1. Steaming (mushi)
A round sieve like the one seen on the left is used when steaming handmade tea. The vessel is 55 cm in diameter and is called a manpachi. The base of its wooden frame is made of wire mesh. The tea is steamed using a special kettle under the manpachi, which provides large amounts of steam.
The steaming method consists of leaving the lid on the bowl for between 20 and 30 seconds for approximately every 300g of fresh tea leaf. After that, the leaves are mixed with long chopsticks for about ten seconds to distribute the steam evenly. Then, after a few seconds with the lid back on, the person making the tea hits the lid several times against the frame, and sniffs the tea to see whether it has lost its grassy smell and started to smell refreshing instead. If it has, he removes the mampachi from the kettle.
In the manufacturing process for machine-produced tea, tea leaves are steamed by being continually fed through a cylindrical steaming machine made of mesh, into which steam is propelled. The fresh leaves pass through the machine in a fixed period of time.
2. Cooling (reikyaku)
Handmade tea is cooled by being set over a bamboo draining board and fanned with round Japanese fans or other instruments. When the tea leaves reach room temperature, they can be moved on to the next stage in production, the “leaf sifting.”
3. Leaf sifting (haburui)
This stage is also called tsuyukiri (“dew cutting”) and hauchi (“leaf beating.”) Its main purpose is to remove the surface moisture from the steamed tea leaves, a process that makes the next step (rolling) easier. The procedure reduces the tea leaves’ weight by around 30%.
To sift the leaves, the worker spreads out the palms and fingers of both hands and scoops up the leaves in a rolling motion before letting them fall. The standard temperature for the tea at this time is 36 degrees, or body temperature.
4. Rolling (kaiten momi)
The first half of this process, light rolling, takes about forty minutes. The latter half, heavy rolling, takes about twenty minutes. For light rolling, the person making the tea lightly circulates it by fully stretching out both arms and his upper body, and moves his whole body from side to side while rolling the tea up into a bundle. This back and forth motion is repeated around sixty times a minute. Because of the extraordinarily intense motion, it is the most exhausting part of the tea-making process.
4. Heavy rolling (juukaiten)
The next part of the rolling process, heavy rolling, consists of a slow, powerful squeezing motion in which the worker rolls up the tea into bigger bundles without dispersing the leaves. This is quite tiring, but he carries on rolling it.
The worker uses his body weight to roll the tea. This process is also called ‘kneading.’ Care must be taken that the moisture in the tea leaves is sufficiently squeezed out, so that they do not get moldy.
Japanese to English: The Right Time for the Introduction of a Patent System General field: Social Sciences Detailed field: History
Translation - English In 1860, traveling to America on the Kanrin Maru, Japan’s first Western-style naval vessel, Fukuzawa Yukichi saw the extent of development in modern Western society. Five years later, he had the opportunity to return to the West, this time as a translator as part of a mission to Europe.
In Western nations of the time, patents were given to inventors that protected their rights for a fixed amount of time, giving them the ability to reap large profits. This system was connected to the countries’ own development, as people competed with each other to develop and improve new technologies. The existence of a patent system was therefore important to the foundation of the development of industrial technology.
Fukuzawa took note of this, and in Things Western, published after his return to Japan the following year, he wrote this about patents: “In these societies, when there is a new invention, the government by means of the national laws determines an amount of time in which the profits from the inventions are granted to the inventor alone. By means of this, the human spirit is encouraged. This is called a patent for the invention.”
Things Western spoke of the systems and culture of Western nations in a way that was easy for the general population to understand, and because of this the book was widely read throughout Japan. Fukuzawa’s presentation of the West resonated with many people, and the right time approached for the introduction of a patent system in Japan as well.
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I completed the English to Japanese section of an Advanced Diploma of Translation in 2009. I am starting out as a professional translator and completed several translation jobs on the side while I was studying. I also hold a BA in Japanese Studies and have a wide range of experience including work as an ESL teacher.