“気”も含まれているはず。海からのエネルギーがたっぷり詰まった「THE SALT」は、手吹きで1つ1つ丁寧に作品を作るガラス作家、長谷川周(FLASKA)さんのオリジナルガラスボトルのセットも販売。例えばお守りとして携帯したり、お風呂や料理で使ったり、インテリアとして飾ったり、この贅沢な「THE SALT」で思い思いのシーンを楽しんで。
We can say that this beautiful and large grain size salt made by a professional using no machine has a good natural power in the “crystal-house.” Shu Hasegawa, the glassblower (FLASKA), has made original glass bottles for the salt. UNION LAUNCH sells not only the salt, but they also sell it in the glass bottles. You can enjoy having it with you anytime, for your bath time, cooking or as interior decoration. Enjoy yourself with luxury “THE SALT” in every situation of your life!

「THE SALT」はUNION LAUNCH POP UP STOREでのみのお取り扱いです。
“THE SALT” is only available at UNION LAUNCH POP UP STORE. 
(Next Opening-March, 2017) 

塩/田野屋塩二郎 ガラス/長谷川周(FLASKA)
取材・文/天見真里子 写真/竹田俊吾 翻訳/宮本和加子
SALT Enjiro Tanoya, Glass Makoto Hasegawa(FLASKA)
Writer Mariko Amami, Photo Shungo Takeda, Translated by Wakako Miyamoto
 

PeopleMiki Machida