當我去跳蚤市時我想找的是|What I look for when I go to a flea market|市に行くときに私の探すこと

物慾|Objects of desire|欲というものは限がない

物慾|Objects of desire|欲というものは限がない

說到為甚麼我那麼喜歡去跳蚤市,去跳蚤市想找的又是甚麼的話,或者我只是想尋找一種早已從香港社會裡消失了的,一種比較單純的社會模式和生活文化。不盲目追求利潤和經濟效益的單純交易,而更重視人與人的交流,對質素和道德抱有尊重與執着的恆久以來的市集文化。又或者我只是想從眾多千奇百趣的賣物交流中,參透這個民族的愛恨情仇。

聽上去好像很灑脫,但其實我也有想在跳蚤市裡找到的東西。雖然沒有購物清單,但我發現自己每次去跳蚤市總是特別留意某幾類型的東西:和服、和洋器皿(各種)、書套(或其他紙布藝)、古書(特別是兒童書)。

和服。在京都四處都有和服租賃,再別開新面的新穎設計都看膩了,加上其他諸如《花子與安妮》和竹久夢二等的影響,開始對大正昭和的懷舊浪漫漸生興趣。走過了很多平價和服檔子,選凙太多質素太參差,就變得更迷惘了。某天在北野天滿宮天神市,我在一和服露店看到一襲非常少見的蔚藍色襯紅黃白灰花圖案,袖口有紅色襯裏,看上去質料也不差的和服。露店的歐巴桑說那是昭和早期的東西。我猶豫了很久,那邊廂歐巴桑跟她一名路過的友人一直在聳恿我買,結果我就心甘命抵的放下了7,000日元。相對於同場低至500日元的和服這實在是天價,但由於我(單方面)覺得這是我跟和服命運的相逢,也是沒有辦法的事。就跟戀愛一樣。後來我才發現我為甚麼會為這蔚藍色着迷:祗園甲部「都をどり」的舞子所穿的,就是蔚藍色的和服。

和洋器皿(各種)。日本人對細節的要求和對物件的珍愛衍生了各種各樣美輪美奐的器皿。對古陶瓷器認識不多的我不懂分高低好壞,只有為那天地之差的價格嘖嘖稱奇的份。由是我採取「不講高低但求眼緣」的態度。又我本來就喜歡英式紅茶,像是Noritake的日本製洋器具也成了我的目標之一。全以低於1,000日元的價格,我在東寺弘法寺和東京大江戶市買到了六七十年代出口法國的小白瓷器,天神市的花紋茶杯、大阪中崎町跳蚤市的Noritake白底藍花珈琲杯。買不起江戶時代的木箱小抽屜,取而代之是千代紙造的小紙盒,和京都梅小路公園手作市的手製文庫箱和藥箱。唯一在跳蚤市買到的和器,是在東京的乃木神社古董跳蚤市發現的江戶末期的唐紋模樣的茶杯連碟子(那時我對和陶器的認識稍為多了一點)。

書套(或其他紙布藝)。只有日本才有的書套是愛書家的日本人的發明。友禪古布復古花紋的千代紙傳統和紙製的洋風古布的皮革的手製書套統統讓我無法自拔。在日本一年裡收集書套不比書本少很多,但最貴的要算是在京都下鴨神社糺の森的手作市裡一位優雅婦人以倫敦Liberty印花布手造的文庫本書套。另外還有弘法市的日本傳統花紋的古布書套。很多賣和服的地方也賣布碎,我也選了不少喜歡的花紋古布。古友禪紙千代紙也讓我心猿意馬,只有看到標價才讓我回歸冷靜。

古書(特別是兒童書)。出乎意料的,跳蚤市並沒有太多古書。只有很偶然的時候,可能在一堆完全沒有關係爛爛鐵之中,會出現一兩本毫不起眼的小書。幸運是弘法市裡100日元的《心》、在洋溢一片洋風的福岡護國神社跳蚤市裡一本封面脫落了的Everyman’s Library Shakespeare’s Comedies。在東京大江戶市發現戰前的小學練習本,用來送贈給在香港籌辦舊課本展示館的友人。在我最後一次的弘法市,在一個其貌不揚的亂七八糟的露店我發現了博物館級別的昭和初期的兒童繪本,一臉反正你也買不起表情的男檔主索價五本小書共二萬日元。我真的買不起,帶着依依不捨的心情從東寺的南門離開了。

 

If you ask me why I like going to flea markets, and what I look for in them, I would say perhaps all I want is just that simple society and life style long distinct in Hong Kong. The emphasis of interactions between people, quality and ethics which define the historic marketplace, instead of the blind pursuit of pure profits and economic efficiency of the modern supermarket.

