The Monday following the big concert this week was the "Children's Day" holiday in Japan. Following two weeks of nearly daily taiko practices, including some strange dancing, which exercised muscles I have never used before, and ending with two hours of stage tear down, moving large and heavy taiko around, my body was actually pretty sore. In fact, I probably aggravated a pulled back I hurt a few years ago moving a piano (it is all better now). I was actually hobbling around like an elderly man, a much different figure than the person who had energetically played taiko the day before. Still, instead of resting my tired body, we decided to take our two children to a park down by the Saigawa River in Kanazawa for a little carnival that was going on in honor of Children's Day. There were many craft tents, small amusement rides and international foods to sample. Of course, there was taiko too. Not just any taiko, but Toranosuke Taiko of Wajima City in Ishikawa's Noto Peninsula. We saw them a couple times before in the fall, and I even posted some video of their performance in Komatsu.

Anyhow, what is so special about Toranosuke is that this past March, they were awarded the top prize, for the second year in a row, at the All Japan Youth Taiko Competition. So they are a highly regarded group, even if they are not known so much outside of the Hokuriku area.

We tried to leave early, getting to the park about 30 minutes before Toranosuke was scheduled to play, but the parking lot was full. So I dropped off my wife and kids, and drove the car to her sister's house to park it there and walk back. My body being in its less-than-prime-condition, it took me a little longer than normal to get back to the park. I ended up only catching the last 60 seconds or so of the taiko performance. Most of those 60 seconds I spent trying to get out my video camera to record the performance. As soon as I had it ready to go, however, it was over. So I apologize, there is no video to accompany this.

After the performance, we were wandering around the park and we saw the Toranosuke members. I thought a picture with them and my daughter would be nice, and I asked her if she wanted to take a picture with them. She was shy about it, but she said okay. As I walked over to ask for the picture, one of them said to me, "You were in the concert yesterday, weren't you? Matto Yume Mitai?"

"Uh, Oh, yes. Yes I was. You were there?" I asked, immediately straightening up and trying to conceal that my back was hurting. "Did you enjoy it?" I asked.

"Yes, it was a lot of fun," they answered. Cool, I thought, I was recognized on the street. Of course, it's not as big a deal as it might seem. Although many of the other groups that performed were likely musically more memorable, as far as appearance goes, I was the only non-Japanese that performed on Sunday, so in that sense, perhaps I would be the most easily recognized on the street.

Anyhow, here is the picture of me and my family with Wajima Toranosuke Taiko.


tatsuko said...

Even though my husband and I are both Canadian born, he gets all the attention taiko-wise when we've visited Japan since he is Caucasian - so I totally know what you mean :) Being of Japanese ancestry, I just blend right in - until I open my mouth of course(don't speak much Japanese).

Thanks for your comment on my blog - your posts are so interesting and full of info! My husband will be happy to read it too.

Raion Taiko said...

Thank your for stopping by. I hope you'll come back again soon.