koenji_suiren

My Journey as a Flute Player in the Awa Dance Group

Japanese Traditional Dance: Music and Dancers in Sui-ren

event

5 Aug

Gota-fes, summer festival in Gotanda

Gota-fes is non traditional dance festival, held every summer in Gotanda, Tokyo.
Sui-ren were invited by organizer to join this festival. It was the first time for the Awa-dance team to join it. It's only a 30-minute performance but I enjoyed a lot!

We gave Awa-dance lessons to visitors.
It was a very hot day but still many people joined it!
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27 Jul

Kagurazaka Awa-dance Festival in 2018

Awa-dance season has just started!
I joined Awa-dance festival in Kagurazaka.
It’s sweltering out all the time, but today's weather was cooler. It was a perfect day for the dancers. They all looked so happy!

The Awa-dance is from the Tokushima region on the island of Shikoku, but there are so many Awa-dance festivals all around the country these days. This is one of the famous festivals.

I enjoyed this summer night a lot!
It’s said that the Awa-dance is more fun for the dancers than the audience!
Would you like to try it?
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23 Apr

My experience as a Flute Player in Hana Haru Festa

One of my purposes to visit Tokushima is to buy new Japanese flute, “Shino-bue” especially made by Mr. Ranjo who is a famous artisan. It is difficult to buy his flute even in Tokyo. So I visited the long-established instrument shop “Okachu” in Tokushima.

Shino-bue, Japanese Flutes
Shino-bue is one of the most traditional types of flute in Japan. It is typically
made of bamboo, a common indigenous material found in many areas in the country. Shino-bue is remarkable for its very simple structure. It comes in many different colors like red, brown, and black but the most usual one is actually the most natural as well, and that is the tan-colored Shino-bue. It is the color of bamboo when it dries. Some shino-bue has 6 holes, while others may have 7 or more (not including the mouthpiece). By covering some of the holes and by keeping some open, you can make many lovely notes.


Visiting Okachu
I was impatient to go Okachu, because I wanted to get new Shino-bue as soon as possible. But it was closed the first day… So I visited there next day again!
Hardest thing to me was to check the tone of Shino-bue there. I have to play it in front of many people… It was really embarrassing! After I checked the tone, I finally got two Shino-bue there.

I went to Karaoke box to use new Shino-bue the next day I came back to Tokyo because I couldn’t wait until next practice! They are fantastic! I can make higher tone easily compared to the old one. Now I enjoy playing them. The travel to Tokushima is unforgettable for me because I finally got great one there.

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22 Apr

Hana Haru Festa in Tokushima

We visited Tokushima prefecture to see “Spring Flower Festival (Hana Haru Festa).”
For most members, it was their first time to visit Tokushima where the Awa-dance came from.

Our flight was 7:00 a.m at Haneda Airport in Tokyo. It took only an hour and 15 minutes, so we arrived at Tokushima in Shikoku-island before 8:30.

We visited the park where the festival is held and watched many great performances. The first team was Tonosama-ren. The movements of male and female dancers have dynamic patterns with different sequences. It was worth to watch. The music was also extremely beautiful.

We also watched some stage performances that were held in Awa-bank hall. The team we longed to watch was Yukyu-ren. Their music is quite unique since it sounds a bit modern especially their sharp sounds. They use the short Japanese flute which is called “Happon” which makes higher sounds. Some team members really love this team, so it was lucky to see their live performance!

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4 Apr

Flower Festival in Itabashi

We joined a flower festival in Itabashi ward, Tokyo.

Sui-ren had a performance with Nakadai-Ren(team). Six band members joined the band. Also our new young member performed with Nakadai dancers. Nakadai-Kids dancers were really great! It was the first time for them to perform with a music band, but they made it!

The pollen levels were really high because of the good weather, some team members had a hard time with their runny nose!

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About the writer
Mayuko Kurosaka

She is a member of Sui-ren. She is a flutist. She's been performing for more than 6 years for the group. She was born in Kawagoe an old city in Saitama. She learned to play traditional instrument when she was a young or a kid. She works as a freelance writer.
inquiries
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