|The Kimono Ladies Street Dance|
|Past - Japan|
|Thursday, 15 May 2008|
Isn't it so refreshing to have amazing displays of culture right on your doorstep...
One day after school, while I was living and teaching in Takaoka, Japan, I decided to go to the second hand store on the way home, and buy myself a keyboard. I was determined to use my time in Japan wisely, and practice what piano skills my 8 years of lessons had given me. I had been eyeing one up for the last few weeks, and decided to take the plunge and buy it. Using the little Japanese I had picked up in the few months or so I had been in Japan, I managed to haggle it down to about ¥10,000 (about £50, or $100), a good price I thought. I left the store feeling pretty happy with myself and hopped on the bus with my new prize (second hand but it was new to me). I got off at my stop, and walked the rest of my journey home. As I turned into my street I
witness about 50 middle aged women, dressed up in Kimono's, prancing up
and down to traditional Japanese music. I thought to myself, "wow, this is amazing, this must be a sign. What a coincidence that on the same day I buy my keyboard, I find these ladies having some kind of special dance on my street. I must make something of this occasion, by practicing on my keyboard and becoming great on it."
It never happened. The keyboard ended up being more of an ornament than a well used instrument, but it looked good. However, I did end up using it for the Christmas concert, as I performed with the brass band. I practiced with it all the time up until then.
Anyway, watching the dancers was quite a nice site. They asked if I wanted to join in. I refused the offer. It turned out that the street that I lived on was some kind of ancient traditional street (I dont know what that means), and the ladies did this every year. I should have asked what it was about, but hey...I didn't.
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“For the things we have to learn before we can do them, we learn by doing them, e.g, men become builders by building and lyre players by playing the lyre; so too we become just by doing just acts, temperate by doing temperate acts, brave by doing brave acts.”
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