Sunday, December 25, 2016

Dec. 23-24

Merry Christmas!



This weekend was kind of hit-or-miss. Leading up to it, I had to work most of the evenings during the week, giving me only a few minutes to try checking out the music at the Amu Plaza Christmas Market once or twice. Because the schedules were never posted anywhere, the only way to find out who was playing was by actually going to the department store in front of the main train station. But, I did have the flier showing the main acts for each day (although there were no times listed), so I knew that most of the stuff wasn't anything I cared much about. And, usually when I did get there, it was just as one of the acts was ending their set. I caught a few minutes of the group above. I didn't get their name, but they were doing a slow ballad, so I went into the store, got free sample coffee from Kadi and did a little last minute shopping for gifts before going back home.



Then on Saturday, I came back up to Amu Plaza to ask the MC for the schedule. It was all gospel and slow music, so I gave up.



Different group, but still slow music.

Calligraphy Exhibit


Earlier in the week, I happened across this demonstration of Japanese calligraphy in the space in front of 7-11 in Tenmonkan.



It's a promotion for a calligraphy exhibit in the Something Gallery. The announcement at the top of the board says that there's going to be a "giant calligraphy" on Jan. 2nd at 3 PM.



The character they're drawing is for "change".

Mu FM Radio Christmas Concert


The school I work at is one block from City Hall, and the big boulevard that runs down to Dolphin Port. Friday, the 23rd, was a national holiday, the Emperor's birthday. So, the regular schools and some shops were closed. I did have classes in the afternoon, and for a while I could hear music coming in through the window. After my classes ended for the day at 3 PM, I headed over to the park, where Mu FM radio was holding their Christmas concert for the day. The temperature had dropped and a strong wind looked to be blowing in a big storm, so I didn't want to hang around the event all that long. Unfortunately, the stage schedule didn't list much of any interest. There were some games for kids, and one table selling overpriced food and beer. The juggler, K@ito had a couple sets, and the emcees were Party, who I've met before. Otherwise, it was mostly gospel and kids' chorus groups.





Party kept themselves huddled up in the sound booth tent along with K@ito, so I didn't have a chance to talk with them at all. Instead, I headed for Amu Plaza to check the schedule (see above), then I went home to do translation clean-up work.

Tenmonkan Happy Christmas Concert


On Saturday, Tenmonkan had their Christmas event in the space in front of 7-11. In the afternoon, they had a couple foamhead mascots handing out snack presents to the children. And, the main Emcees were Party (the two younger guys at the sides of the stage).





The line is mostly made up of parents, dragging along a few kids.



The schedule listed a school cheerleading group, the foamheads, Southern Cross, and Bon DX.



Southern Cross is the local girls' dance team. They prance around on stage while doing karaoke to other people's music. They've got a small, but vocal fan following that generally embarrasses themselves while the girls dance. That fan group was out in force that evening, outshouting the sound system.



There's a tradition in Japan of eating pre-order, pre-cooked chicken, and "Christmas cake" on Christmas Eve. We'd put our orders in for both at the Maruya Gardens department store on the other side of Tenmonkan, and I had to go pick the food up at 6:30 PM. I came back to the Christmas concert event in time to get a couple photos of Southern Cross. At that time, I spotted the drummer for Bon DX setting up at the back of the stage. We talked a bit, and I apologized for not being able to stay and watch them play. Unfortunately, we had to eat dinner in the apartment at 7 PM, when Bon was scheduled to start his set. Sigh. But, the drummer did warn me that Bon's sets at Amu Plaza on Sunday were going to be at 5 and 6 PM, and Bon would be playing with his second band, ARTS. I've never seen ARTS play before, so I really wanted to go to Amu Plaza on Sunday for that.



The rest of Saturday evening was spent at home, with a quiet dinner, and then I had to put in another 4 hours working on the translation clean-up project before going to bed.

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