Friday, November 10, 2006

No moss

This past weekend was a microcosm of my life and interests.

Thursday saw me in Tokyo at the 30th anniversary party of Printed Matter Press. Over wine and a nice buffet, I ran into a few old friends and made some new ones. Entertainment was a mixed bag of poetry and music. Some really great characters in the house, forming the cornerstone of a lively and vibrant expat subculture.

Friday morning I spent watching the koryu demos at Meiji Shrine. I go every year, more as a chance to see friends than anything else. Yet I am beginning to appreciate the demos more and more, starting to develop an awareness to the subtle differences in style between the schools. Does this reflect a maturity in my own training, or simply that things become familiar with repeated viewings?

That afternoon I spent in Ginza for my Phoenix Rising Yoga Therapy training which will wind up later this month. Enjoy the group but won't miss the commute.

Saturday, early, I headed down to Okayama to take part in the Takeuchi demos. This year is the 20th anniversary of this event, so rather than being held in the usual dusty concrete thunderdome, we got to "fight" on the grass at Korakuen garden. A gorgeous day under blue skies, beauty static in the form of flowers and stone, and beauty in action in the form of swirling bodies and spinning oak.

Sunday, up to Ishikawa for the 20th anniversary concert of Honno Daiko. Just getting there took most of the day, riding a series of trains which grew smaller and smaller. A nice change from the frantic Bullet Time of the previous few days. Honno Daiko was smoking, both musically and aesthetically. (They have the taiko world's most exciting costume changes since Leonard Eto.) Incredible, effortless power coming from three women. I personally feel that aside from Kodo, this is the best Taiko group in the world. As it was a special gig, there were a few special guests, including Kodo's own Yoshikazu. Watching him and Honno Daiko's Jige Akemi play Odaiko together was magic. That ten minutes alone was worth the trip. Marcin's Nov. 9th "Lost in Translation" entry has more detailed text, plus photos, and video. So click away.

On the turntable: Joe Strummer bootleg
On the nighttable: Ryu Murakami, "69"

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