Steve Happ Photography Ramblings and dissertations

January 22, 2011

Japanese Cultural Night

Filed under: General — Tags: — admin @ 11:37 pm

Saturday Night Fever.

Last night I went up to Saturday Night Live, which was held above the Furano Ski Resort building. It was run by the Furano Biei International Tourism Centre. I think it is held nearly every Saturday night, or second one. Not sure. It started about 6:30 pm with a performance by the Yamanaka Traditional Japanese Music Research Group, who played Japanese Harps and Bamboo flutes. The Japanese Harp is called the O-koto and there are many different types. Kotos are usually changed from different performances because each koto is tuned to a specific key. Semitones are obtained by bending the strings, much like in blues guitar. Go to Genki Japan to play a virtual O-koto. It’s cool!

The bamboo flute, called the Shakuhachi has a standard length of 55 centimeters. It is made from the very bottom of a bamboo tree. There are usually four finger holes and a thumb hole on the bottom. Many tonal variations can be obtained by different blowing methods and stopping techniques.

The second performance was the Shishimai Lion Dance which was done by the Furano Shishamai Preservation Group. It consisted of musicians and dancers. Four men carried the lion head around and three girls performed dances at the front of the lion.

The tourist center also put on Japanese Calligraphy, face painting and Origami. During the breaks they had lucky door prizes but I did not win anything. 🙁 I was given a calendar on the way out, though. 🙂

Japanese Culture Resources

Koto Basics, What is it?

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