Monday, October 8, 2012

One weekend

Normally, there's not that much happening right around my apartment. The plaza in front of Kagoshima Chuo train station might have some open air stalls set up for selling sake, clothes, used CDs, shoes or jewelry over the weekend. Occasionally there's nothing at all, and at other times, there might be a band playing for some reason. Over in Tenmonkan, the open space next to the Lotteria burger shop might also be set up to sell cars or flowers, or they may have a flea market. There are events every so often, but they rarely overlap.  On the weekend of Oct. 6th, there were at least 4 different events at the same time.

The Kagoshima Music Fest ran both Saturday and Sunday, in Central Park. I was returning home from the part time school when I heard music coming from the stage in one corner of the park, but it turned out that the band was still rehearsing.  The music wouldn't start until 6 PM (running until 9 Saturday night, and 10 AM to 9 PM on Sunday) and it was only 5 PM at that point.  I continued on home, had dinner and came back at 8:30. The crowd was light, maybe 75 people sitting on the grass.  I caught the last few songs of the headliner, Reminisce, but they weren't all that impressive.  I didn't recognize the names of any of the bands in the schedule, and most of them seemed to be local acts.

The guy sitting up in the middle of the shot is someone I know from the English lunch time lessons. He's wheelchair bound, and his family had brought him to the fest for his birthday. He's a nice guy. Turns out that he was there partly because he knows the female singer that performed in the third set - Yoko.

I came back Sunday around 3 PM. The weather was very nice; clear sky and cool air. The band this time was Boys and Girl. They're also kind of amateurish, but they had a lot of energy and were enjoying themselves a lot.

The drummer was very solid, and probably the best performer of the group.

Over in Tenmonkan, in the open area next to the Lotteria burger shop, KBB TV was celebrating its 30th anniversary with a live on-location taping. The woman and the guy with the weird hair were the MCs. I didn't catch their names, but the guy seems to be a comic talent with the station. Lots of jokes, music and balloon animals for the kids. Workers handed out clear files advertising the regular KBB TV weekly line-up.

A couple blocks farther south in Tenmonkan, at the street crossroads, some group had set up display boards that appeared to promote local volunteer groups. The tables included large mineral rocks, Peruvian-style clothing, and some wooden implements. The three performers here call themselves Los Ponchos, and based on their conversations between sets, are Japanese rather than Peruvian (or maybe Peruvian-Japanese), but they were playing Peruvian music.

Finally, on Sunday, back at Lotteria, Yamakataya, the biggest department store in Kagoshima, had sponsored a self-promoting day-long performance. Along with all of the other things that department stores normally sell, Yamakataya also offers a range of "culture classes". It's kind of like the night extension Open U classes offered by community colleges in the U.S. Subjects include yoga, hand drum, flower arranging, beginning English and Chinese, dance and so on. Prices range from 2,000 to 15,000 yen ($25 to $200 USD) per course. And, on Sunday, they had a "graduation show" for the students to show off what they'd learned. (Yamakataya has two large buildings right next door to Lotteria.) The guy above at right is doing a stage magic mentalist act.

There were about 50 people in the audience, with the average age around 80. Based on their reactions when the mentalist finished his mind reading act, none of the people watching could read what he'd written on the hand board from that far away. Either that or they'd all fallen asleep.

The next act up was the hula class.

Lots of stuff going on this time.

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