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Copyright 2006 James Deacon

Mr Masahai Asaeda, a retired urologist from Kyoto, informs me that his grandfather - a Mr Tomohiro Fujikawa - had worked for Mikao Usui as a gardener, some time between 1923 and 1925.

He states that, as a leaving-gift, Usui-sensei had presented Mr Fujikawa with some gardening implements including a ganzume (a type of rake) - which, according to Mr Fujikawa, Usui-sensei had performed a powerful reiju on in order to imbue it with special therapeutic properties.

Mr Asaeda's grandfather had often recounted how sensei had told him that for as long as he continued used the ganzume on a regular basis to tend his own garden, his ornamental plants would always produce, beautiful, healthy, fragrant flowers, and all edible produce from the garden would be unsurpassed for quality and flavour.

Mr Asaeda said that this had indeed proved to be the case - and while his grandfather had certainly been a skilled gardener, skill alone could not account for the results he achieved.

Even many years after Mr Fujikawa's passing, local people still used to talk about his amazing garden…

At present, the prized ganzume and the other gardening implements received by Mr Fujikawa are on loan to the Dai-Nippon Garden Association as part of an exhibition being staged in Osaka.
However Mr Asaeda has kindly sent me a copy of the exhibition pamphlet [see below] which - amongst the images accompanying a brief article on leaf-, soil-, & sand-rakes - shows a photograph of the actual ganzume owned by Mr Fujikawa.

[For clarity's sake, I have added an identification sticker to each image]

Mr Fujikawa's ganzume is pictured centre, bottom row: identification-letter E.


I would like to take this opportunity to express my heart-felt thanks to Mr Asaeda for sharing this information and photo with us.

I hope you will all agree that this is finally the incontrovertible proof we needed to support the claim that - ever since the early days

- Rake E has regularly been used to help make plants grow strong and healthy...























Incidental Note:
Aficionados of Japanese gardening equipment will of course be only too well aware that 'Rake E' in the illustration above is not actually a ganzume.

In fact, a ganzume is not even a wooden rake, but rather has a narrow, and normally four-pronged, metal head.

[Unfortunately, at the time of doing the photo-shoot for the 'exhibition pamphlet' mock-up, the only genuine ganzume my casting agents could locate apparently considered itself too big a star (due to having had a walk-on part in Tom Cruise's 'The Last Samurai' movie) to be associated with such a corny, low budget spoof as this.
So instead, the part of 'Mr Fujikawa's prized ganzume' is actually played by an eighteen-pronged wooden rake sourced from a local theatrical supply company in Boston...]



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