Saturday, April 15, 2006

Pickled Pink

Sunday I spent most of the day at Chofukan, where we had a hanami party. Up at the mountain dojo, there was traditional Japanese singing and a couple pieces performed on koto and shakuhachi. Next up, a small group broke into pairs and performed kata. Anna and I went through some basic bo stuff. I'm still new and unsure about it all, but she praised me a bit after, especially when my bare feet slipped on the grass, but I still maintained form. Afterward, was the party itself. we sat at benches and low tables, eating densly packed bento from two-tiered bamboo boxes. I also had my first encounter with doboroku, which is some sort of unrefined sake that looks like rice gruel but packs a wicked punch. I later settled in with the more familiar blend. Every person in attendance had some sort of connection with traditional art or culture, no real surprise considering that Kancho is a true J-renaissance men. Most of the conversation throughout the day stayed in the realm of music or koryu. One of the best parties I've been to, set high in the hills above the Kyo.

After the party, Anna and I biked downtown, riding beneath the sakura lining the Kamogawa, drunkenly dodging the drunker. There was a going away party for Owen, who claimed to remember my reading at an open mic night last year. On this night, he and I did a really funny song he'd written, him on guitar, me on Pringles can. There were some amazing people about: hula dancers and Shiatsu practitioners, filmmakers and Russian economists. I biked home, head and belly full, amazed at how incredible one day can turn out to be...

On the turntable: Jefferson Airplane, "Surrealistic Pillow"
On the nighttable: Janice Valerie Young, "Sweet Daruma"

1 comment:

Al in Vancouver said...

Sounds stellar.