2010年11月21日

A 'samisen' is a unique stringed musical instrument of Japan, that is played with a pick shaped like a ginkgo leaf.

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A 'samisen',an instrument somewhat similar in shape to a banjo, is one of a leading fork instrument in Japan. It is made up of a rosewood skeleton, a cat or dog skin on both sides of the square body and three silk strings. The neck of it is devided broadly into three categories, a slender neck, a standard neck and a thick neck. A 'samisen', technically belonging to the lute family, came from China late in the 16th century, thereafter it had been improved to present style of 'samisen' in a short period of time. It had developed as an accompaniment to 'jiuta',a genre of traditional songs with 'samisen' and 'joruri', a type of dramatic recitation, into a leading musical instrument in the country in early modern times. In the course of this process, it had spread from cities to rural areas as well as from arts to popular songs. The 'samisens' in the picture are 'tsugaru-samisens' that are specialty of Aomori Prefecture in the Tohoku Region. This peculiar instrument is vigorously played as an accompaniment to fork songs of this area with a smaller pick.

Licensed tour guide/travel assistant,
Masahisa Takaki.

通訳案内士 高木聖久。

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posted by masahisa at 07:36 | 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

2010年05月06日

The life-size replica of Nakamura-za Kabuki theater being on display at Edo-Tokyo museum, Ryogoku, Tokyo.

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Kabuki which dates from in the early 17th century in Kyoto became to be performed only by the male actors for the public moral reasons, thereafter it was gradually developing in Kyoto, Osaka and Edo, present Tokyo, to take root as today's format. When the 19th century opened, a center of this theatrical art moved to Edo from Kyoto and Osaka to reach its climax patronized mainly by the common people. In those days there were three Kabuki theaters in Edo, called Edo-san-za, and they continued to be the largest Kabuki halls of fame in Japan until being burnt down by the Great Tokyo Earthquake or other fires in the early part of the 20th century.

Licensed tour guide/travel assistant,
Masahisa Takaki.

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posted by masahisa at 11:19 | 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

2010年02月14日

Japan's representative popular entertainments "Rakugo", traditional comic storytellings, and "Manzai", comic dialogues, are performed daily at this little theater, "Suehiro-tei" in Shinjuku.

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"Rakugo" and "Manzai" have been become today's form since the Edo period in the 18th century. At the beginning, they were performed irregularly in the precincts of shrines and temples throughout Japan. Both of them are the art of making people laugh, however, the former which had been grown up in Tokyo, is done by a single professional story teller while the latter which had been brought up in Osaka, is performed by two or three comedians. In line with the diffusion of TV, the number of the theatres for these time-honored performances are decreasing. There are only four theatres called "Yose" remain in Tokyo. "Suehirotei" in Shinjuku, "Suzumoto-engei-jo" in Ueno, "Engei-hall" in Asakusa and " Engei-jo" in Ikebukuro.

Licensed tour guide/travel assistant,
Masahisa Takaki.

通訳案内士 高木聖久。

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posted by masahisa at 12:25 | 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