A 63-year-old Japanese old man, who has never married and has no children under his knees, can’t speak Chinese. He came to China alone for 10 years. It’s a sad story, but it’s not true.
Shimada Takaji, 73, now lives in Wuhan and is the owner of a shop called “Top House Curry.” Everyone calls him “Island Grandpa.”
The shop has a good business. It is a hot online shop in Wuhan that eats curry, and this inconspicuous store on the street attracts many young people.
Rather than coming for curry, everyone is more like this “strange” grandpa.
He is a strange boss. Others set up shop to make money, but his idea is new: just to make the best curry in this street.
To make an authentic curry is by no means so simple. For soup stock, use pork bones, beef bones, or chicken racks. Cook for 24 hours, and carefully remove all foam from the soup. Even simple onions are very particular about it. White ones are not needed. Deep purple ones are best to give up. Cut the onion into thin slices that are almost transparent. When fried, they must turn amber to get out of the pan.
All production processes must strictly follow the steps prescribed by Grandpa Island, and must not cut corners.
Everyone uses a pressure cooker and cooks for 30 minutes, but they need to spend a full eight hours. How can this curry be enough to keep people from forgetting to return?
It is precisely because of such a “picky” boss that the rooftop curry brand can be kept on the street for 10 years.
At the same time, he is also very “pull”, obviously the owner of the curry shop, but “shabby” is not enough. I pay myself only 3,000 yuan a month and live in a rental house that costs only 700 yuan a month. The salaries of other employees are basically four or five thousand yuan, and the salary of the store manager is three times his.
He always said that when he was his age, he had no obsession with money. With smoke and wine, life is not worrying, it is enough.
He also runs free Japanese courses, and even if only one person comes, he is meticulous and patient.
Shimada Takaji was born in an ordinary family in Fukuoka, Japan in 1947. Seriously persevering and diligent, he has been a learner since childhood. After graduating from college, he worked for a law firm in Tokyo. But no one expected that Grandpa Island loved freedom by nature, and did not like the restrictions of the box.
Under his seemingly responsible appearance, there is another enthusiastic ideal: that is to travel around the world. In order to have more time, he resigned from the high-paying job in Tokyo, returned to his hometown, worked in a general office, the salary was reduced, but he had more free time at his disposal.
He started traveling at the age of thirty-five, and he has traveled almost all over Europe: Italy, France, Switzerland, Denmark, the Netherlands …
He did not marry a wife and have children, and did not follow the general living law, but chose to leave the rest of his life to curry and China in his later years.
His fate with Wuhan began as early as 2004. When he traveled to Wuhan that year, he was fascinated by the rhythm and atmosphere of life here.
After retirement, his parents had passed away, and he had no brothers, sisters, wives and children, so he was alone and took his life savings to Wuhan. At the beginning, he carried a backpack every day, accompanied by the rising sun, and went to the grocery market to buy ingredients in time.
Nowadays, the grandfather of the island, sometimes unable to endure the cold winter in Wuhan, chooses to stay at home and read and write. But when he was giving a lecture or exchange meeting, he was in the rain, and appeared in the roof on time. This old grandfather alone in a foreign land has been “willful” in his life.
He lived from heart to heart, lived freely and transparently, and warmed the city in his own way.