2009-06-04

I Wonder How Lucky I Am?

Tomorrow is the big day. Tomorrow morning at 9 AM Asano Taiko will kick off their 400th anniversary celebration. It is three days of taiko workshops, live performances, and a huge sale, 400 years in the making! Well, maybe not 400 years in the making, but it's a pretty big deal, especially because sales at Asano are pretty rare.

It was 400 years ago, back in 1609, that the Kaga clan, invited taiko maker, Saemongoro from Harima (Hyogo Prefecture) to found Asano Taiko in Fukutomi, Ishikawa Village, which is now called Fukudome Town in Hakusan City. Since then, Asano has been producing top quality, hand-crafted taiko drums and other traditional products. (Read a short history of Asano Taiko)

What else was going on in the world in 1609? Well, not a whole lot of significant events. But the children's rhyme, "Three Blind Mice" was published in London. That's worth something.

Anyhow, we have been looking forward to this event for quite some time. It couldn't have come at a better time for us. We will start by attending the concert tomorrow evening, which is full of world-renowned taiko performers and tickets were only 1000 yen (about 10 USD). It's an amazing deal! Saturday we will continue with workshops in Katsugi Oke Taiko, Hachijo Taiko and a chappa workshop. There will be several 30 minute mini-live concerts interspersed during the day. Sunday, we'll continue our workshops with Miyake Taiko, taught by the original creators of Miyake, Mr. Tsumura and his sons, more Katsugi Oke and finish off by learning the song, "Kiyari", which is often sung before playing Miyake Taiko. Sunday will also feature short live performances throughout the day. The workshops are also an amazing deal. Almost all of them are only 1000 yen. So I will get three workshops which would normally cost 3000 - 4000 yen each, for only 3000 yen (about 30 USD).

But it's the sale that is the most timely for us. Regular readers of our blog know our plans to start up a taiko group in Michigan sometime in the beginning of next year. Of course, you can't have a taiko group without taiko and if you're going to buy Asano drums, there probably will be no better time to buy them than this weekend for the next 400 years. Several hundred taiko drums will be on sale for 10%, 20%, 30% even 35% off the normal prices. When you're talking about drums that are at least 1 or 2,000 USD for even the cheapest ones, even 10% or 20% off is saving a huge amount of money.

Today I learned another juicy tidbit, though. It's not just going to be a weekend of live performances, workshops and a sale. There will be drawings too. Each day, Friday, Saturday and Sunday, anyone who bought something will be entered into a drawing at 3 PM of that day. Apparently, there are some pretty nice prizes. There will be two drawings a day: one for people who spent less than 50,000 yen, and one for people who spent over 50,000 (about 500 USD) There is even the possibility of a prize of a ....are you ready? ... 3.5 shaku Ohiradaiko!!!! That's a 105 cm "flat" Odaiko! Here's a picture of what I'm talking about:

These things are not cheap. We originally were thinking of buying one, but they are extremely heavy. It takes at least 3, preferably 4 people, to move one around. And they are extremely expensive. Just for a 3.5 shaku drum, costs around 35,000 USD!!! Add in the stand and case and it could be another 7 or 8,000! The combination of the weight and the cost convinced us to wait on purchasing one of these. Although a few weeks ago, I had a chance to play on an extremely nice one, and I again toyed with the idea of getting one anyways, but in the end, the cost was just too much.

BUT ...

Now there is a chance that I could win one. We'll definitely be spending more than 50,000 yen this weekend, so we ought to have at least a chance to win it. And that is why I wondered in today's title, "How Lucky I Am?" Obviously, it's not the kind of luck, like having a loving family, having a job, enough to eat, being healthy, etc. I know that I am "lucky" in those respects. I am talking about pure luck, pure chance. It is a raffle and the next guy who spends 50,000 yen at Asano will have just the same chance that I have to win that beautiful drum. I sure hope it's me, though. Oh, I would so much love a drum like that!

5 comments:

eileen said...

Have Fun this weekend (and Good Luck)!

Alwen said...

Whoa, that would be awesome! GOOD LUCK!

Marlene said...

Marlene und ich druecken dir die Daumen (und Pfoetchen)!

taikotari said...

Brian,
That is just soooo awesome! I am sad to say that I won't be able to make it out to Asano's 400th celebration... So, I am really looking forward to read the post covering it. Happy taiko shopping!

Raion Taiko said...

Thank you for the well wishes. I had no luck today, but there are still two more days to try. The concert tonight was great.

 
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