It all sounds very ideal. Given so there are actually things that I want to acquire from flea markets. Although without a shopping list, I find myself attracted to certain things whenever I went to one: kimono, Japanese/western ceramics and containers, book covers (or other paper/cloth crafts), antiquarian books (especially children’s books).

Kimono. There is kimono rental everywhere in Kyoto, very soon I became satiated with even the newest designs. Then there were “Hanako & Anne" and Yumeji Takehisa which inspired my new love for Taisho Romance and Showa Retro. I had been to too many cheap kimono stalls, been presented with too many choice from the very good and the very bad, till I became very lost. Then one day at Tenjin-ichi at Kitano-Tenmangu, I was captivated by a rather rare kimono in cerulean blue with red-yellow-white-grey floral patterns and bright red linings at the sleeves which looked not too cheap. The obasan said it was from early Showa. I debated with myself for a long time, while the obasan and another obasan kept persuading me to take it, and I did for 7,000 yen. Compared with those as cheap as 500 yen it was a huge sum, but I gave in, choosing to believe that this is my destiny to find it. Just like love. Later on I realised what made me fall for that blue: the maiko at Gion’s Miyako Odori wear exactly that same cerulean blue.

Japanese/western ceramics and containers. The Japanese attention for details and love of objects breed all sorts of beautiful containers. Knowing very little about Japanese ceramics I can hardly tell good from bad, and can only gape at the difference in prices. My policy was “intuitive instead of informed". As I liked English tea, Noritake tea wares also became one of my targets. At under 1,000 yen per item, there were this 60-70s white porcelain for export to France from Kobo-ichi and Oedo Antique Market in Tokyo, floral tea cup and saucer from Tenjin-ichi, Noritake coffee cup and saucer from Osaka Nakasaki Flea Market. Not able to afford wooden chests and drawers from the Edo era, I made do with boxes mounted by chiyo paper, and handmade stationary boxes and medicine boxes from Umekoji Park Craft Market in Kyoto. The only Japanese ware I got at the flea market was a late-Edo tea cup and saucer with Chinese floral prints, from the Nogi Shrine Antique Flea Market in Tokyo (by then I was more acquainted with Japanese ceramics).

Book covers (or other paper/cloth crafts). A purely Japanese invention by the book-loving people. Antique yuzen, retro floral, chiyo paper, washi, nostalgic western prints, leather…… handmade book covers render me defenseless. During this year my collection of book covers grew alongside my collection of books. The most expensive was the Liberty print book cover from the craft market at Shimogamo Shrine Tadasunomori in Kyoto. And the ones with traditional Kyoto floral prints from Kobo-ichi. Many kimono stalls also sell shredded fabric, and I picked many in old floral patterns. Antique yuzen and chiyo paper was also a big temptation, and their prices brought me back to my senses.

Antiquarian books (especially children’s books). Surprisingly there are not that many old books in flea markets. Only very occasionally one may find among heaps of junk a small copy or two obscure publications. Lucky was the day when I found “Kokoro" at Kobo-ichi for 100 yen, and a Everyman’s Library Shakespeare’s Comedies with a torn cover from Fukuoka’s Gokoku Shrine Flea Market. Two elementary school notebooks from the prewar years, discovered at Oedo Antique Market, for my friend who is opening an old textbook museum in Hong Kong. At my last visit to Kobo-ichi, at a messy stall I found some children’s picture books from early Showa period worthy of a museum, and the male owner in a careless tone told me 20,000 yen for 5 copies. I left.

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