Noilly Prattle: Madame Butterfly meets Urban Cowboy

Friday, November 25, 2011

Madame Butterfly meets Urban Cowboy

My old friend, Madame Butterfly, invited me to a concert of traditional Japanese music recently. She is an artist of the traditional instrument known as the koto 琴、a kind of harp. Many people in Japan have an interest or hobby known as shumi 趣味, often in traditional areas such as ikebana, tea ceremony, calligraphy, traditional sports such as kendo 剣道, a kind of fencing, etc. English Conversation is another, less traditional, area of interest. Those interested in studying about an interest form groups around a teacher, called sensei 先生, who is a master in the area. Madame B. is the sensei of her group interested in playing and performing koto concerts. I was the sensei of an English Conversation group of which Madame B. was a member. At any rate, pictures are worth 1,000 words, so here are a few pictures from her concert entitled “My Life's Road”.

    Madame Butterfly and me

    instruments include the samisen and shakuhachi (a kind of banjo and bamboo flute)

                                          on the samisen

                                       she's 4-years-old and got stage fright,
                                       but did perform later in the program to everyone's delight

                                                    on the koto

                                          part of an ensemble

    jazz combo combining traditional and modern instruments and styles

    koto, samisen and shakuhachi with voice

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Sent this to a friend, here in the US, who plays the koto. She really enjoyed reading it, Joe. - Ronnie