Ryu Miho's "Woman in Jazz♡" 5th Minton House (JR Ishikawacho Station)

Ryu Mihoの『Woman in Jazz♡』第5回 Minton House (JR石川町駅)

Ryu: The moment I opened the door, what I saw was a rack of records lined up tightly. How many pieces are there?


Oidon: We currently have about 3,500 pieces. When we opened in 1975, the number started out at just over 200, but in those days it was easy to get records, and there wasn't as much of a shortage as there is now, so I think by the 90's CDs would become available. However, I think I had about 3,500 pieces at that stage.

Ryu: Do you buy records after Oidon selects them?

Oidon: That's generally true, but when you play Jazz, there are some standard items that you have to have. At that time, the people who had the previous albums had Blue Note, Standard, Prestige, Riverside, etc., so there was a lot of things like hip-hop. Back then, there wasn't anything like that, so in 1975, crossover albums started to come out, and I started stocking up on ECM records. It takes time, effort, and money to buy standard items, but I collected fusion music such as Chick Corea, Keith Jarrett, and Herbie Hancock. At that time, the people who came to the store were from the fusion generation in their teens and 20s, so there were many Jazz stores in Yokohama, and young people were encouraged to try out the Jazz stores. It was a good time when people could gather together without any commercials or anything.

Ryu: What was it like inside the store with so many customers?


Oidon: At that time, if you put a Suntory white tag on the table, ice and water, four or five people would gather around the table and the seats would be filled. It was easy to make back then. You can create a seat by placing a bottle on it.
Back in 1975, no matter how many people came and how busy we thought we were, we could wait without an ice bucket on the table.

Ryu: It's only recently that each person has started ordering one by one.

Oidon: That's right.

Ryu: I think there are fewer people coming to Jazz cafes in groups of 4 or 5 than they used to back then, and there are fewer people talking about Jazz in groups. So, what kind of stories do you often talk about?


Oidon: At that time, we would put the bottle down and have a chat, but if the conversation got too exciting, I would give him a note saying he was being too excited. So, although we did talk to some extent, I was asked to refrain from talking out loud for private purposes, or something like that.
I think young people at that time would go to fusion music if a popular artist came to Japan, and they would share information from Swing Journal and monthly magazines. Nowadays, many people are looking for an overall atmosphere and want the sound to be part of that.

Ryu: There are many people who are looking for the sound and atmosphere of records and speakers that they can no longer listen to, and things that can no longer be seen at home.

Oidon: That's right. Also, the people who were in their late teens and early 20s at that time have grown older and are now in their 50s to 70s. Young people sometimes come, too.

Ryu: Oi-don looks very young, but that means you can see everyone's growth as well.

Oidon: I started this shop when I was 27 years old, and when I couldn't do anything else and was wondering what to do, I met someone who had previously worked at the university co-op. was also in the editorial department of Monthly Jazz, so I thought, ``Jazz?'' and started Jazz. It doesn't have to be jazz, it could have been rock, but rock has a lot of albums that capture the present moment. If that's the case, it's hard enough just to get records. I chose Jazz because I thought that if I put the 50's and 60's together, I would be able to do something if I brought together the present and the past.

Ryu: That's right, I understand why you chose Jazz. Also, how did it come to be called 'Oidon'?

Oidon: I should have said that it was just right for him because he is not good at talking and has a tendency to look down. It's a successful business if you look up, take orders, and say hello when you leave. Although I can speak now. In the past, once I went inside the counter, I wasn't even talked to.
The reason I started being called Oidon was because I didn't like being called master. At that time, there was a manga by Leiji Matsumoto called ``Otoko Oidon,'' about a short man who wore something like a tulip hat to hide his face, and the daughter of a nearby ramen shop, who wore it when she was in elementary school. I did, but
The character, Oidon, loves ramen and rice and lives in a four-and-a-half-tatami room, so he used to go out to eat ramen and rice, so he became Oidon.


Ryu: Everyone calls me Oidon too.
I've heard many people say that they are healed by the master, and I was relieved to actually meet Oidon.I still have the impression that jazz cafes must be quiet, but Oidon... I am relieved that you are so kind.

