Monday, January 23, 2017
Kagoshima Marugoto Fair, Jan. 22, 2017
(Kirishima onsen mascot)
I've written about the Marugoto Fairs held at Amu Plaza before. Marugoto means "everything" or "all-encompassing". The idea of these fairs is to showcase local products, from tea and shochu to snackfoods and ceramics. There have been 3-day fairs at Amu Plaza for the last two weekends, but most of the live events have been either promotions of the booth sellers, or of the foamhead mascots. What little music they've had wasn't anything I had any interest in. Then again, I've had to work all Friday and Saturday on both weekends, and I've been busy for most of both Sundays.
However, on the 22nd, I did get up to Amu Plaza around 3:30 PM, when the MC, Hikarin, started introducing a special guest performer, one of the shopkeepers, who performed on Shamisen. He introduced a pair of folk songs, at least one of which apparently came from Ryukyu (the old name for Okinawa). I don't know if he was Okinawan himself, but I'd expect it. The songs were good to listen to.
Afterward, I went into Amu Plaza to drink coffee and read the Riemann Hypothesis book I'd gotten for Christmas. When I was done with that, I came back outside, where Hikarin recognized me and said "hello." We talked a bit, then I asked her to pose with me for a couple photos.
One of the things about my living so close to Amu Plaza is that I can go there whenever I want, since it's only a 5-10 minute walk away. And pretty much the only way to find out what events are taking place there are to visit in person. So, I'm up there pretty much every Sunday, and if there is some kind of live event taking place, the MCs are likely to at least see me in the audience. Meaning that after a while, I have some kind of face recognition with those MCs that work those events the most often. Eventually, we end up talking about something (which may be as minor as my asking about the event schedule, or turning in someone's forgotten smartphone. Then, that MC is more likely to wave to me when I show up at their event some weeks later.
That's what happened with Hikarin. She was a member of one of the local idol dance groups (not sure which one) and is currently working as an idol talent, which consists of emceeing various events and promoting stores in Kagoshima. I've seen her as an MC for at least the last 3 years, but this is the first time we've posed together.
The Shamisen music was good, too.
Direct youtube link