When the cherry blossoms bloomed in front of his store one day, an old lady named Tokue comes to his store and asks him to hire her. She shows him how to make red bean paste from scratch and teaches him her way of seeing the world, of appreciating the world around her. As flowers start to fall, Sentaro slowly learns to live like Tokue and opens his mind to others.
A lot of times, we go through the motions of our day without being present and thoughtful about what we’re doing. Naomi Kawase, the director of the Sweet Beans, encourages us to slow down and be present. She invites the audiences to be with Tokue and see and listen as the azuki beans are stirred, drained and turned into anko red bean paste. For this scene, there is no music or faces and our attention is wholly on the azuki beans.
So this weekend, try watching the movie Sweet Beans and making red bean paste and dorayaki at home. Think about it as a kitchen meditation, time to be present as you experience something new. Making dorayaki from scratch is great for practicing patience and focus, as you constantly have to stir the paste and wait for the perfect time to flip the pancake.