Sunday, November 15, 2015

Furusato Day 3

Ok, the Kagoshima Furusato event, which ran from October to November, at the Kotsuki river, is a lead-up to the 150th anniversary of the Meiji Restoration, when power was removed from the Shogun's advisors and returned to the Emperor in the 1860's. The event wrapped up on Nov. 15th with kind of a whimper at 5 PM, in that they just had the regular activities (food and sake booths, wandering actors in period costume, and stage performances, and nothing really special to end with when the booths started shutting down.). I couldn't get up there on Saturday because I had a full day of classes, but I was able to swing by on Sunday a couple times (along with continuing over to the main train station for the Kokumin Bunkasai event there).

I ate some food, drank some beer, and watched a set of 3 kamishibai plays put on by the same group that had the Kagoshima dialect performance 2 weeks earlier. Kamishibai consists of having a small frame that holds several large sheets of paper with pictures painted on them. The narrator tells a story while showing each of the sheets in turn. In the first bit, the story is about a local family that is really hungry. They descend on the maker of a specific kind of odango (generally, rice paste rolled into balls and then grilled over an open fire), and they pretty much eat everything he has. The difference this time is that the troupe mixed live acting with the paper play (see video below).

The ladies participating in the Meiji-era fashion show were getting ready for another stage show, and talked me into standing with them for a couple photos.

A couple of the other actors that I'd photographed before wanted to pose for me again, too.

I was able to catch most of a "manzai" play as well. Manzai is a kind of Japanese slapstick comedy. In this one, a woman from the area around Okinawa, somewhere between 1600 and 1860 AD, is showing how to make soba noodles the wrong way (spitting in her  hands before mixing the flour with the water, and dropping the noodles on the ground ("just put them back in the bowl. It adds flavor and body, and if you don't say anything, no one will know any better".)) This manzai ran over 20 minutes long, so I can to split it into 2 files to keep it under youtube's 15-minute limit.

I did have fun at this event, but I really do wish they'd had more of a formal closing ceremony at the end to finish on a high note.

Direct youtube link, Kamishibai

Direct youtube link, Soba noodles, Part 1

Direct youtube link, Soba noodles, Part 2

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