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Cultural endeavours.

August 31, 2010

Mountain climbing boom causes unsustainable strain on public toilets. That’s what is on the news right now. I have to say, I never considered that a health boom would have that kind of effect on public spending budgets as they have to plan to install more public toilets in remote locations. Of course the other expenditure they are talking about is installing elevators/escalators in stadiums for people to avoid the stairs (and exercise). I see a solution: promote indoor stair climbing at stadiums as the next health boom. You may not get the trees and fresh air, but there are plentiful bathrooms (and snacks) right there already.

When I look back on the last few days, I realize how lucky I really am. Sunday I went to see the exhibit at the Craft Museum and the Modern Art Museum. Monday, (after duly putting in a full day of work) I went shopping with Junko for ink painting supplies.

(On the way there, I passed a Tescos! How weird. I got my brother some baked beans)

While waiting for Junko at the train station, I noticed something odd. Every time a car pulled up at the light next to me, or a train when by overhead, the North on my compass changed, and by about 45 degrees. That could cause problems.

At the paint store I got some better paper, and some pricey ink, and then an ink stone. The very nice man in the store told me that picking an ink stone is like picking a lover, it will be with you your whole life. Clearly this man has a better dating history than me. So, I professed my love to a square, simple but handsome young rock, and tenderly brought him home. (there are so many jokes ready to be made here, but I’m going to step away)

On Monday night, Yuki and I went to check out another Taiko studio. This one is Miyake taiko. They are the ones who did the fringe performance at Sado with the wicked young girl in the photo. Miyake taiko was definitely more physical than our Asano taiko class, and the age group perhaps closer to us. Even more surprisingly, I was actually able to pound out a decent approximation of what I was meant to, although I have huge problems with what I will call the “baton pass” of the drum where you slide off and the next player replaces you. Oh, and the gender balance was much more favourable. We had to refuel afterwards at MOS. Kimpira burgers, macha tea shakes….Can’t complain about that day, can you? Actually I can, my arms are KILLING me. Kept me up half the night.

Today I rode my bike to Ikebukuro to see a performance at the Geijutsugekijo of Noh and traditional music inspired by the Sumida river. I wore my black Smoking Lily dress but alas there was no one to take a photo of me, but it was the absolutely perfect thing to wear there. It was great on the cycle (although I flashed my hot pink bike shorts several times) and with a quick shoe change as I got off my bike, it changed modes very well. The nagauta singing was a bit… um…. longer than it needed to be, but an interesting experience. There was also this part where they had composed a new piece for the Shamisen, Koto, drums and nagauta singers etc that incorporated cellos and violins and flutes and, oddly, and to my ear, unsuccessfully, xylophone and sleigh bells.

The second act was a Noh production, a play I have read before, but it was my first time to really see Noh, and it was perfect, in that I could read along with the subtitles on each side of the stage in Japanese, listen when needed to the English audio guide, and mostly, it was perfect because it was a short play. Noh is slow, short is better. I had the experience to watch it, but I didn’t need to watch four hours of it. Apparently though, theatre must be gaining popularity too, because there weren’t enough bathrooms at the theatre either. You’ve never seen such a long line of Japanese grannies wrap back and forth down a long carpet hallway, with me smack in the middle. Sing along with me now, one of these things is not like the others, one of these things is not the same….I love Japanese grannies. They are some of the friendliest people on the planet, and always have great hair.

Unlike this guy, who rode past me yesterday who as the most amazing mullet ever. Yeah, that’s right: short on the top, to the waist at the back. Nothing like and overgrown mullet…

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Libby permalink
    September 2, 2010 1:35 am

    What the hell is on that shake? It looks like tuna, avocado & kidney beans. I imagine it is not any of those things….

    • September 2, 2010 12:41 pm

      It’s ice-cream, matcha mousse, cornflakes and red bean…

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