Oidon: That was good. I think it's amazing when someone talks about an album in their own words, but I don't know if they have a certain technique or not, but I think the piano is amazing, but I don't know if they have a technique or not. It remains the same.
Well, it's just that I listen to it every day.

Ryu: That's the biggest thing. How are the songs selected?

Oidon: I don't think about it too much, but if there's a piano solo, I'll just do a piano trio, add a tenor, add a trumpet, or change the instruments a little at a time.

Ryu: I see. Is it because the sudden change would ruin the atmosphere of the store?

Oidon: However, although we may lose some things through change, I also feel that we may gain something new.


Ryu: This theme is Women in Jazz. I'd like to introduce it so that even one woman can come, so I'm wondering if there are any women who can come by themselves.

Oidon: It's cold right now, so the door is closed, but when the door is open, everyone is taking a quick look inside. This door is very heavy. I think it takes time to find the courage to enter, open the heavy door, and feel comfortable. Once you enter, you feel safe, but I think it takes courage to do so. So, if you open the door a little, you can see everyone's eyes, but once you enter, the sound will protect you, so I think it will be more comfortable. I would like to convey that this is not a casual shop.

Ryu: That's what it was designed for, right?

Oidon: I think now that a place that cannot be seen from the outside is very important. Square, glass-enclosed shops allow you to see from inside to outside, but people have private parts that they don't want people to see, so these invisible seats and table seats are also a memorial to those in their teens and twenties. I think it was an important moment, so whether it was a farewell or not, I think it was an important part, so I'm going to keep it.

Ryu: If you sit in the same seat again as an adult, your feelings may have changed, but it will bring back all kinds of memories.

Oidon: Well, actually, that private space is made of brick, and although it's cluttered with books and stuff, it hasn't changed in 75 years. I'm making a chair by cutting out a plywood sheet, but it hasn't changed. I put everything together and did it based on my imagination, and the day before the store opened, I cut out gravure pictures from Swing Journal and drew them in charcoal. Nothing has changed since we opened.


Ryu: That's right! cool. It's a shop that hasn't changed, and it makes you feel like you've traveled back in time, a shop that has carved out history. That's excellent.

Ryu: What do you recommend at the store?

Oidon: Currently, Johnnie Walker Double Black, Four Roses, and IW Harper are cheaper to keep in bottles.

Ryu: Also, do you have any recommendations for drinks that go well with Jazz?

Oidon: It's cold, so I'd like some mulled wine. I am putting all my effort into making it.
At cafes, chai is served and poured into a mug. Since you are responsible for making the sweetness yourself, chai, which is made by adding cinnamon to the leaves and boiling them in milk, is more popular.

Ryu: What kind of role does this store have for Oidon?

Oidon: You come here, for example, once a year or once a week, right?
I'm here every day. So if I don't feel comfortable, I'll run away first. So this is a comfortable place for me. That's the only thing I protect. Does that mean that I don't put the customer first, but myself? Otherwise, it wouldn't last.

Ryu: That's right. What is Oidon's Jazz?

Oidon: Is it all about life?


Ryu: Lastly, please give a message to our female readers.

Oidon: Women act on their own, including where they want to go. Men can't do anything, but women have their own vitality and move around freely and freely, which is enviable from a man's perspective. I think. It's a pattern of behavior that seems to have little to protect. I feel like I want people to express that freely. Even if I say I want it, I'm still bubbling over. It's best to do what you want to do now, so it doesn't take a long time to find this place, and the moment you sit here, it's good, so you can start from there, so it's never too late or too early. I feel lucky to be alive now. Happiness is here now.
I'm the happiest right now. Happiness is neither in the past nor in the future. Good luck with your Jazz performance and Jazz vocals!

Ryu: Thank you! I was also encouraged.

How was it. 5th “Woman in Jazz♡”
This time, we visited Minton House, a long-established jazz bar tucked away in a small lane in Yamashita-cho, near Yokohama Chinatown. When you open the heavy door, you will be transported back in time and the sounds and atmosphere will soothe you. And I think you'll feel more relaxed if you talk to Oidon.

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