Friday, 19 July 2013


This week Jungho installed his scare crow in the barley field overlooked by Balvenie Castle.
Scarecrows are known across the world, in Scotland they are called Tattie Bogles. Their origins are said to come from effigies representing Priapus (the Greek god of horticulture and fertility) who was abandoned by his mother (Aphrodite) in a vineyard. Disfigured but well endowed, he was taken in by the keeper of the vineyard who noticed that birds tended to avoid fields where Priapus resided. The tale spread through the land and as Greek influence spread into Roman territory, Roman farmers also adopted the practice of building effigies of Priapus to protect their crops.

There is a wonderful duality around scarecrows, on one hand they are preforming a benevolent role in protecting the farmers crops, but at the same time, by virtue of the very role they play, they also carry air of malevolence. In Japan scarecrows were often fitted with swords or other weapons to make them look even more fearsome. Jungho's scarecrow might wish over the coming weeks that his creator had supplied him with at least some means of defence given what lies ahead.

As an active kendōka (剣道家?), - one who practises the Japanese martial art, Kendo. Jungho intends on documenting his daily 'blessing' of the scarecrow while dressed in full ceremonial Kendo armour and bamboo sword. This will continue until the barley is ready for harvest and the scarecrow's job is done. The blessing of the scarecrow in turn gives a blessing to the crop itself. Given that after harvest, this barley will be malted and distilled the blessing  is not only Jungho's gift to Glenfiddich but it also fulfils one of the disciplines' of Kendo: To Cultivate a Vigorous Spirit.

Jungho's skills extend far beyond his practise of Kendo, he is also a dab hand in the kitchen as this lunch he prepared after the mornings scarecrow fixing testifies.

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