Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Fureai Art Festa

I had to teach an English lesson near the Volunteer Center on Thursday, and I noticed that there were some tents out on the front lawn, and posters advertising the Kagoshima Fureai Art Festa from Friday to Sunday. Fureai translates roughly to "let's all get together and be friends". I was busy for the first half of Friday, and I wanted to go up to the main train station in the afternoon to get a neutral filter from Bic Camera. On Saturday, I had a break between 3 and 4:15 PM, and since the center is just a 5-minute walk from the school, I dropped by to see what was going on. Unfortunately, the stage show was scheduled to run from 10:30 AM to 3:30 PM, so I only managed to catch the last few minutes of this singing group.

The event seems to have been geared for those that are mentally or physically disabled, and there were quite a few Downs patients standing and watching the singers. Most of the stage activities were accompanied by someone doing sign language. The booths included food (ramen, curry rice, udon) and arts and crafts.

The sign says "Tissue Art". The booth is for Miraizu, which is a new restaurant located only a couple blocks from here. A few times when I walked by the place, a young woman had been in front handing out fliers. She's cute and very shy, but I get the feeling she might be a bit disabled. She was helping work the booth on Saturday, so I decided that I'd get something just to see what the food is like. (That, and the fact that a lot of the other food booths were already sold out.) I got the butter chicken curry for 400 yen. Not much chicken (they may have been running out, too), but the curry was kind of Indian style and very good, so that was ok.

(Some of the crafts for sale.)

The main event was inside the Volunteer Center. I'd thought that cameras were prohibited, so I didn't try taking photos. The big exhibit halls on the second floor had a huge amount of art in various media, some of which was pretty well-done. There was something in the auditorium, too, but that may have been the pay-to-watch live music. After watching the stage show, eating lunch, and then looking at all the art, I went up to Central Park for the remainder of the Mama Ukiuki event before returning to work.

It was raining on Sunday, so I got a slow start, not waking up until noon (I'd been up until 2 AM working on the Wonder World projection mapping video to upload it to youtube) and not getting outside until 2 PM. The Fureai event had a hula group performing for about an hour, so I didn't feel like I'd missed anything. That ended, so I got some stir fried rice for lunch for 300 yen (it may have been 500 yen, but I might have misunderstood the owner when he gave the price, and the price on the sign at the table seemed to say 300 yen for the rice, so when he said "500", I gave him 300 yen, and he just shrugged and gave me the dish). Most of the booths were running out of food again, and I think this guy was just happy to get money as things were winding down. It was good, but could have used some soy sauce. At that price, though, I wasn't going to complain.

There were more people outside on Sunday than there had been the day before, while there were still a lot of people inside the Center trying to stay warm or looking at the art. The temps have been dropping suddenly the last few days, and it was getting chilly for Kagoshima, at about 45 degrees or so. Which made the hula dancers look a lot more brave. The last group up for the day was Zosan DX. I've seen them before, up at Amuplaza. They're billed as a "barrier-free band". The first song was a slow hula piece, and the hula dancers came back on stage for that.

(Not a lot of people eating and listening to the music, but they did applaud loudly at the end of the songs.)

As I was trying to get photos of the band, one Japanese guy up near the stage noticed me and started talking. He's Toshihiro Wakada, a singer-songwriter, and friend of the band. He had 3 cameras out to record their set, and uploaded a lot of photos of the entire event (including the art show) to his Facebook page. We talked a while, and recorded the show. In the middle of one of the videos I was shooting, he decided to take a selfie with me. At the end, he introduced me to the lead singer, then the two of them got to talking. Since the stage show was over, I went up to Amuplaza to see what was there. (I also bought some steamed cake and yellow orange jam from one booth for 600 yen.) It was a good day.

Direct Youtube link

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