2014年08月10日

'Yasugibushi' or 'Yasukibushi' is a well-known folk song in Yasugi region, Shimane Prefecture.

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The history of Yasugibushi is unexpectedly short, which was completed by Ms. Watanabe Oito and her father based on a traditional folk song in Izumo district, a part of present Shimane Prefecture. In imitation of a comical gesture to catch loaches with a bamboo basket, the so-called 'dojo-sukui' loach-scooping dance accompanied by Yasukibushi song was enjoying a boom in Tokyo after Osaka early in the 20th century. This unique dance was performed at many small theaters in Asakusa, Tokyo, which is very helpful to be known throughout the country. Most Japanese know Yasukibushi even though they don't know the place name Yasugi in Shimane Prefecture. The dojo-sukui dancer with a bamboo creel on his side and bamboo basket in his hands, as shown in the picture, is funny enough to be prevailing in the country as a banquet entertainment performed by an amateur.

Licensed tour guide/travel asssistant,
Masahisa Takaki.

通訳案内士 高木聖久。

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posted by masahisa at 15:52 | Japanese theatrical arts and music | このブログの読者になる | 更新情報をチェックする

2012年03月01日

'Bunraku' originally meant the name of the playhouse exclusively for Japanese puppet show 'Ningyo-joruri', however it has become a synonym for 'Ningyo-joruri' itself.

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Japan's leading traditional theatrical art 'Bunraku', played by men, is made up of three kinds of professions 'san-gyo'. They are narrator 'dayu',three-stringed musical instrument player 'shamisen' and puppeteers 'ningyo-zukai'.
This art has been developed since the 17th century when Japan's older puppet play met an older dramatic recitation called 'Joruri' to reach completion largely thanks to the two great masters of this world, the narrator 'Takemoto Gidayu' and the playwright 'Chikamatsu Monzaemon'.
In the field of all the traditional theatrical arts of Japan, the top 'dayu' narrator is regarded as more prestigious than 'Ichikawa Danjyuro' the highest-ranking kabuki actor.
The first picture shows the very famous scene from 'Keisei awa-no-naruto' which is one of the most important 'Bunraku' works. As shown in the second picture, the different kinds of heads are used according to sex, age, social status and so on, for each puppet handled by three puppeteers.

Licensed tour guide/travel assistant,
Masahisa Takaki.

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posted by masahisa at 17:25 | Japanese theatrical arts and music | このブログの読者になる | 更新情報をチェックする

2011年03月18日

Okinawan music features a song to the accompaniment of folk instrument such as a 'sanshin' snakeskin samisen,'hyoshigi' wooden clappers,a 'taiko' drum and a 'yubibue' finger-whistling.

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Okinawa has characteristic music different from Japanese mainland, because it had been a independent kingdom until the 19th century. The most distinguishing point found in this music is a pentatonic scale made up of do-mi-fa-si-do, which is as same as gamelan music in Indonesia. This music is exotic even for Japanese mainlanders on account of specific musical instruments such as a 'sanshin' banjo, 'sanba' castanets, etc. When it is sung by the Okinawan dialect, no one in the mainland can't understand the meaning, accordingly it is often sung in the standard Japanese in recent years. The picture of the dressed-up trio, the girl with 'sanba' on the left, the boy with 'sanshin' in the middle and the boy with 'taiko' on the left, was taken in a restaurant in Naha City.

Licensed tour guide/travel assistant,
Masahisa Takaki.

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posted by masahisa at 12:39 | Japanese theatrical arts and music | このブログの読者になる | 更新情報をチェックする