Monday, October 17, 2011

Kagoshima Asian Youth Festival, Day 2

The second day of the 6th Annual Kagoshima Asian Youth Festival started out nice, with warm weather and sunny skies, compared to the rain the day before. It was set in the park in front of Houzan Hall, but only took up part of the south end of the space. There was one music stage, a couple event tents and some food stalls serving Korean, Malaysian, Indian and Japanese dishes (mostly in the $5 range). I tried the Indian curry and naan, which was very good, and some Korean red soup with hard boiled eggs and mochi, which was less good. At the peak, there were maybe 200-300 people, but getting closer to 4 PM the numbers dropped under 50, most of whom were performers or their family members.

While a couple of the Asian acts from day 1 did get up on stage to play once or twice, the majority of the event consisted of young Japanese adults competing in singing, dance and band contests. None of the contestants really stood out, but watching and listening to them was pleasant enough. I was hoping to see the Indonesian group again, but they weren't listed in the schedule this time. There was one stage magician who seemed a lot more popular off-stage than on, teaching kids how to use the wheel and string to do juggling.

The Youth Music stage.

One of the dance groups in the competition.

One event tent had Asian costumes you could try on (nothing in my size), while the other contained various musical instruments that you could experiment with. Interestingly, they also had one table of board games like chess, Mahjong and Go, but I didn't have anyone to play against.

(One of the guest Asian performance groups playing traditional folk music.)

The instruments in the bottom photo can be seen in the middle of the second photo up in the event tent. It's a wooden frame with 3 flutes mounted inside. The bottom end of the flute hangs loose and bangs against a notch in the frame when shaken. Each instrument is tuned to a specific "tock" sound, and the performers shake the frames in turn to make the music. It's kind of like the entire troupe is one big xylophone, with each person responsible for one or two notes each. The music is reminiscent of the sounds you hear when the wind blows through a bamboo grove.

Day 1 was a lot more fun in terms of the performances, while Day 2 was tastier. On the plus side, I did run into one student from my Wednesday Japanese class, two from the Friday English Lunch Lesson, and 2 of my group lesson students, and that was fun, too.

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