Taiko Practice and Sato Kensaku (佐藤健作)

Yesterday was a productive day from a taiko standpoint. I woke up early enough to go jogging. Unfortunately it's been too long since I have been running. I hope to get back into the habit of going three times a week, but we are just heading into the rainy season, which means nearly daily rain showers for a month or more. Not that a little rain will keep me from running, but if it is heavy, I likely won't go. At any rate, I pushed myself a but harder and ran all the way to the top of the "mountain" that I usually only run halfway up. (Read about my running route) It actually only added about 5 minutes onto my total time. It was good to go running, though, after not going for so long.

Yume Mitai has a small performance coming up at the start of July for Extasia promotion and for this, they added an extra rehearsal yesterday afternoon from 1 - 2:30. This was in addition to the Jigen practice we already had from 2:30 to 4. So altogether I was able to practice taiko for 3 hours yesterday. It felt good, but my fingers were starting to hurt by the time we finished. If we are lucky, we'll have an hour or so this afternoon to practice some of our own music.

On Friday evening, my wife was able to go and see a taiko concert. I was unable to go because of work. The concert was given by Kensaku Sato and Hono Taiko played one song (Mitsu Uchi) as a special guest. I had known about this concert for sometime because one of the other Odaiko players in the groups I play with is a big fan of Kensaku Sato, and he has been talking about the concert for about the last three months or so. Yesterday he was telling us a bit more about him. Apparently he had an Odaiko specially made (by Asano Taiko, of course) just for this tour, called The Fuji Tour (不二). Fuji is the name of the Odaiko. (Many particularly large Odaiko get their own names) Fuji is over 4 shaku, which means it is over 120 cm. You can get an idea of the size from the picture posted on his website. He also had Asano construct some sort of special stand for it as well. All together, it cost around $400,000. If the price was not surprising enough, we learned that once he completes this tour, he is going to "offer" the drum to Mt. Fuji. I don't know exactly what this involves, but we were relieved to hear that it would not be burned. After it is offered to Mt. Fuji, however, it will not be played again.

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